The holiday season brings out added stressors, and it can be easy to get angry quickly. Anger is often thought of as a negative emotion, so people are not always taught to deal with it effectively. Here are some tips to help you handle anger more constructively:
- Relax. Breathe deeply, repeat calming words or visualize a relaxing place.
- Use logic. Remember that getting angry is not going to fix things and that much of the stress that you are facing is a part of daily life.
- Cool down. Before dealing with the person who is making you angry, release energy by taking some time by yourself. Try going for a walk.
- Communicate. When having a conflict with another person, listen carefully to the meaning behind what the person is trying to say instead of immediately reacting.
- Be aware. Learn to recognize your triggers. Mentally prepare yourself for a situation that tends to make you angry or try to avoid the situation altogether.
If your anger is severely out of control or has a large impact on everyday life, you may need professional help. Talk with your doctor if you are concerned.
Anger is an emotion that says something is wrong. It can be expressed to tell others about your personal limits, values, rules and boundaries. Learning how to express anger assertively and constructively can improve your personal interaction and your health.
Being angry and expressing it is normal and healthy. However, most people are taught at an early age that such expression is unacceptable. The following habits or tendencies also can indicate hidden anger: excessive irritability over little things, chronically stiff or sore neck or shoulder muscles, being overpolite, anxiety attacks, heart palpitations, panic attacks or compulsive overeating, overworking or over-exercising.
The best way to express anger in a positive or constructive way is to recognize the emotions you are feeling. Own the feeling of anger – if another person said or did something to cause you anger, the feeling is still yours. Learn and practice ways to express and manage anger to better handle heated moments.
For help with dealing with anger or other emotional stress, contact Peninsula Behavioral Health, a member of Covenant Health, at (865) 970-9800. Visit PeninsulaBehavioralHealth.org/Guide for more tips on having a happier holiday season.