For most of us, anger is one of the scariest emotions to address. It can come on strong and unexpected and send tidal waves through relationships. The most difficult thing to do is admit when you’re getting heated and remove yourself from the situation so that you can cool down and take the time to process and understand the emotion.
1. Walk It Out
Seriously - walk away from the person, the tv, the project and just keep on walking. I highly recommend a way to incorporate walks with purpose to distract your mind from anger. You could take a long walk on the beach and focus on finding sea glass or you could take a walk in your local park and pick up litter. These types of walks keep our minds busy and on the hunt. Oftentimes it’s best to distract and relax the mind prior to processing the reason for the anger.
Training for a marathon or bike ride? Working on gaining muscle or deepening your yoga practice? Use the energy from your anger for your training. Take out the frustration in a run or a bike and up your usual pace. Digging into an intense workout in times of frustration often ups our game, making the activity extra rewarding. Next time you’re starting to feel the rage trickle in, put on some music and get working to burn off the negativity.
Anger is a heavy emotion. For those that are more right brained than left, you may find that when you’re angry your creativity blossoms with ease. I love to write poetry - it helps me reflect and express myself without having to directly speak to the issues I am working through. I’ve noticed that when I’m angry or upset the words bubble out of me endlessly. If you are a creative individual, use moments of anger to tap into this unhinged and unforgiving emotion and allow it to inspire your work. You’ll probably find a new angle of expression in your creative outlet and leave the project/piece feeling emptied and calm.
Take the time to write a letter explaining your anger and frustration. This exercise can help you to explore where it came from and why it got to such an intense level of emotion. If you become consistent with writing when upset then you may even be able to start identifying your ‘triggers’ allowing you to explain your feelings before the emotions escalate to anger. No one ever needs to see the letter - but writing how you feel will help to explore your emotions and can help you frame what you want to say to the person you are angry with.
Take your dog for a walk, feed your cat, water your houseplants, tend to your garden… do something that brings out your nurturing side. Taking care of something and helping it to grow and thrive will help you feel centered and purposeful. Keeping busy while focusing and looking after someone or something may even shed a new light into the situation that brought so much frustration - you may end up seeing how things unraveled from a different point of view and gain a new perspective.
Dominique (Nico) Klimek resides in New Jersey with her Chiweenie, EmmieLou and is a Marketing Manager at CLIF Bar. She's a summer surfer, winter snowboarder and enjoys running, biking, skating and yoga in between! You can follow her adventures on Instagram @neeks.peeks and reach out for a surf or skate session when you're in Jersey!