It’s normal to feel angry from time to time. But if you find that you are regularly and unusually outraged by Calgary’s rush-hour traffic, your blood boiling, it may be time to work on developing a healthier way to deal with anger.
According to the American Psychological Association, anger is an emotional state that varies in intensity and is “accompanied by physiological and biological changes,” such as an increased heart rate, blood pressure and adrenaline, as well as changes in hormonal levels. If anger is dealt with properly, it is a healthy reaction to upsetting situations. But when anger becomes destructive and leads to problems in the workplace, in family and in relationships, it negatively impacts a person’s quality of life.
Here are five strategies to deal with anger in a healthy way:
1) Exercise more
According to Mayo Clinic, exercise helps to increase endorphins, your brain’s “feel-good neurotransmitters.” Getting your body moving throughout the day and regularly exercising can help to reduce everyday stress so that you can better manage difficult situations and control your feelings of anger.
2) Practice meditative techniques
There are several meditative techniques that help people to control negative emotions. Finding the correct technique for you can take some trial and error, but the options are endless. Consider practicing deep-breathing exercises, using calming music, visualizing a happy or relaxing setting, or even speaking to yourself aloud with loving and calming phrases.
3) Wait until you’re calm to express your anger
If you struggle with anger, it’s important that you recognize how your reaction to an upsetting situation can negatively impact your wellbeing and that of the people you spend your time with. Try practicing other meditative techniques to calm yourself down before expressing your anger. This way, you will have a more controlled, thoughtful and rational response to the situation after you have had some time to think about what you’d like to say.
4) Make light of upsetting situations with humour
When you have an angry outburst, you may hear others around you saying, “lighten up!” There’s some truth to the saying. Humour can be a great way to respond to an upsetting situation by taking the tension out of the equation. However, be sure that you don’t use humour at someone else’s expense. Sarcasm can be hurtful and upsetting for others, adding more tension to the situation.
5) See a therapist or counsellor
If anger seems to be controlling your life, a therapist or counsellor can help you to develop healthy strategies that will work best for you. Therapists can help you to get to the underlying issue that is causing you stress, the first step on a journey towards an emotionally balanced and healthy life.
At Your Counselling, we understand that anger can be controlling and often debilitating if it isn’t expressed in a healthy way. If you’re ready to take the first step towards a happier, healthier life, our counsellors will work with you to develop personalized strategies so that you can stay calm and carry on. Book a free consultation with one of our counsellors in Calgary today.