What Can You Do when You Feel Angry?
Here are some practical suggestions for turning angry feelings in useful energy.
1. Acknowledge your anger
One of the unhealthy responses to feelings of anger is to pretend they do not exist. If you do now allow your mind to acknowledge angry feelings, your body will have to bear the brunt. If you feel your stomach being tied in knots, your fists clenching, your heart pounding, admit to yourself that something important is happening. Say to yourself: “yes, I’m irritated; I’m upset: I’m really angry.”
2. Uncover the cause of your anger
What triggered your feelings? Sometimes the answer seems obvious: the driver in the car behind you blew the horn, a colleague at work told a lie about you, your son failed to do his homework. Be as specific as possible in naming the event that sent your blood pressure soaring.
Sometimes you may have to dig to find the cause of your anger. You come away from a conversation or a meeting feeling upset, but why? Ask yourself. What was said or done that made me angry? Who am i angry with – a particular person, an institution, myself, God?
3. Explore how you feel about your anger
Take an honest look at how you feel about becoming angry. Are you afraid of what your anger will lead to? Do you feel embarrassed, guilty, ashamed? Or can you say, “I feel okay about my anger”?
4. Confide in someone you trust
Find a person who can help you deal with your anger. It may be a friend, a colleague, or a relative who can be objective about the situation and who isn’t afraid to be honest with you. Avoid confiding in someone who will always take your side. In some situations, a professional counselor is the best choice.
5. Do something productive with your anger
Among the options: Praying to let go of your anger… Sometimes you can best handle anger by simply releasing it to God.
Speaking to the person who has made you angry… Use first – person pronouns: “I’m Upset…” “I’m angry…” “I’m confused…” rather than “You had no right to….” “You deliberately…” “You always make me angry when you….” Try to find a way you can resolve the conflict.
Putting your anger to productive use – If you are upset about a problem in your community, join an organization that works at a solution. If a family situation sparks your anger, make an appointment with a family counselor. Anger can provide you with the energy to bring about needed change.