Recognize the emotion
Learning to recognize the emotion for what it really is can be tricky. Anger often isn’t really anger but rather another emotion that is presenting itself in a different way. Common feelings that may be the cause of a blow up can be sadness, fear, anxiety, grief or even depression. Stop for a minute and think about what has been going on in your life and what might really be the trigger. Naming the emotion can help you get to the root.
Being mindful when we’re angry might be difficult but it can help us to find the calmness and grounding that we need. It is a strong emotion but the self awareness that comes with being mindful can be helpful in managing our anger. There are some steps you can take such as becoming aware of your body and noticing your thoughts. Slow your breath and still your body. Being aware of your body’s response can help you recognize the symptoms early before it becomes of nuclear proportion.
Take a minute
Sometimes when we are angry we need to give ourselves a time out. Taking a minute or a day doesn’t mean that you are avoiding the issue, it means you are giving it the weight of importance it needs. We need to process our thoughts and think about our response so we can focus more on solutions than being caught up in the moment and acting on emotion. Adult time outs can really be invaluable.
Feeling angry is quite okay
Let’s face it, we all get angry. Feelings happen and they happen to all of us. The key is how we manage this powerful emotion. We should never push it down and let it go unchecked because it will find its’ way to the surface at the most inopportune times. So, be angry but be honest with yourself about who you are angry with and why. Dealing with an issue early can stop you from losing your mind in the checkout line at the grocery store.
Use it as a motivator
Believe it or not, anger can actually be an incredible motivator. Use the energy in a positive way by channeling it towards something you want to change or accomplish. In The Upside to Anger: 6 Psychological Benefits of Getting Mad, the author mentions that research supports the theory that anger can push us towards our goals. By using it as a motivator we can turn a negative into a positive.