Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.Buddha
We all get angry, it’s a normal human emotion. However, too often we let angry run and consume us. This is when it becomes a problem for many people. Instead of letting anger go, we hold it like Buddha describes above and the one holding is the one that gets the most damage done. You can stoke the fire and make your anger worse or you can cut off the oxygen and let the fire burn out. Which would be better for you?
Here’s 5 tips on how to respond to anger (other than blowing up or yelling).
- Stop and take a deep breath or several deep breaths. Remember, deep breathing slows down the body’s fight or flight response. Not sure how to do deep breathing, read my short blog on the topic.
- Talk with someone like a trusted friend or family member about your feelings and why you are angry. Many times our trusted friend or family member can help give perspective on how to cope or just be there to listen and support you.
- Take a timeout. Walk away from the situation and collect yourself. At the point of getting so overwhelmed, blowing up or yelling doesn’t serve you well. This is simplest and easiest tip to do because you leave the situation so it can’t continue to escalate.
- Increase your physical activity. This can be walking or hitting the gym. Physical activity is a great stress buster.
- Use progressive muscle relaxation to help reduce your anger. Progressive muscle relaxation or PMR is the intentional adding of stress (tension) into your muscles one group at a time. UM-Health has a great starting point on how to use PMR on their website.
Bonus tip! Try any of the 10 self care activities I wrote about recently.
I believe that you deserve more than ok when dealing with anger. Ready to make an appointment? Contact me today.
Remember, no great misery goes unnoticed, if you are struggling with your mental health, be sure to reach out to a qualified mental health professional. If you are considering suicide please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK, call 9-1-1, or visit the closest emergency room.
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Jeff Simms is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Board Certified Counselor in private practice in Grand Blanc, Michigan. Jeff works with adults that want to get better dealing with their anxiety, depression, PTSD, and marriage.