20 creative ways to deal with your anger
20 Creative ways to deal with your anger
Anger is a fascinating human emotion which could produce amazing results if channelled the right way.
It is almost impossible to prevent oneself from being triggered to anger because as human beings we all have likes & dislikes.
We set certain boundaries for ourselves as well as others and have things and people we hold dear.
Therefore, if an action/situation resonates with our dislikes, disrespects our set boundaries or mishandles things/people dear to us, we are naturally triggered to anger.
Getting angry, therefore, is not a bad thing in itself. However, decisions or actions directly related to such emotion is the crux of the matter.
I’d like to describe anger as a pan of hot oil which has the potential to be harmful to the human skin or used to fry mouth-watering eggs.
Let me teach you 20 creative ways to prepare eggs, I mean, to deal with anger! Shall we?
1. Man, know thyself!
This century-old ancient Greek aphorism attributed to Socrates is one that encourages the use of introspection to understand oneself.
The first step to creatively handle anger is to recognise what causes you to be angry.
A simple way to know this is to think back on past scenarios when you lost your temper. Take note of the thing(s) that triggered you to anger.
It is also important to take cognisance of the bodily changes you experience when angry. They include faster-paced heartbeat, tense muscles, raising your voice, clenching your teeth, being snappy, among others.
These signs will inform you when to put anger management tools to action. For trigger events, where the positive energy of anger cannot be harnessed, it is best to avoid them.
Truth be told, you can’t always avoid aggravating actions, situations, or people, therefore, it is pertinent you learn how to deal with such situations when they arise.
2. A few minutes of silence for the deceased – Anger!
In the heat of the moment, when tempted to vent, it is better to apply some seconds to few minutes of silence to effectively think through the current situation.
This could also help you in choosing the best way to handle it and help ‘kill’ the tempest rising on the inside of you.
According to Thomas Jefferson, former president and one of the founding fathers of the United States, “When angry, count to ten before you speak. If very angry, a hundred”
Emphasising the importance of this familiar counting technique, Dan Johnston (PhD), an assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioural science at Mercer University School of Medicine in Macon, GA, stated that the technique provides the time needed for delay and distraction from the anger-arousing event.
According to him, “While busily counting, we are not mentally adding fuel to the fire of anger by mulling over whatever happened.”
3. Répondez s’il vous plaît! Respond, do not react!
If counting to ten or beyond succeeds in calming your nerves, intentionally choose to respond ‘assertively’ rather than acting on impulse.
For a situation where your anger is triggered by a conversation, use your words to state why you are angry constructively and explicitly.
Give room for counter-response in order to establish understanding by all parties involved.
According to Carol Sorgen, “An assertive response is characterized by standing up for our legitimate rights, but it does so in a manner that does not violate the rights of others.”
4. I’m not Craig David, but, “I’M WALKING AWAY!” 😋😋😋
Again, if counting to ten or beyond doesn’t calm the magma building up on the inside of you, in order to prevent a volcanic eruption, it is best to simply step away from the source of anger until your nerves are calm.
If your anger was triggered by a conversation, politely ask if the discussion could be rescheduled. Then leave that environment as soon as possible.
5. Let it all out!
Suppressing anger is a ticking time bomb waiting to…BOOM! 💥💥💥💥💥
Bottling up one’s emotion is not a healthy practice. Therefore, when you decide to walk away from aggravating situations, rather than replaying the event in your head over and over again, endeavour to talk to a trusted family member or friend.
Talk to someone who through past experience can provide you with the right support as well as someone who possesses the right knowledge to help you see events in the right perspective.
In the heat of the moment, there’s this tendency to blow details out of proportion and to attempt killing an ant with a sledgehammer. Resist the urge to do this! Remember, a problem shared is a problem halved!
6. Take a cue from Natasha Bedingfield!
Who knew that Natasha Bedingfield’s song “These Words” would one day pass for a DIY anger management tip. 😋😋😋
Excerpt of the lyrics of the song goes thus…
🎵“…Tryna write a classic… these words are my own,
From my heart flow …waste bin full of paper. ” 🎵.
Writing out your feelings in a notepad is sometimes an effective way to let out steam. It is also another way to help you put things in the right perspective.
