How to deal with rage
8 ways to deal with anger | Coping
First up, anger isn’t a ‘bad’ emotion. It can actually help you to be honest or to stand up for something you believe in. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with feeling angry. What matters is how you cope with and express your anger.
If you learn anger management skills, you’ll look less like this…
and more like this…
We’re not guaranteeing you won’t still be in a bad mood, but you’ll be less likely to act in a way you might regret.
Here are our tips for the best way to control your anger.
1. Recognise the warning signs
If you can recognise when you’re starting to feel angry, you’ll be in a good place to try some of our tips before you get really worked up or lash out. You can then try a few of the strategies below. Some warning signs are:
- pounding heart
- gritting your teeth
- tight chest
- feeling anxious
- raising your voice
- being snappy or defensive
- temporarily losing your sense of humour
- getting a ‘flash’ of a bad mood
- being overly critical of someone
- feeling argumentative
Acknowledging that you feel angry and identifying the emotions you're feeling can sometimes help to reduce the intensity. Saying "I'm angry right now" or "I'm feeling frustrated and annoyed" can be the first step in understanding and resolving your feelings of anger.
2. Work out why you’re angry
There’s lots of reasons why you might be angry. It’s a normal or understandable response in some situations, such as when you or someone else is being treated unfairly. If you’re not sure why you’ve just snapped at someone, though, think back through your day and try to pinpoint what set you off.
Some other reasons why you might be feeling angry include:
- you’re under a lot of pressure
- you’re experiencing bodily or hormonal changes that cause mood swings
- you’re frustrated with how your life is going
If you work on first recognising and then dealing with your anger, it won’t have such a damaging effect on your relationships, body, mind and emotions.
3. Write it down
Sometimes, writing stuff down can help you work out why you’re feeling angry and how you might be able to deal with it. Try drafting a letter to someone to explore what you think is making you angry, how you're responding to the situation and how you want to address your feelings. Take a pause before sending it and read back over your letter. This method will allow you to express your feelings, while reading over your words will help you to put things in perspective. You may find you don't need to send the letter as your feelings subside after writing, or writing it down may help you find the right words that you can use in a discussion.
4. Count to 100
This one seems pretty basic, but it works really well for anger management. Thinking about something other than what’s making you upset for 100 seconds can help you avoid blowing a fuse. It gives you a chance to gather yourself and your thoughts before you do anything else.
5. Press pause
When you feel angry about something, it’s almost impossible to deal with the situation in a productive or helpful way. If you feel yourself losing your cool, just walk away from the situation for a while. You’ll deal with it better when everyone, yourself included, is feeling calmer.
6. Move your body
Exercise is an awesome way to let off steam. You could take a walk around the block, go for a run, or do something really high-energy like boxing.
7. Talk to someone
Talking to someone you trust about how you’re feeling can take a weight off your shoulders as well as your mind. That could be a trusted adult, friend or family member. You could even join ReachOut's Online Community and talk with other young people who get how you’re feeling and can share their own anger management strategies.
If your anger is getting out of control, or you think you or someone in your life meets the criteria for a personality disorder, consider seeing a mental health professional. Watch our video to find out why talking helps.
8. Take time to relax
If you know what helps you to relax, you’ll find it really useful whenever you’re feeling angry. Take some time out to do something you enjoy, it could be:
- going for a walk in the park
- reading a book
- trying some meditation
- listening to music
- relaxation apps like Smiling Mind
10 Healthy Ways to Release Rage
As a health care worker during the COVID-19 pandemic, you’ve probably dealt with some anger over the last few months, as the virus continues to take lives across the United States. With infection rates climbing once again, that anger may increase in intensity - what was once frustration may become full-blown rage. The circumstances causing this rage might be beyond your control (you can’t easily change how your government officials are handling COVID-19 in your community or force everyone to obey regulations), but you can control your own reactions. Relaxation techniques or mindfulness often work for lower intensity anger like frustration or annoyance, but with a feeling as high energy as rage, try to let that energy out in a safe way.
- Throw or break something (safely).
via GIPHYPhysically throwing something can relieve stress and be helpful in the immediate moment. Have a yard? Get out there with a ball or find some rocks to throw if you have enough space. Or smash something, like a mug or old piece of junk that you’ve been meaning to get rid of. If that’s not a realistic option, get creative - throw something soft (like balled up socks or a roll of toilet paper) against a blank wall or an apple into the woods (the birds will get it).
- Scream – in private.
via GIPHYWhen you can feel anger boiling inside you, yelling is often incredibly cathartic and can pull you out of that blind rage you may be experiencing. Take care to not startle or worry anyone (including nearby neighbors) by screaming into a pillow. If you’re at work and can take a break for a few minutes, your car is good option too.
- Sing it out.
via GIPHYPut on some music that has anger in it – even if the artist’s anger is different from yours. Channeling your own feelings into the song and expressing that fury can help release some of your own anger.
- Dance it out.
via GIPHYDancing can be a great way to express your emotions, especially when they are so powerful that you can physically feel them in your body. Dance to angry music, happy pump-up music, or no music – just get that excess energy out.
