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"Sometimes I feel furious!"

March 21, 2017

Anger as an emotion is neither good nor bad. Anger is merely a messenger. It can provide energy and motivate you to action. However anger by itself has never solved a problem.

The issue with anger rests on how you respond to the message. In the ideal situation, you want to harness that energy for finding constructive solutions to the issue. But when you are seeing red, that can be hard to do!

Try using these strategies to short-circuit your anger before it gets out of hand.

  • Know your physical signs of anger. There can be several physical signs: a faster heart rate, sudden heat, tense muscles/jaw, or a knot in the stomach. When you learn your signs, you’ll be better prepared to interrupt an escalation when you start feeling irritated, frustrated, or annoyed.
  • Take a time out. Try removing yourself from the situation. Take a walk around the block if you can or at least to the bathroom or the back porch. You might be ab le to counteract the fight-or-flight response with slow, deep breathing.
  • Get some exercise. Burn off the anger adrenaline through movement. A brisk walk is great! Or put on some music and dance!
  • Focus on your senses. Concentrate on your body sensations. This reduces the intensity of your emotions. What are you seeing? Smelling? How does your body feel?
  • Count to ten. If you cannot physically create distance, at least give your mind some time to catch up to your emotions. Count to ten before you say or do something you will regret later.

Wait to seek solutions when you are calm. You don’t need to bury your anger but let it chill for a bit. The conversation and solutions you explore later will be much more fruitful if you do.

Seek professional help if you feel your anger is out of control. Don’t let the destructive side of anger make things worse.