Just like this DIY procedure states, kindly trash all written notes pertaining to an event to avoid unnecessarily dwelling on the event.
7. Work it out, baby!
After walking away from aggravating circumstances, you could cool off steam by engaging in physical activity.
A short walk, climbing the staircase, going for a run, bike riding or simply engaging in leisure activity may be all that is required to clear your head and calm your nerves.
For proactive people who would prefer to nip anger in the bud before it ever occurs, exercise also is a good way to achieve this. According to ACTA Scientific Medical Sciences (ASMS), exercise can be both used as early prevention and the treatment process of anger.
ASMS opined that “Physical activity stimulates various brain chemicals that leave the feeling of happiness and relaxation”. It is also pertinent to note that exercise reduces blood pressure and blood pressure is both a cause and effect of anger.
8. Don’t forget to breathe!
When angry, your breathing pattern quickens and becomes shallow because the brain sends signals of a distressing situation to your body. Therefore, slowing and deepening your breath would produce a calming effect on your body.
Breathing exercises are muscle relaxing exercises best practised before being faced with aggravating situations so as to put them into proper use in the face of these sensitive situations.
The breath control technique involves taking deep breaths through the nose and exhaling through the mouth, relaxing muscles in the face and body as you exhale.
You could also close your eyes for increased focus and, if possible, make use of a quiet place.
You can practise this technique several times a day.
9. Relax those Muscles!
According to Mayo Clinic, relaxation techniques generally involve refocusing your attention on something calming and increasing awareness of your body.
Progressive muscle relaxation technique involves making your muscles tense for about 5 seconds and relaxing them for about 30 seconds, repeating this process for different muscles in the body.
You could start by tensing and relaxing muscles in the head and neck and progressively get to muscles in the toes, or vice versa.
10. The power of Visualisation!
The mind may just be the most powerful invisible tool available to man.
I could be in my room and at the same time, through the power of visualisation, be on the beach during summer, basking in the warmth of the sun or even gliding through a beautiful garden of flowers soaking in the fragrance of the flowers with my hands simultaneously stretched out in the air like I have not one care in the world!
Just the way you were able to visualise the scenarios I just painted in my mind’s eye, you should also use your imagination to recreate your ‘happy place’ when trying to relax your nerves after a trigger.
It is also more effective when you practise this in a calm and relaxed environment.
11. Music and Arts therapy to the rescue!
Music and Arts is a universal language. It is surely a means of communication that transcends, religion, language or social status.
If you are a music lover, listening to your favourite tune when angry could produce a calming effect and also help improve your mood.
If you are a musician or an artist, singing or painting your emotion is a lucrative way to put your grievances to use.
Renowned artistes, since time immemorial, have been putting their grievances into their music and cashing out on it.
Jay-Z’s track ‘Spiritual’ and Miguel’s track ‘How Many’ were both birthed by the outrage against frequent incidences of police killings of unarmed black men in the US.
12. Laughter, may just be the best medicine!
Do you know why you are gliding through this piece composed of 2,500 words but finding it difficult to glide through 50 words of the mathematical equation? “Humour!”
To say that laughter is therapeutic is an understatement. Laughter boosts immunity, relaxes the muscles, relieve stress and improve the mood!
When angry, engage in activities that will stimulate laughter. Listen to comedy videos and watch rib-cracking clips. You’ll be fine!
13. Try walking in their shoes!
“Before you judge a man, walk a mile in his shoes” is a popular idiom that advocates for empathy in human relationships.
Before you are tempted to write off that individual who got you angry, try seeing their actions from their own perspective and this may just placate the exasperating situation.
14. Let bygones be bygones!
Another creative way to deal with anger is to forgive offences and be open to reconciliation.
Though not an easy feat, this option is not an impossibility. Empathy is a good way to achieve this.
15. Heal the world!
In the words of musical legend, Michael Jackson :
🎵 Heal the world
Make it a better place
For you and for me
And the entire human race 🎵
One can be triggered to anger by injustice. If this is the case, such anger could be channelled into providing practical solutions in order to address the source of the anger.
