All of us are entitled to our feelings. Sometimes, we feel sad. Other times, we’re elated and ready for the next phase of life. However, we’re all bound to experience feelings of frustration, annoyance, and even anger.
Negative feelings can be overwhelming and make you feel like you’re out of control. But, you can avoid letting your anger take over and get the best of you.
Cope with your anger by putting these strategies into action:
1. Accept the fact that you’ll feel anger from time to time. Our emotions are what differentiates us from other mammals. Anger is a normal human emotion that all of us experience, regardless of our age or psychological make-up. It’s okay to feel angry, but what you do with it is what counts.
- Realize that you’ll feel anger occasionally and give yourself permission to do so.
2. If you’re angry often, explore your deeper feelings. If you find yourself angry when your co-worker is late, your spouse doesn’t automatically sense your needs, or your child gets a D on their report card, something else is likely the true source of your anger.
- Anger that occurs often across a variety of situations can mean you’re angry about something else.
- Reflect on what’s truly bugging you. Is it something that happened a long time ago?
- When you identify what’s consistently making your anger boil over, you can then do something about it.
3. Figure out how to resolve the source of your anger. Read a self-help book or keep a journal of your thoughts and feelings related to the anger-triggering event. Either way, make the decision to say good-bye to the old hurts and emotional pain they are causing.
- If you’re unable to resolve it alone, seek guidance from a mental health professional.
4. Get to know yourself. Learn to recognize how you feel when you’re about to get angry. When you identify those negative feelings creeping up, you can have a plan to do something to stop them.
5. Remove yourself from any anger-igniting situations. If you start to feel angry, take action immediately. Consider just leaving the situation that’s troubling you.
- Exiting the area can instantly dissolve negative emotions.
6. Recognize healthy and appropriate ways to express anger. Deciding to verbalize that you’re starting to feel angry or asking to change the topic of discussion shows that you’re taking positive steps toward the way you handle your anger. Writing down what you think and feel when angry can also help you better understand and even dissipate such feelings.
7. Inform your loved ones that you’re working on ways to better express your anger. Tell others how they can help you when you say that you’re feeling angry.
- Still, let them know that you’re the one responsible for your feelings and that you have a plan for better understanding and coping with your anger.
8. Acknowledge that you have the power to control yourself. Tell yourself that you have altered things about yourself before and can do it again. Reflecting on your prior achievements can greatly boost your confidence.
- What you believe about yourself is true. Ensure that your thoughts are positive and encouraging.
Anger can be destructive and damaging to all of your relationships. Decide to cope skillfully with your anger, rather than allowing it to get the best of you. When you apply these strategies, you’ll begin to feel more confident about managing troublesome feelings.