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9 Things You Can Do To Free Yourself From Negative Emotions

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9 Things You Can Do To Free Yourself From Negative Emotions

It may be hard to believe, but emotions can become habits that have been formed through repetition. As such, negative emotions can become something that infiltrates your everyday life. Do you find that you’re constantly down on the world and yourself? Do you get annoyed easily and become bitter with people? Is anger your natural response to something? If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, you may be a slave to negative emotions. You need to learn to stop before you actually transform into Walter Matthau.

1. Stop Justifying

    First and foremostly, you need to stop justifying getting angry and upset over everything. Stop thinking that you’re entitled to be so negative, because you’re not. The only person responsible for this is you. Do you really want to become that cranky old man or woman that tells everyone they ever meet why everything is awful and why everyone sucks? You know who I’m talking about, you’ve seen them in the grocery line. If you stop justifying your negativity to yourself you won’t have a reason to be angry, and much more people will actually enjoy being around you. Get over the spilt milk.

    2. Stop Making Excuses

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      You need to stop making excuses for both yourself and others. Perhaps you rationalize your own actions and why it’s okay for you to verbalize your anger. Or maybe you create explanations as to why other people deserve your anger. Either way, you’re trying to invent a socially acceptable explanation for your behavior. The only problem is that it probably isn’t acceptable and all it’s doing is keeping your negative emotions alive and making you miserable in the meantime. Eventually there will be no one left to care but yourself. Stop making yourself a victim. Really think about whether or not these other people have actually done anything wrong.

      3. Start Taking Responsibility

        Now that you’ve stopped making excuses, it’s time to take some responsibility for yourself and your actions. As soon as you do this, you will start depriving your negative emotions of the power they hold over you. What right do they have to your life anyway? Own your problems and your actions and stop blaming other people. It’s called being a happy, functional adult.

        4. Rise Above Other People’s Opinions

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          So I’ve done a lot of ranting about how you need to control your emotions and take responsibility. The truth is that this can be difficult when other people can actually be jerks, or if you care too much about what others think of you. You need to stop giving them so much power. Don’t let anyone but yourself define your self image and self worth. This is important, but if you define yourself through others, you are far more likely to be miserable. This is because as soon as you hear anything negative, you’re likely to react with anger and embarrassment. You’ll feel ashamed and inferior and may even begin indulging in self-pity that could lead to depression. The joke will be on you though, because in most cases, the people who made you feel this way won’t even realize it. They’re busy with their own lives. All of the negativity and hurt actually comes from you. You need to stop giving a crap about what other people think immediately. You’ll be much happier for it.

          5. Quit Your Negative Habits and Avoid Bad Influences

            Some habits and people purely and simply bring you down. It may difficult to do, but you need to remove these things from your life. Don’t hang around people who are negative all of the time. Instead, surround yourself with happy and positive people who take joy in life. You’d be surprised how easily their attitudes can rub off on you. Furthermore, don’t engage in behavior that may make you angry and depressed. If that beer or joint is going to have a negative effect, put it the hell down.

            6. Think Before You Respond

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              Calm yourself down, Hulk.

              Let’s say you’re in a situation where your natural reaction is to yell or send a passive aggressive Facebook message. Stop. Just, stop. Now think. Is this something you really want to do? Is it actually that bad? Is it even worth being angry or upset over? Did the person you’re about to react to actually do anything wrong, or is it in your head? What are some of the possible consequences of these actions? Will it destroy a friendship? Will you be stewing over it for weeks?

              These are just some of the questions that you need to start asking yourself before you react negatively to something. You may just find that you’re grateful that you thought about it before acting. Or maybe, because I have trouble being concise, by the time you get to the end of my questions, you’ll forget what even happened in the first place.

              7. Be Grateful

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                Instead of constantly obsessing over how crap your life is, start being grateful. What are the things or people you have in your life that you can be thankful for? Start defining your life by the good, as opposed to the bad. Get into this habit by thinking of at least one thing everyday that you’re grateful for.