You could consider setting up an NGO or GoFundMe, engaging in peaceful protests, writing to the constituted authority about the issue on ground or signing a petition to support the elimination of the problem.
A lot of historic events and great projects were birthed by outrage. For instance, the youngest-ever recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, Martin Luthur King Jr, at the age of 34, channelled his outrage towards racism to spearhead history’s largest non-violent civil protests. This remains one of his most important legacies.
Another beautiful example is the U.S Senator and 2020 presidential candidate, Amy Klobuchar. Klobuchar’s political ambition began in 1995 after she was kicked out of a hospital 24 hours after delivering her baby because of the existing health insurance policy that limited health insurance coverage to a maximum of 24 hours.
A few months after this, She challenged this policy before a legislative community and has never looked back on politics ever since.
Indeed, history has proven time and time again that within anger lies the energy to achieve great feats.
16. Stroke those muscles!
The efficacy of massage now transcends its use as a beauty treatment to the medical field.
Massage is now one way effective way to tackle the aftermath of anger especially stress.
Massage involves rubbing or stroking the muscles, tendons and ligaments in such a way that reduces stress, pain and muscle tension.
Namaste is the salutation yoga instructors use at the end of each yoga class.
Yoga is another viable way to relax your muscles through stretches, synchronized breathing and focused meditation.
Yoga poses are mediums through which we can channel anger into physical movement. It incorporates stretches or poses, breathing techniques and meditation for deep relaxation.
Studies have shown that engaging in yoga increases one’s ability to control anger.
18. Water, e no get enemy (Water has no enemy)!
In the words of musical legend, Fela Anikulapo Kuti:
🎵T’o ri ba n’gbona o, omi l’ero re
If your head dey hot, na water go cool am…Water, e no get enemy🎵
Water is a multipurpose solvent useful in almost all facets of life. Hydrotherapy involves the use of different temperatures of water to induce relaxation.
Hydrotherapy can be practised as a simple at-home remedy. Professionals, however, like to use this therapy simultaneously with a massage.
With minimal efforts, hydrotherapy produces profound and immediate benefits such as decreased stress, heart rate and relaxed nerves and mood.
19. Hmmh! What a pleasant-smelling surprise!
Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils to improve physical or emotional well being.
In aromatherapy, essential oils which are compounds extracted from plants are either inhaled or diluted and applied to the skin.
While applied essential oils possess medical effects, inhaling the aromas from essential oils stimulate areas of the limbic system. This is a part of your brain that plays a role in emotions, behaviours, sense of smell, and long-term memory.
Aromatherapy is mostly used side-by-side with massage therapy. It makes use of products such as body oil and creams for massage, clay mask, aromatic spritzers, inhalers, and others.
These products could be used individually or combined to produce a synergistic effect.
Aromatherapy possesses enormous benefits which include a reduction in stress, agitation and anxiety among others.
There is a caveat to the use of this anger management technique. Aromatherapy is best carried out by an aromatherapist. Also, if you are on prescription medication, consult your doctor before delving into aromatherapy.
20. You need a doctor!
Excerpt Lyrics of Dr Dre’s song is a solid reminder of the importance of a doctor…
🎵 I’m about to lose my mind…
I need a doctor
Call me a doctor
I need a doctor, doctor
To bring me back to life 🎵
In this world full of DIY procedures, this last point may not come off as the most attractive but it is indeed life-changing, especially after you have personally tried all you humanly can to curtail frequent outburst.
Anger has the power to erode one’s health and sanity. Therefore, to avoid becoming the in-patient of the psychiatrist, be the out-patient of the psychologists!
Uncontrolled anger could also lead to damaged relationships or property. Harmonious human relationships are one of the most important resources any individual can possess. Therefore, if seeking the services of a professional in this aspect is what is required to achieve this, it is a small price to pay relative to its benefits.
In all, anger is a healthy human reaction innate in all of us that signifies our aversion regarding situations or actions. It also helps people understand us better and can sometimes fuel our drive. There is no running away from this innate human emotion, we all must face it headlong!
Wheew! There you have it, 20 delectable ways to fry eggs…oops, I mean to deal with anger! Bon appétit! 😋😋😋