Anger is an emotion that tells us that something is wrong but first we need to know how to relieve anger and calm down enough to figure out the message it contains. Anger may even help us to get out of dangerous situations, but sometimes the threats are just perceived and anger is not an appropriate emotion.
The anger itself is not the main problem though. It may help you to try to feel less angry in some situations, but for the most part your goal should be to learn how to quickly calm down, so that you can learn from it and start to express yourself in a healthier way.
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
You have probably heard this quote before but even if you haven’t you probably realise that anger isn’t one of the best emotions to experience. BUT, are you one of the many people that believe that they “can’t help getting angry” and that stress is just a part of life that we have to accept?
Well, I want to tell you that you can do something about it. It might not be easy but it is certainly possible to at the very least, calm down more easily. If you get angry at work or with a partner then that anger could obviously impact your career or relationship plus it is not good for your health to feel frequently angry. In a minute I’m going to give you 8 ways that I share with personal coaching clients on how to calm down and relieve anger when its causing problems for them.
If you are angry a lot with your children or in front of your children, then you know it impacts them too. I’m pretty certain that knowing it impacts them makes you feel guilty which doesn’t help the situation either. Often anger is behaviour that we learn from others. If you grew up in a household where anger was a common emotion it’s easy to fall into the same trap. Maybe your husband or children only do as you ask when you get angry so that anger becomes a habit.
Make a decision here and now that you will work on your angry behaviour. It might be something you can do on your own although you will have to practise and find techniques that work for you or you may need support from a professional if these techniques don’t work for you. The most important thing is to be committed, recognise and reward progress and DO NOT beat yourself up if you slip.
How to relieve anger and calm down:
1 | Identify Triggers
Think about the situations in the past that have caused you to get angry. Is there a common theme? Can you avoid similar situations or at least mentally prepare for them.
If the anger is caused by a grudge then maintaining resentment toward someone only hurts you. Let it go, put it in the past, and move forward with your life. It’s unreasonable to expect everyone to act the way you want them to. Rather than letting someone continue to irritate you find a way to accept or look past them. A good way to let go is to write a letter to the other person:
- Write down everything you feel about the person and the situation
- Note what you have learned about the situation
- What are you are going to feel about the situation or the person in the future
- Burn the letter or rip it into lots of pieces
- Find something to laugh about, go for a walk or dance around the kitchen to lighten your mood
2 | Take Calm Down Time
If you’re feeling extremely angry, walk away from the situation. If you can’t walk away, try counting to ten, this will give you a chance to think first. Take a deep breath or two while you count to ten; this action helps relax your tense muscles and sends a burst of oxygen to your brain for clarity of thought.
3 | Start Exercising
A daily exercise routine can help you to release energy and negative emotions. Strenuous physical activity is an incredible way to release your anger, especially if you feel you’re at breaking point. Exercising also releases endorphins, the “feel-good” hormones, which will help you feel calmer. If you start feeling angry, you can also go out for a walk or run as an outlet for the anger.
4 | Put yourself in their shoes
Family arguments can often get out of hand. Before you blurt out a vindictive phrase, think about the other persons feelings. Phrases said in the heat of the moment, such as, “You’re such a wimp,” or “You don’t do anything for this family,” can have a big impact. Often we know exactly what someones “hot spot” is and regret saying something later.
If this is something you are guilty of then seek a solution, not a debate. If your husband spends too much time on the golf course, tell him how much you miss your weekly date night.
5 | Use positive affirmations
Affirmations have the power to battle negative emotions such as anger. They’re short positive statements written in the present tense that can help you stay calm and collected when it matters.
If you feel angry, tell yourself repeatedly “I am calm and understanding” Doing this will distract your brain from the issue that angered you while you calm down.
6 | Practice Relaxation
Anger arises more often if you’re tense and stressed. Study different relaxation techniques that will help you to unwind. Some of these techniques include:
- Taking a Bath
- Deep Breathing
- Listening to Music
7 | Communicate Differently
Learning how to relieve anger is not the same as never feeling angry. Once you have controlled the initial angry feeling, consider why you’re feeling angry and who you need to talk to in a calm way to address the cause of the anger. It’s healthy to express your feelings, even feelings of anger, as long as you do it in a peaceful, positive, and non-confrontational way.
Discussing your feelings in a calm way with the person who upsets you often helps both of you understand each other better so you can work out your issues. Write down what you want to say so you can stay focused and practice what you want to say beforehand.
Use personal statements when discussing the issue. Avoid criticising or placing blame. Use statements like, “It makes me feel angry and upset when you don’t help me with the housework,” instead of “You never help me,” which will make the other person feel defensive.
Anger is a very natural emotion but could also be a sign of stress, depression or hormonal imbalance. If you feel that your anger is still out of control after using these strategies, you may benefit from some extra help, such as:
- Visiting your GP
- Seeing a licensed therapist or counsellor
- Reading further books on anger management
- Attending anger management classes or support groups where others discuss ways to cope with their anger
- If the anger is stress-related because of a particular situation you are struggling with a coach can help you move forward
Anger is a very natural emotion. However, learning to deal with your anger in a positive manner is important, both for your own and your family’s wellbeing. When you can’t control your temper, you and everyone around you suffer the consequences.