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Published on January 29, 2021

5 Ways To Let Go of Anger And Restore Calmness in Mind

5 Ways To Let Go of Anger And Restore Calmness in Mind

Anger is one of the most unpleasant emotions that we can experience. When we express our anger we feel bad and we feel even worse about ourselves once we have calmed down. It is not a healthy way to live life being constantly angry.

We have been dealing with a lot of change as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Disruption and uncertainty are very much part of our lives and it is these two things that are most likely to create fear and distress in our lives. How we express and manage these feelings influences how resilient and how effective we are at navigating our way through all this disruption and uncertainty.

Choosing anger as a way to release all your pain and fear is not a wise option and definitely not a sustainable and healthy way to live life.

What is Healthy Anger?

Before you start to work on letting go of your anger and restoring calmness back into your mind it is important to acknowledge that anger is a normal healthy and very vital emotion. It lets you know where your boundaries are and what you stand for. Without anger, you would be passive, accommodating and invisible and this is not a great way to live life. When anger, however, gets out of control and turns destructive it can lead to problems in your relationships and your overall quality of life.

Ignoring your anger will not make it go away. If you suppress your anger it just bubbles away and you become tenser and more stressed. All it could take is one action or comment from someone that displeases you and you let rip!

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Knowing how to manage your anger more effectively is key to you living a more emotionally balanced healthy life. This quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson “For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind” explains very clearly what you lose when you spend a lot of time in your life being angry.

If you are feeling you are spending too much of your life angry, frustrated or overwhelmed here are 5 strategies that could help you restore calmness back into mind and your life.

1. Reflect and Breathe

In his article What Constitutes Healthy Anger,[1] Bernard Golden PhD states that cultivating healthy anger demands reflection, the capacity to pause and assess whether the threat we feel is real and imminent and then determining how to respond appropriately and constructively.

The best way for you to determine your response is to take time out or remove yourself for however long it takes for you to feel you are in control. A breathing exercise is the best way for you to restore calm back into your body and mind and give you space to re-centre yourself so you can decide your next move.

2. Practice Mindfulness Regularly

This strategy has a more positive long term impact on helping you let go of your anger and maintain peace and calmness in your mind and life. There is a lot of scientific research and evidence to show that the regular practice of mindfulness improves our self-awareness and enables us to reprogramme our brain to focus more on the positive elements of our life – rather than be consumed by negativity, doom and gloom.

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In her article 23 Amazing Health Benefits of Mindfulness for Body and Brain,[2] Courtney E. Ackerman, MSc., Researcher outlines the benefits that mindfulness brings to your life and even offers 3 free Mindfulness exercises for you to try out. If you are keen to start incorporating mindfulness into your life these free exercises are a great way to start.

3. Acknowledge Your Anger, Identify Its Presence in Your Body Then Let It Go

Accepting that it is okay to be angry is an important step toward letting your anger go. The more aware you are of the physical signals that your body sends you when you find yourself getting angry the more control you have to decide how to constructively deal with your feelings of anger.

“Letting go helps us to live in a more peaceful state of mind and helps restore our balance. It allows others to be responsible for themselves and for us to take our hands off situations that do not belong to us. This frees us from unnecessary stress.” — Melody Beattie

4. Write It Down

Michelle Roya Rad, Professional psychologist and motivational writer said:[3]

“When you write, you can let go of your feelings. Writing your feelings as they come, writing to the person whom you have anger towards and then burning the letter, and writing short stories.”

I know that this works because I have done this exercise a number of times when I have felt extremely angry at another person. Once I had vented in my letter I felt better and I never sent any of my angry letters! I followed Michelle’s advice and ripped up the letters and threw them away! Felt amazing!

5. Distract Yourself Away From Focusing On Your Anger

There are a number of strategies that you could use to distract yourself away from your anger. The strategies you choose to use are ones that resonate with you. Here is a list of actions that you can add to your distraction toolbox and use when needed.

