Staying Angry is Too Much Work! – Part 2 (5/27/22)
Last week I promised to give you tools to help manage your anger. It may be your own, or you “caught it” from an angry person. It could be recent, or it could be anger you’ve been holding onto for a long time. So here goes!
When you realize you’re angry: Do something physical to release the stress hormones that have built up. Any type of physical movement, large or small, starts the process of releasing the tension. If you can’t do something physical, smaller actions can work. Take some deep breaths. Count to 10 – or whatever number you need to reach before you calm down. Remove yourself from the person or situation, even if just for a few moments. Use that time to clear your head and calm your heart. Focus on something or someone positive. (I picture my grandkids!) Once you’ve gotten rid of the negative energy, find a way to bring in positive energy. It may be through prayer, meditation or talking with someone you trust – a family member, a friend, your pastor or someone else.
Talk with a counselor/paid professional. They can help you resolve your anger issues – or any other issues – by giving you suggestions based on their years of experience and study. It doesn’t matter how much “personal baggage” you bring along. They’re objective listeners because they’re not related to you or your problem. They can help you see the issues more clearly, including the fact that you might be contributing to your problem without realizing it. Forgiveness is another powerful tool that I talk about in my women’s retreats. Maybe you need to forgive someone else, not for their sake but for yours. And maybe the person you need to forgive is YOU.
Write down the “the blueberry issues” in your life. It could be your own anger from a present or past experience. Or it could be an angry person whose anger is “contagious.” Next, list all the negative emotions and negative physical responses you’ve noticed when you’re angry. Think about “cause and effect.” Now you’re connecting the dots! Then choose some strategies from the suggestions above to start making positive changes, including distancing yourself from angry people.
Remember, there’s nothing wrong with feeling angry. It’s a normal human emotion. Feelings, however, are not actions. It’s what we decide to DO with our feelings that moves us into action in a positive or negative direction. Letting go of anger is one of the best things you can do for yourself. Staying angry really IS too much work! As my mother used to say, “Find something better to do with your time!”