- Yell, scream, cry, and hit a pillow.
- Give yourself permission to be angry and stop fighting yourself.
- Keep a journal. Write down each time you feel angry. What triggered the thought? How long did you feel angry for? What did you do about it and why? After a weeks worth of keeping the journal, can you find a pattern? Some patterns are healthy, others are self-destructive?
- Channel your negative energy. Each time you experience a wave of anger, let yourself express it through something positive. For some it
might be going to the gym and running the energy out. After 6 months of this, you might find yourself in really good shape. Others might do better with painting. Painting can release energy. Others might sing, write music etc.
- Treat yourself kindly. Nurture your body. Eat healthy foods. Take yourself out for a massage. Take a warm bath. It is never improper to care for oneself. Treat yourself gently, the way you would a small child.
- Focus on ways that will build your body up, avoid the quick fix. Alcohol, and other mind-altering drugs in the moment, might give your brain the chance to relax, but after the initial high, the crash will bring you to a lower place.
- During the initial stages of anger, it is common to feel overwhelmed by the mundane tasks of life. Thus, instead of fighting your anger, frustration, irritation, embrace your need to let things slide. Accept help when offered. Give yourself permission to not function well, and delegate responsibilities whenever possible. Every person needs help every once and a while, and you may even do another person a favor by allowing him or her to assist someone in need. If no one offers help, seek it out. It is OK to take the space you need so that you can regroup.
- Try to forgive yourself if your anger seems turned inward. Many people experience feelings of guilt as they review in their minds how they could have said or done things differently. Try to accept that the past is gone forever, and focus on what you can change for the present. Forgiveness may not be a concept for which you feel ready. You may never feel completely ready to forgive fully, but explore the possibilities of forgiveness, in general.
- Stop trying to model yourself after your friends and family. No two people deal with their anger in the same way. Not everyone will ‘manage their anger well’. There is no right or wrong way to feel angry. However, if you find yourself starting to act out towards your kids, or are hitting anyone, stop. Take a deep breathe. Pick up the telephone and ask for help before you hurt someone you love. Help is available.
- Remember that emotions can sometimes feed upon themselves. Don’t push feelings down, but don’t let them carry you away either. If you feel excessive rage or constantly irritable, contact an objective support person immediately.
- If you feel uncomfortable talking to friends, or you feel like you need more support than your friends can offer, talk to a therapist.
Dr. Anne Aja