How can I release or express my anger in a Positive fashion?
Here is a list of Positive ways of expressing or releasing anger that you may be able to do immediately:
- Take slow deep breaths (breathe from your belly…this is a calming trigger)
- Use Positive self-talk: Say to yourself calming thoughts like, “I can handle this”; “Stay calm”; “It will be OK”; “I can control my anger.”
- If you can stay calm, tell the person how you feel in a respectful way. Choose not to point the finger or blame them. Instead, tell them how you feel and why. Example: “I feel angry when you don’t phone me back. It feels disrespectful.”
- In your mind, pull up a happy memory, an empowering thought, or imagine a peaceful place to help your mind calm down.
- If it helps to rub or scrunch something in your hand…carry a smooth stone or a stress ball in your pocket to use when angry.
- If you realize that you are becoming so angry that you will soon not be able to control your words or actions, then it is time to say, “I’m too angry to continue. Let’s both calm down and then talk about this later”.
These suggestions do not work perfectly. They are meant to help you stay calm and respectful In the moment of a frustrating situation so you do not turn the circumstances into something you will regret later. But you should not forget about your anger after the storm has passed. Notice if you are still angry. If you are….you need to continue to try purposefully to release your anger. Remember…you do not want to stuff your anger.
Here are some ideas for releasing your anger when you have the time:
- Ask for help from a caring and concerned person or talk to someone you trust. (Make sure it is someone who will keep your thoughts private)
- Take a walk and think about your situation.
- Play a fun game with friends, on a computer, video game, or Wii.
- Hit a pillow or a punching bag.
- Do something physical to get your energy out like running, rollerblading, basketball, swimming, exercise, or weight lifting.
- Draw a picture of your feelings.
- Do Yoga or Tai Chi.
- Imagine yourself in a special, calm, relaxing place like the beach, in the mountains, near a waterfall or in the forest.
- Think of positive things about yourself.
- Express how you feel by writing it down or journaling.
- Listen to music, dance, sing, rap, write poetry that will calm you.
- Scream into a pillow.
- Play with a pet.
- Build something, clean something, or chop wood. (Put your energy into something constructive)
- Do a hobby or craft.
- Paint or draw out your feelings.
- Define all your feelings; you rarely feel anger alone often it is because you feel hurt, worried, or ignored.
- Gaze into a fire.
- Blow up a balloon and then release it; pretend it is your anger cooling down.
- Throw at a target.
- Make a constructive plan on how you will change this frustrating event into something positive.
- Watch a funny movie or show.
- Throw a ball at a target.
- Take a drive out in the country if you find driving a calming activity.
- Get involved in an endurance sport: skateboarding, trick biking, sky diving, racing or boxing to release all that pent up energy.
- Shred paper, break plastic spoons, get your anger energy out in a non-destructive way.
- Come up with other positive ways that work for you to release your anger.
These are just some positive ways to express or release your anger. They are not the only ways. Sometimes, people find things that work for their particular personality. Eminem uses rapping to release his anger. Betty White finds pretty stationary very calming. I once had a client who liked to take plastic combs and “Snap” them in two. The snapping helped to calm him down. Long walks are one of my favorite ways to calm down. So try different things and see what helps you the most. Then make them part of your anger management tool box.There are times when you will need to use several methods to reduce your anger:
One last tip, it may take more than one method to get rid of all your anger. For example, if I am really angry I may go for a walk. It helps, but I am still angry, so I talk to someone I trust about what is bothering me. But I am still angry, so I pray about it. I keep working on it until I feel the anger is gone. Understanding your anger is important. Notice if something is still bothering you or if it has been internally resolved. I often have to work on my anger on a regular basis because I struggle with releasing all my anger.
Anger Management is a process of replacing bad habits with healthy behaviors.
If you want to change your negative anger habits but are having trouble changing; a competent professional counselor can be helpful, or you can book a conversation with Vicki at www.supportivetalk.com or read the rest of my 8 part series.
If you would like to check into books on this subject, there is “Anger, Taming a Powerful Emotion,” by Gary Chapman, “Dance of Anger” by Harriet Lerner, Desktop Punching Ball, or CD: “Relax, Unwind & Sleep.”