- Do a tough workout.
via GIPHYIf dancing isn’t your thing, try another form of high energy exercise, like boxing or sprinting. You can search for free workout videos online or do your own thing, but make sure to push yourself and give it your all if you’re looking for that anger release. It might feel silly but yelling or grunting while working out might even help you exert more energy.
via GIPHYPutting your feelings into words isn’t always easy and writing may not be your go-to technique, but if your mind is spiraling with angry thoughts, dumping them all out onto paper can bring some peace. It doesn’t have to be a big ordeal – even just typing a stream-of-consciousness note on your phone during a quick bathroom break can help calm your mind.
- Draw or paint.
via GIPHYArt is often a powerful way to confront your big feelings and turn them into something beautiful. Let go of your work being “good” – allow yourself to create solely to express yourself. Do what feels good rather than focusing on what will look good.
- Change your surroundings.
via GIPHYWhen you can’t quiet your thoughts, a change of scenery – even just going into the next room or stepping outside for five minutes – can disrupt the track that your mind is on.
- Destroy a physical representation of your anger.
via GIPHYPrint out that email that set you off or write down the things that are upsetting you. Then scribble all over it, tear it up, or put it through the shredder.
- Verbalize your anger.
via GIPHYYou can always vent to a trusted friend, but sometimes it feels better to pretend you’re talking directly to the person you’re angry at. Pick an empty chair, imagine they’re sitting in it, and yell, scream, or tell them exactly why you’re so mad – whatever feels best to you.
If you’re working to manage your feelings in a healthy way but it just seems impossible, take a mental health screen – you may be dealing with symptoms of a mental health condition. For immediate support, you can reach out to Magellan Health’s COVID-19 first responder crisis line at (800) 327-7451, the Disaster Distress Helpline at (800) 985-5990, or the Crisis Text Line by texting MHA to 741-741 – all of these options will connect you to a trained crisis counselor 24/7/365.
15 Ways to Deal with Anger
Know Yourself A Human Being Among Humans
Sometimes we think that being angry is bad. This is not true. Anger is a natural reaction when we feel threatened. In this state, the heart begins to beat faster, the face turns pale or flushed, breathing quickens. From an evolutionary point of view, such reactions prepare the body to fight off a predator or to immediately escape.
But this medal also has a downside: too much energy is wasted on anger. The tension it causes can destroy the body. Excessive aggression, both expressed and suppressed, increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. Plus, it's hard to think clearly when your mind is clouded by rage and your adrenaline is running high. Here are some tips to help you manage your anger without hurting yourself.
1. Admit that you are angry
The first step is awareness. Acknowledge your feelings. Some of us find it easier to separate ourselves from anger, emotionally distance ourselves, and not identify with it. You are not the embodiment of anger.
2. Breathe slowly and deeply from the diaphragm
Anger provokes a state of vegetative excitement, deep breathing helps to neutralize it. Exhalations should be longer than inhalations.
3. Ask yourself what threatens you
What is at risk: your body, personal or professional relationships, financial condition or self-esteem? Are you at risk right now? If yes, act now. Take care of yourself.
4. Don't jump to conclusions
Perhaps the colleague who didn't greet you was deep in thought or feeling unwell. Try not to jump to conclusions like "he doesn't like me" or "nobody likes me". It is better to ask a colleague how he is doing now or later.
5. Redefine expectations
Often we live with unrealistic expectations and we don't even realize it. But how can everything turn out just the way we want?
We dream of a harmonious life, but reality is full of obstacles. It is time to finally admit that we will have to face difficulties every now and then, and then when we meet with them, anger will not flare up with such force.
Drop thoughts like "he shouldn't have done this" and categorical statements like "always" or "never". Usually such judgments are subjective and erroneous.
Try not to dramatize the situation, don't think that someone wants to harm you
Let's say you hate being stuck in a traffic jam. This is understandable - who likes to sit in a car for hours, moving at a speed of eight kilometers per hour? But what do you usually say to yourself in such cases? What shouldn't be? That other drivers are idiots? It only fuels anger.
Look at the situation from the other side: "Well, this is an integral part of living in a big city" or "But I can listen to an audiobook." Most likely, your anger will subside.
6. Learn to apply cognitive restructuring
Don't exclaim, "This is terrible, I can't stand it!" Try saying, "Yes, it's annoying, but I can fix this problem." These two approaches give completely different results.
Try not to dramatize the situation, do not think that someone wishes you harm. Understand the difference between a desire and a demand. When talking to others or to yourself, use the phrases “I would like” or “I would prefer” instead of “I insist” and “you must.”
7. Ask yourself what your anger is based on
Anger makes us feel "strong" and "tough", but it's not easy to show vulnerability. But by analyzing your pain, you can better understand yourself. Anger often masks other emotions, such as sadness or fear.
8. Do not use anger as a motivation
It is believed that anger should be released, but this is a mistake. In this way, you can influence the behavior of others, but such changes will not last long. Who likes to be bullied?
9. Practice self-compassion
Admit to yourself that you are experiencing unpleasant feelings. This experience is somehow familiar to all people on the planet. Being aware of this fact will help you deal with your anger without hurting yourself or others. Your emotions should not control your actions.
