"You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger." ~Buddha
Anger is one of the more common emotions we deal with during and after narcissistic abuse and toxic relationships in general. It’s also one of the most damaging. Anger can ruin relationships, fuel poor decisions, and even lead to harming another person. Choices made while angry are rarely good choices. Learning how to deal with anger like an intelligent, rational adult can eliminate a lot of drama from your life.
Deal with anger effectively and avoid making a situation even worse:
- Call a timeout. Imagine all the problems you could have avoided by taking a short break and cooling off before opening your mouth. Not every situation is suitable for a break, but most are.
- Get some exercise. Go for a hard run or hit a punching bag. A long swim can burn up a lot of energy, too. Get your heart pounding and breathe heavily for a little while. You’ll feel much better and increase your health and fitness.
- Listen to soothing music. Now isn’t the time for heavy metal or the theme from Rocky. Find something that soothes your emotions and listen for 15 minutes. Experiment with different types of music until you find the best choice for you.
- Praying can help calm you and release your anger.
- Meditation can also lower feelings of anger. Either meditate on your breath or on your feelings of anger. Stick with it until you feel better.
- Count to 10. Visualize the numbers as you count. If possible, count out loud. Changing your focus to counting, visualizing the numbers, speaking the numbers, and hearing the numbers will keep your brain occupied. Think of counting as a very short break.
- Focusing on breathing is another way to take a mini-break without having to flee the scene. Breathing is a tool you can use throughout the day with complete privacy.
- Volunteer regularly. One of the advantages of volunteering is the perspective it provides. You realize that your life could be a lot worse than it is.
- Take a walk. Walking is a great activity. You get a little exercise. It requires a little bit of brain activity, but not so much that you can’t think deep thoughts. A walk is a good addition to anyone’s day and can help you deal with anger-related issues.
- Remember that everyone is doing the best they can. At any given moment, everyone is doing their best. Their best might not be very good at this moment, but it’s still their best.
- A smile holds more power than most people think. The simple act of smiling can enhance your mood and change your perspective.
- Focus on solutions. Rather than focusing on your emotions, focus on how you can resolve the situation.
- Address your anger internally. Ask yourself why you’re angry. Did someone fail to meet your expectations? Do you feel threatened or underappreciated? Are you afraid? Dig into the reasons that you feel angry.
- Address the issue rather than the other person. By attacking the other person, you escalate the situation. Once the other person starts defending themselves, finding a solution becomes much more difficult.
- Get help. Get professional help for serious anger issues. If you’re regularly angry and can’t control your anger, seek out the help of a professional.
It’s important to deal with your anger in a positive way. Handling anger poorly can damage your relationships and your health. There are many quick and easy ways to diffuse your anger and stop yourself from making a bad situation even worse. Address your anger in a healthy manner and you’ll be glad you did!