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Healthy ways to deal with anger

Managing anger can be challenging but it is important that it is kept in check and dealt with in a positive way. Here are a few tips to keep your anger under control.

The first thing to realize is that anger is a healthy, normal emotion and one that is necessary in dealing with certain situations. The problem comes in when you begin to respond to almost every situation with anger so that it becomes destructive.

Your first step in managing anger is by practicing mindfulness. When you become more aware of your thoughts and actions you are able to step back from a situation internally, observe and respond to situations in a calmer, more rational way.

If you are in a situation that causes a knee-jerk reaction in you, take the time to breath and count to ten. It might sound like a cliche but it works. It’s easy to say things in the heat of the moment that we regret later. When you create enough psychic space for yourself, you will realize that reacting is sometimes completely unnecessary and that sometimes it’s best not to engage at all.

Having healthy arguments once in a while is a good thing. When you find yourself in a confrontation with someone, don’t get tangled up, keep a cool head and try to come to some sort of resolution with the other person in a calm and rational way. When you feel yourself becoming angry try to imagine yourself being recorded. It might even be worthwhile to record what you say and play it back to yourself. You might surprise yourself by what you thought was logical in heat of the moment. Act in a way that you can be proud of and not embarrassed by. Live your life as though you will be reenacted in 10 years.

It’s important that you don’t try to deal with anger when you’re tired or at night when your cortisol levels are high.

And don’t hold grudges. Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. Don’t be too proud to take accountability when you’re in the wrong.  

Find out what is setting you off and try to figure out why it bugs you in the first place. Dealing with the root cause of your anger will often lead you to realize that underneath that anger is pain and fear.

If your anger is stemming from tension and frustration, it may also be necessary to find relief through exercise and meditation. When we are feeling stressed and overwhelmed we tend to lash out at others. Take time out to relax and come back to yourself.

Practice daily kindness towards yourself and others. Create a zen bubble for yourself to exist in wherever you go.

It’s important to know when to seek help. If you find that your anger is becoming a serious problem in your life, there is no shame in speaking to a qualified psychologist to help you get to the root of the problem.

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Written by Taryn Hill

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