10. Get moving
Take up running, Nordic walking or yoga. This will help lower the levels of hormones that cause stress and anger, and increase serotonin and dopamine levels, which will improve your mood.
11. Talk to a close friend
Someone who knows you well can look at the situation differently and help you do the same.
12. Be aware of your feelings and needs
Use "I-statements" when expressing feelings. Don't criticize or blame others. Try to take feedback from others without becoming defensive or argumentative.
13. Concentrate on the solution
Once you have realized that you are angry and understand why you feel threatened, focus on finding solutions to the problem. So you direct your energy in a peaceful direction.
14. Use anger as a clue
My father and I used to get into heated discussions. When my mother asked: “Why are you swearing again?”, Father answered: “We don’t swear, we are just passionate!” We expressed our emotions without anger and resentment.
What hurts you can tell you exactly how you could benefit the world. Are you upset by the situation with homeless animals? Help a dog shelter. Outraged by the situation of the poor? Become a volunteer at a social assistance center.
15. Practice mindfulness
Don't judge yourself for being angry - that will only make you more irritable and exacerbate the problem. Try to accept the fact that you are angry. Don't let anger control your actions, but don't deny it either. Admit anger and refrain from judgment. Your goal is to understand what's going on. You can then use the tips above to mobilize, focus, and channel your anger in a constructive way.
Anger in itself is not bad, but we must be able to control it so that it does not poison our lives and relationships with others.
About the author: Rachel Finzi is a psychotherapist at UCLA.
Text: Zhanna Omelyanenko Photo source: Getty Images
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How to cope with anger: 6 ways for people with high emotional intelligence repels. We sincerely want to be heard and understood, but we get the opposite result. In whatever form we express aggression, it interferes with building effective communication.
Many people think that a passive-aggressive style of interaction is better and "more pleasant" than open outbursts of rage, but this is not so. The French designate passive aggression with the phrase sous-entendu (“hint”, “reticence”).
We seem to pronounce quite innocent words, but in reality we mean something completely different, evil and cruel end the conversation. So, if you are looking for an honest and productive dialogue, you should look for another strategy.
How to express negative emotions without destroying relationships?
1. Listen to yourself and be aware of what is happening
Even if you are just seething with anger, it is better to wait it out - otherwise communication will go down the wrong path. When we are angry, the brain is captured by this emotion and we cannot think of anything else. The amygdala, the emotional center of the brain, is so active that it's hard for us to think logically.
Take a walk and take a deep breath, distract yourself with a funny video, meditate, pray - use any technique that will help you regain your composure. Cooling down a bit, you will be able to communicate more effectively.
2. Recognize your emotions
Determine if what you are feeling is really anger? Often we think that we are annoyed by a person or situation, but in fact we do not experience anger, but pain, sadness or rejection. By understanding what your emotions are, you can tell the interlocutor exactly about them.
3. Find out if you are putting the blame on others
It's too easy to blame someone else for your troubles. You are hungry, tired, overwhelmed, tense, unhappy in marriage, and you place all the responsibility for this on the one who turned up under your arm, most often on someone close to you. By doing so, you push away the people you love the most, and this makes things worse. In addition, your irritation does not disappear anywhere, because you took it out on the wrong person and did not figure out the true cause of your anger.
4. Be curious
Research shows that negative emotions make us self-centered. When we are focused on sensations, we are not able to put ourselves in the place of another and see the situation from his point of view. As a rule, we do not even take into account his condition at the moment. That is why we need to awaken curiosity in ourselves.
Ask why your counterpart behaves the way he does.
Instead of confrontation, ask sincerely why he does what he does. Chances are, the person you're mad at isn't deliberately trying to hurt you. Try to understand him before you blame him.
5. Express empathy
By putting yourself in the other person's shoes and asking "why" instead of assuming the worst, you communicate openly and respect the other person's right to think, feel, and act in a certain way. As a result, you build deeper relationships based on empathy.
In response to aggression, a person is forced to defend himself and respond in the same spirit, but in this case he feels safe and is able to hear your point of view.
6. Learn to communicate correctly
Express your opinion using "I-messages", talk about how you feel. But do not limit yourself to this, otherwise your view of the situation will remain one-sided. Ask the interlocutor to share his point of view, try to hear him and come to some kind of compromise together. Show genuine interest and don't take a diatribe.
How to keep the situation under control
Forced to associate with a passive-aggressive person? These simple tricks will help you avoid unnecessary stress and defend your boundaries.
1. Call a spade a spade
"Did you really want it to sound so aggressive?" - this direct question can quickly bring the attacker to his senses. Caught red-handed, he will most likely hasten to answer: “No, what are you!” Then, if you like, elaborate on what upsets him. Offer to talk calmly and kindly about how he feels.
2. Ignore his attacks
If the interlocutor is openly hostile towards you, then you are not at all obliged to follow his lead. If you can let go of the situation and not attach importance to his attacks, you can’t imagine a better way out.
3. Show compassion and forgiveness
A passive-aggressive (or aggressive) person is clearly angry and tense.