                8. Remove “I Can’t” From Your Vocabulary

                  This is a simple one. Saying “I can’t” to things, including letting go of negative emotions, will make it a self-fulfilling prophecy. You can’t because you say you can’t. Stop placing limitations on yourself and give yourself some credit. You can if you say you can. Unless it’s something like diving out of a plane without a parachute and thinking you’ll survive. You probably can’t do that.

                  9. Just Let Go

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                    Most importantly, you need to try and let go of your negative emotions. Holding onto them and subsequently applying them to every little thing that goes wrong isn’t healthy. In fact, it’s dangerous. A great deal of negative people don’t know how to feel much else and aren’t satisfied unless they have something to whine about. Ironically, they’re not happy unless they’re unhappy and actually go looking for conflict. Do you really want to be that person? If nothing else, it sounds exhausting. Let it go, people. Just let it go.

                    More by this author

                    Tegan Jones

                    Tegan is a passionate journalist, writer and editor. She writes about lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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                    Last Updated on January 5, 2022

                    How to Deal With Anger (The Ultimate Anger Management Guide)

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                    How to Deal With Anger (The Ultimate Anger Management Guide)

                    We all lose our temper from time to time, and expressing anger is actually a healthy thing to do in our relationships with others. Expressing our differences in opinion allows us to have healthy conflict and many times come to an agreement or understanding that works for everyone. However, there are times when anger can become overwhelming or damaging, and during these times, it’s important to learn how to deal with anger.

                    Expressing anger inappropriately can be harmful to relationships, both personal and professional. You may express too much anger, too often, or at times that are only going to make things worse, not better. In this article we will look at anger management techniques that will help you better control your emotions.

                    Let’s take a deeper look at how to deal with anger.

                    Expressing Anger

                    Anger is a natural and normal part of almost any relationship. This includes relationships with your significant other, kids, boss, friends, family, etc. Anger provides us with valuable information if we are willing to listen to it. It clues us in to areas where we disagree with others and things that need to be changed or altered.

                    Unhealthy Ways to Express Anger

                    Here are some common yet unhealthy ways to express anger that you should avoid:

                    Being Passive-Aggressive

                    This is a term many of us are familiar with. Passive-aggressive behavior happens when someone is angry but uses indirect communication to express their anger.

                    Some of the more common passive-aggressive behaviors include the silent treatment, making comments about someone behind their back, being grumpy, moody, or pouting, or simply not doing tasks or assignments that they should.

                    This is a passive-aggressive person’s way of showing their anger. It’s not very productive but extremely common.

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                    Poorly-Timed

                    Some people get overwhelmed and express anger in a situation where it can’t really do any good.

                    An example would be getting angry at one person in front of a crowd of people. All that does is make people uncomfortable and shuts them down. It’s not a healthy way to express anger or disagreement with someone.

                    Ongoing Anger

                    Being angry all the time is most often a symptom of something else. It’s healthy and normal to express anger when you disagree with someone. However, if someone is angry most of the time and always seems to be expressing their anger to everyone around them, this won’t serve them well.

                    Over time, people will start to avoid this person and have as little contact as possible. The reason being is no one likes being around someone who is angry all the time; it’s a no-win situation.

                    Healthy Ways to Express Anger

                    What about the healthy ways[1] to adapt? When learning how to deal with anger, here are some healthy ways to get you started.

                    Being Honest

                    Express your anger or disagreement honestly. Be truthful about what it is that is making you angry. Sometimes this will entail walking away and thinking about it for a bit before you respond.

                    Don’t say you’re mad at something someone did or said when it’s really something else that upset you.

                    Being Direct

                    Similar to being honest, being direct is a healthy way to express anger.

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                    Don’t talk around something that is making you angry. Don’t say that one thing is making you angry when it’s really something else, and don’t stack items on top of each other so you can unload on someone about 10 different things 6 months from now.

                    Be direct and upfront about what is making you angry. Ensure you are expressing your anger to the person who upset you or you are angry at, not to someone else. This is very counterproductive.

                    Being Timely

                    When something makes you angry, it’s much better to express it in a timely manner. Don’t keep it bottled up inside of you, as that’s only going to do more harm than good.

                    Think of the marriages that seem to go up in flames out of nowhere when the reality is someone kept quiet for years until they hit their breaking point.

