Anger is a natural and sometimes useful emotion that reflects our inner state. It helps us instinctively identify and respond to dangerous situations. Anger can also be a great driving force to help us begin doing really good things. Most often though, uncontrollable anger is a cause of stress and problems in relationships with colleagues, relatives, friends, the outside world and even with yourself.
At Bright Side, we’ve collected 10 ways for you to manage your anger and take its destructive forces under your control.
1. Write the reasons why you’re angry down and destroy them.
Write through your anger: jot down in great detail, every reason you have to be pissed and frustrated. This can relieve an immense amount of tension from your body. Pay attention to every little thing that annoyed you and describe it in as much detail as you possibly can. Set your mind free of these thoughts. Then you can either throw the list away or even better, destroy it, relieving the stress once and for all.
2. Get some form of love and affection.
Something as simple as a friendly hug could easily help you manage your anger since it boosts your levels of oxytocin, which is a neurotransmitter that eases stress and annoyance. It will leave you happier and more content no matter what the situation is.
3. Chew some gum.
It has been proven by science that chewing gum can help you get through terrible hostility toward everybody around you. This is because when you actively move your jaw, the muscles in your face and in your body slowly release tension. So get some gum handy for particularly awful days and you will notice a significant difference in how you react to various situations.
4. Go for a walk or even better, a run.
You need to experience some physical exercise in one form or another. Run a mile, walk for around 20 minutes, or do push-ups — each one of these activities will help your brain produce endorphins otherwise known as happiness hormones which burn off energy that could otherwise turn into hatred and annoyance.
5. Sing your favorite song.
It might sound surprising, but singing is actually a wonderful way to reduce a great amount of stress and anger. Put on your favorite song when you’re in a terrible mood, stay somewhere secluded, and enjoy singing your song with as much power as you can. This can relieve tension from your muscles and leave you in a much more pleasant mood than you ever could imagine.
6. Eat something crunchy.
Don’t over-eat, of course, as you probably don’t want to be angry at yourself later on, but do snack on something crunchy when you’re feeling particularly mad at something. Humans enjoy listening to crunchy sounds, therefore, it’s mentally relieving. It could also help ease the tension in your jaw.
7. Blow on your thumb.
If you feel your heart racing because of your anger and frustration, you might want to try something unexpected, yet quite effective — blow on your thumb. It might sound hilarious, but your thumb has its own pulse and by blowing on it you calm your pulse and slow down your heart rate.
8. Do some house work.
You might find this idea repulsive, but hear us out. Doing mindless or repetitive household chores will actually calm you down in no time. Work on your houseplants, groom your pet, sort out your closet or just try to declutter your drawers and you will be astonished at how fast you’ll reach a peaceful state of mind.
9. Stand near a plant.
Considering that just being near a plant for around 10 minutes will help fill your brain with much-needed oxygen, you might want to find some nearby greenery. You will think more clearly, therefore have an easier time getting rid of your anger. Moreover, you can get some jasmine or lavender to inhale their scent which is great for anxiety relief and restful sleep.
10. Set a timer for dealing with your anger.
The easiest and probably fastest way to manage your anger can be as simple as setting a timer. When you actually notice how little time you have to be irritated before you have to get to your next assignment, you consider your anger to be insignificant. So look at your phone’s timer or a watch and see that you can do so many more wonderful things than just be angry.
If you have any other suggestions for dealing with anger, please share them in the comments below.
Illustration by Alena Sofronova for BrightSide.me