Anger is one of the most unhealthy emotions we experience as humans and it is something that many of us struggle to control. There is a huge industry trying to teach people how to manage their anger, but is it best to let it out, or avoid experiencing it at all? I want to take some time to discuss this question and also give you a few ways to manage your anger when it arises.
How Anger Affects Your Health
Anger causes a flood of stress chemicals that are associated with metabolic changes that can eventually cause harm to different systems of the body. People who are regularly angry and stressed out tend to have higher stress levels, an increased risk of heart disease, chronic headaches, and high blood pressure.
Anger can also negatively affect your social health. Someone who is regularly angry will have strained relationships with friends and family because they are emotionally draining and cause their loved one’s stress. These poor social relationships can leave an angry person with feelings of depression, loneliness, and frustration, which will only continue to hurt their mental health.
How You Can Handle Angry Emotions
The best thing to do is to avoid anger all together, but this isn’t plausible for most people without a significant amount of meditation, breath work, and sometimes therapy. It isn’t healthy to hold in emotions, but it also isn’t healthy to shout or let anger out physically. So, what can you do? It is suggested that you try and be flexible with your behavior by taking a few moments to evaluate why you feel angry in the first place. After you have figured out why you are angry, take some steps to either put the issue aside if it seems unimportant or find a solution. This can be especially helpful if you experience road rage. Take a deep breath and ask yourself why you are so angry at a complete stranger. Here are a few other ways to deal with angry emotions.
Meditation has grown in popularity the last few years, and for a good reason, it is a great tool to strengthen your mental health and calm your mind. Taking a few minutes a day to practice meditation can make a world of difference when it comes to mood and emotion. There are plenty of guided meditation videos on YouTube you can listen to with headphones on, or you can find a class in your area.
Exercise has been proven to improve mood by sending feel-good endorphins to the brain. Regular exercise is a fantastic anger management strategy for those who feel the need to physically express their anger. It gives these individuals a healthy outlet to release the stress that has been built up because of their negative feelings. The type of exercise you choose to do will depend on what activities you prefer. For some yoga is a great way to calm the mind and de-stress while others prefer to go on a walk, run or take a kickboxing class. I also suggest looking into grounding, which can be incorporated with a few of the activities I just mentioned. Grounding can help improve your body’s natural chemistry, give you a deeper connection with nature, and relieve negative thoughts.
Get a Massage
I once had a client tell me, “If we all had a massage everyday, there would be no war”. I don’t know if that is true, but I’m sure that at least the incidents of road rage would decrease. It is no secret that massage is a great way to de-stress the body and mind to help manage anger. The reduction of stress and anxiety that comes with a massage puts the body into a state of tranquility which counteracts the “fight or flight” response that occurs when some feel angry. Massage also helps manage the physical health risks mentioned above that are associated with angry emotion. Start out with a 60-minute massage and see how you feel after. I can guarantee that it will put you in a better mood and release unwanted tension.
Listen to Music
Listening to relaxing music you enjoy is a great way to calm down after feeling angry. Music has been shown to affect mood in both positive and negative ways. If you decide to use music to help manage anger, try to keep it light and upbeat or an extremely relaxing meditative playlist.
Seek Professional Guidance
Sometimes we all need a little extra help getting past our anger issues, and that may come in the form of professional guidance. Seeking out a third party or a support group facilitated by a professional can help get to the root of the problem. This is a great first step on a journey towards positive emotional development for those who feel they cannot manage their anger alone.
We all have felt angry emotions, and there is really no way to remove them entirely from our lives, but you can take steps towards managing anger and creating a more peaceful reality for yourself.