Count To 100

This one seems pretty basic, but it works. 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.

Move Your Body

I find that exercise is an awesome way to let off steam. I either take a walk or go for a run. I have recently taken up boxing which I find is the best high energy activity to smash out my anger and stress!

Listen To Music

What music you choose to listen to depends on what kind of distraction you are seeking. When I want to calm myself down I listen to music that enables me to do that however there are times that I want to vent and let it all out and that’s when I listen to hardcore rock!

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Don’t Take Things So Personally

I have this quote from Don Miguel Ruiz’s written on the front page of my journal and refer to it when I am trying to get a sense of my feelings around why I am angry and how I can move forward.

“Whatever happens around you, don’t take it personally. Nothing other people do is because of you. It is because of themselves. All people live in their own dream, in their own mind; they are in a completely different world from the one we live in. When we take something personally, we make the assumption that they know what is in our world, and we try to impose our world on their world.”

This quote may not resonate with you however find one that does. Keep it close to you so that you can refer to it in times when you need to restore a sense of calmness back into your life.

Bottom Line

By changing your relationship with anger and learning how to manage anger in a healthier way enables you to live a calmer and balanced life. Having this life philosophy is so important to support you to navigate your way through all the uncertainty and disruption that the coronavirus has bought into our lives.

More Anger Management Tips

Featured photo credit: Andre Hunter via unsplash.com

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Reference

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Kathryn Sandford

Career Resilience Coach passionate about supporting others to grow and thrive in a complex world.

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Last Updated on March 5, 2021

Science Says People Who Talk To Themselves Are Geniuses

Science Says People Who Talk To Themselves Are Geniuses

I talk a lot to myself. It helps me to keep my concentration on the activity on hand, makes me focus more on my studies, and gives me some pretty brilliant ideas while chattering to myself; more importantly, I produce better works. For example, right now, as I am typing, I am constantly mumbling to myself. Do you talk to yourself? Don’t get embarrassed admitting it because science has discovered that those who talk to themselves are actually geniuses… and not crazy!

Research Background

Psychologist-researcher Gary Lupyan conducted an experiment where 20 volunteers were shown objects, in a supermarket, and were asked to remember them. Half of them were told to repeat the objects, for example, banana, and the other half remained silent. In the end, the result shown that self-directed speech aided people to find the objects faster, by 50 to 100 milliseconds, compared to the silent ones.

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“I’ll often mutter to myself when searching for something in the refrigerator or the supermarket shelves,” said Gary Lupyan.

This personal experience actually made him conduct this experiment. Lupyan, together with another psychologist, Daniel Swigley, came up with the outcomes that those to talk to oneself are geniuses. Here are the reasons:

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It stimulates your memory

When you are talking to yourself, your sensory mechanism gets activated. It gets easier on your memory since you can visualize the word, and you can act accordingly.[1]

It helps stay focused

When you are saying it loud, you stay focused on your task,[2] and it helps you recognise that stuff immediately. Of course, this only helps if you know what the object you are searching looks like. For example, a banana is yellow in colour, and you know how a banana looks like. So when you are saying it loud, your brain immediately pictures the image on your mind. But if you don’t know what banana looks like, then there is no effect of saying it loud.

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It helps you clarify your thoughts

Every one of us tends to have various types of thoughts. Most make sense, while the others don’t. Suppose you are furious at someone and you feel like killing that person. Now for this issue you won’t run to a therapist, will you? No, what you do is lock yourself in a room and mutter to yourself. You are letting go off the anger by talking to yourself, the pros and cons of killing that person, and eventually you calm down. This is a silly thought that you have and are unable to share it with any other person. Psychologist Linda Sapadin said,[3]

“It helps you clarify your thoughts, tend to what’s important and firm up any decisions you are contemplating.”

Featured photo credit: Girl Using Laptop In Hotel Room/Ed Gregory via stokpic.com

Reference

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