Eleanor Roosevelt said that “anger is one letter short of danger.” And in a lot of cases, the idea is true. When the basis for impulsive action is anger, the consequences can be dire. But in the same vein, simply ignoring or trying to banish anger is the easiest way to lose control in tense situations – and get super stressed out and kind of miserable as a result. Anger is a valid emotional state, just like sadness, fear or joy, and your response to your emotions is ultimately what determines whether or not you’re dealing with them in a healthy way. And when it comes to handling your emotions – like fear – in a healthy way, there are two key parts of the puzzle: acknowledgement and action, in that order. It’s important that they maintain that order to deter impulsive behavior. The last thing you want to do is shoot first and ask questions later, or even worse, say or do something you can’t take back. Fully acknowledging how you’re feeling before acting will allow you to thoughtfully determine what comes next and how to proceed.
So the next time you’re feeling pushed to your breaking point, take the time to be alone and acknowledge why. After that, try taking the following actions to cope with those feelings.
Write It Down
Journaling is the best way to express pent up emotions. In addition to reducing stress and anxiety, it allows you to regularly check in with how you’re feeling, recognize patterns, and determine how to navigate them. With repeated journaling, you’ll likely gain bigger insight into your emotions, and that will ultimately help you handle them more effectively.
There’s no better way to let off some steam than doing a little bit of intense exercise. After all, with exercise comes the release of endorphins, which are certified mood boosters, and lowered blood pressure, which anger can definitely take a toll on. A quick workout can give you a clearer head and increased mental clarity after a tense situation.
Learn How to Openly Communicate Your Feelings
But only after you’ve had enough time alone to acknowledge why you’re angry to begin with. Jumping into a conversation with someone who has hurt or angered you directly after the fact almost never ends well. When you’re ready to address the issue, you’ll want to focus on how their actions or words made you feel, and avoid accusations or judgements about the person’s character. Approaching the conversation this way will yield the best results, and is a productive way to manage your anger.