Breathe. Allow yourself 90 seconds for the anger to pass!
Anger is a powerful emotion. This article isn’t to say that you should never be angry – you SHOULD – but rather to help you manage anger so that the consequences for you aren’t detrimental.
Things don’t always happen according to your plans and expectations. People don’t always act the way you want them to. You can’t always control the situation.
But, while you can allow yourself the experience of anger, you can control your reactions. It’s easy to let little insignificant remark or situation get under your skin – but does that ultimately make you happy? No.
You can learn to experience the emotion, but not let it control you. Learn to regain your sense of peace again so you can RESPOND rather than REACT. Responses almost always bring about better outcomes than blind reactions. But you don’t have to allow circumstances and people to pull your strings and control your feelings and actions!
You CAN choose to not allow what others say or do control your mood. Letting someone MAKE you angry gives them power over you.
Here’s how to turn anger into inner peace in just 90 seconds:
When you’re in a situation that triggers your anger, allow yourself to FEEL the emotion but DO NOT allow yourself to act on it. Not a single word, gesture… nothing. Breathe. Just experience what the emotional cocktail does in your body and brain. While the anger response is happening, focus on the anger, not on the trigger. It will pass through your system in about 90 seconds, and then you’ll have control over yourself, and you will be able to respond instead of reacting.
And that’s it!
Of course, a daily practice of self-mastery will help you become less reactive, too. Here’s how to practice “preventive anger management”:
- Every day, think about how much simpler and happier your life would be if you did not give in and react with anger.
- Think about some of your triggers. And think about why you are allowing them to control your emotions and more importantly, why you are allowing them to control your behaviors. Aren’t you master of yourself? Of course you are. Take that power back!
- Be more tolerant of others. It’s not anybody’s job to conform to your idea of “how things should be.” Nor is it your job to conform to theirs – of course I’m not talking about rude or deliberately hurtful actions, but just because somebody isn’t behaving how you expect them to, is no reason for you to blow up.
- Respect other opinions and perspectives. How you see the world is how YOU see it. Period. That’s your reality, and it is not their reality.
- Choose to work toward a win-win. That always, always feels better. Practice responding calmly and peacefully, striving for a mutually satisfactory outcome.
- Don’t take everything so seriously!
- Ask yourself if getting angry is worth it. People who are quick to anger have 10x more heart attacks than people who are calmer. So… is that trigger really worth your anger? Or can you let it go?
- See the humor in life. It really is quite ridiculous and amusing, if you look closely! Find reasons to laugh more often. Just CHOOSE to see a situation differently. That can make your triggers less important!
- Run it off. Exercise is a great way to release anger! But DO NOT engage in physical contact sports when you’re trying to burn off anger – sports like boxing, wrestling or football can trigger aggression. Instead, challenge yourself to run faster or farther; cycle harder; or lift more weights to release feel-good endorphins and give yourself a chance to reflect on the situation. Calming exercises like yoga and pilates can help you manage stress, since stress makes you more reactive.
Better and Better,
Laura Silva Quesada
and the Team