Outside of your typical diva moments, I am usually able to keep my composure. Especially while I work. I try extremely hard to manage my emotions in a positive way but that’s not always possible. Anger is a powerful emotion that reveals our truest feelings. Some choose to express it constructively and others destructively.
Our cultural belief often leads us to think that every problem has a solution. When the reality is sometimes life just sucks and it’s okay to get angry about it. Sometimes anger and frustration are the results of very real and inescapable problems in our lives. Anger can be a healthy, natural response to these difficulties. However, it’s when you let the anger get out of control that it goes from being a natural, healthy emotion, to wreaking havoc in your work and life.
According to the American Psychological Association: “When it gets out of control and turns destructive, it can lead to problems—problems at work, in your personal relationships, and in the overall quality of your life. ”
Anger is a tricky thing though. Anger is not just a defense mechanism. Anger can also be a cry for help o
r you are just crazy. Now as much as I hate to put that crazy word here if you have trouble controlling your anger it would be in your best interest to get professional help with that. Jokes aside, if tasks or activities can’t help then it is time to find out what will help you reduce your anger.
Anger limits communication by adding unnecessary drama. Anger causes just as much emotional damage as depression.
Case in point (Click to watch a viral video of an angry lady in the Apple store. Warning: use headphones or turn down the volume)
However, don’t be so expressive to the point that you start to lose friends or are at risk of losing your job. There really are constructive ways to lash out.
When you are in the moment, Ask yourself this: Why am I so angry? Will this matter in a year?
When you are in the moment close your eyes and ask yourself those questions. When you lash out with anger its because you feel like that’s the only option left. My job can’t change overnight so my only option was to give my co-workers side-eyes and have attitudes with the employees I handle. But who does that help?
Lashing out didn’t make me feel any better. Getting in a physical argument with my college roommate over noodles didn’t make me feel better, stealing my big sisters’ shoes- well, some things will make you feel better. But if you have to hurt somebody else to make yourself feel better that’s not constructive.
Here are the top 4 recommended constructive things you can do to help you get a grip on anger and they take less than 5 minutes! (I’ve tried all of them and they are keeping angry smurf at bay):
#1 Run your wrist under cold water.
Sounds weird and if I was a doctor I would totally explain why. But a lady at my job offered this to me and it helped ‘cool’ me off.
#2 Be Alone.
Go into a room and have your 5 minutes alone. Everything will still be waiting. It’s important to relax. My mother was the ‘never complain’ type and she had a mild heart attack. Don’t put yourself at risks for others. Let your boss, family, significant other etc, know when you are at a limit and get help as needed.
#3 Practice gratitude.
If you wake up angry. Immediately after waking up Look around and see what you can thank God or the higher power you serve for. What are you thankful for? How can you be mad once you realize all of the reasons why you should be happy instead of upset. Sometimes the elephant in the room is ourselves. Don’t hold yourself back and don’t walk around with dormant anger.
You don’t have to be a yogi or a practitioner of faith to meditate. The main benefit I have gained from meditation is how it forces you into the present. Use the breathing technique. Close your eyes and inhale as deep as you can and as you exhale say: “I am fine, my life is improving.” Say whatever you need to hear to stay calm at the moment
#5 Drink green tea.
Have a cup in the morning or afternoon and get a boost of the chemical, L-Theanine found in green tea that helps reduce anger.
It is important to remember that anger is a natural emotion. Don’t get upset with yourself for being angry try to get to the root of the anger. These are just 5 ways to help manage it during stressful times.