                    Expressing anger as it occurs is a much healthier way of using anger to help us guide our relationships in the moment.

                    How to Deal With Anger

                    If you feel angry, how should you deal with it right at that moment?

                    1. Slow Down

                    From time to time, I receive an email at work that makes me so angry that steam is probably pouring out of my ears.

                    In my less restrained moments, I have been known to fire off a quick response, and that typically has ended about as well as you might imagine.

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                    When I actually walk away from my computer and go do something else for a while, I am able to calm down and think more rationally. After that happens, I am able to respond in a more appropriate and productive manner. Doing things that helps you learn how to release anger can make an uncomfortable situation more manageable before it gets out of hand.

                    2. Focus on the “I”

                    Remember that you are the one that’s upset. Don’t accuse people of making you upset because, in the end, it’s your response to what someone did that really triggered your anger. You don’t want to place blame by saying something like “Why don’t you ever put away your dishes?” Say something more like “Having dirty dishes laying on the counter upsets me—can you work with me to come to a solution?”

                    When you are accusatory towards someone, all that does is increase the tension. This doesn’t usually do anything except make your anger rise higher.

                    3. Work out

                    When learning how to deal with anger, exercise is a great outlet. If something happens that angers you, see if you have the opportunity to burn off some of the anger.

                    Being able to hit the gym to get a hard workout in is great. If this isn’t an option, see if you can go for a run or a bike ride. If you are at work when you become angry and the weather permits, at least go outside for a brisk walk.

                    Besides working some of your anger out through exercise, this also helps to give your mind a chance to work through some ways to address what it is that upset you.

                    4. Seek Help When Needed

                    There are times when we could all use some help. Life can be stressful and overwhelming. It’s perfectly fine to seek some help from a mental health professional if it will help you get back to a healthy balance.If you find that you are angry all the time, it might be a good idea to go talk to an expert about learning to control intense emotions. They can give you some sound advice and ideas on how to get your anger to a more manageable and healthy level.

                    5. Practice Relaxation

                    We all seem to lead incredibly busy lives, and that’s a good thing if we are loving the life we are living. That being said, it is very beneficial to our physical and mental well-being to take time out for relaxation.

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                    That can mean spending time doing things that help us calm down and relax, like being around people we enjoy, practicing deep breathing or listening to music. It could be making time for things that help bring us balance like a healthy diet and physical activity.

                    Many people incorporate techniques such as yoga and meditation to calm their minds and release tension when learning how to deal with anger. Whatever your choice is, ensure you take time out to relax when warning signs of anger start to bubble up.

                    6. Laugh

                    Incorporating humor and laughter on a regular basis will help keep anger in check and help you get over a bad mood and feelings of anger more quickly. This isn’t part of formal anger management techniques, but you’ll be surprised by how well it works. Remember, life is a journey that’s meant to be enjoyed fully along the way through healthy emotion. Make sure you take time to laugh and have fun.Surround yourself with people that like to laugh and enjoy life. Don’t work at a job that just causes you stress, which can lead to anger. Work at something you enjoy doing.

                    7. Be Grateful

                    It’s easy to focus on the bad in life and the things that cause us negative emotions. It’s vitally important to remind ourselves of all the wonderful things in life that bring us positive emotions, things that we easily forget because we get caught up in the whirlwind of day to day life.

                    Take time out each day to remind yourself of a few things you are grateful for in order to help you learn how to release anger and invite in more positive feelings.

                    Final Thoughts

                    Life can be overwhelming at times. We seem to have constant pressure to achieve more and to always be on the go or motivated. People we are around and situations we are in can cause stress, anger, and negative emotions. At times, it can seem to be too much, and we get angry and our emotions start to get out of control.

                    During these times, keep in mind that life is an incredible journey, full of wonder and things that bring you joy. When you find yourself angry more often than is healthy, take time out to remember the good things in life—the things that we seem to forget yet bring us so much positive energy and emotions.

                    Use some of the tips included here to help with how to deal with anger and better control your emotions.

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                    More Resources on Anger Management

                    Featured photo credit: Andre Hunter via unsplash.com

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