Do you find yourself feeling increasingly resentful or filled with frustration over little incidents, like someone bumping into your grocery cart? Do you secretly fear that the simmering rage within is driving a wedge between your relationships and sabotaging your self-esteem? Anger, obviously, is a human reaction with a unique purpose in life, but when it dominates all other emotions, it tarnishes our mind, body and spirit. Overzealous chronic anger colors the way we live and influences our choices, negatively. How can you tame the anger beast and put it in check?
Let go of lingering resentment over something or someone in your past. Resentment enslaves us to the insult of what someone did or did not do to us, it handcuffs our being to negative hurtful feelings. Psychology Today used the quote; “Living with resentment is like taking poison and expecting the other guy to get sick.” Rather than ruminating on the injury, divert your thoughts to pleasant, joyful memories. Mindfully disengage from poring over polluted judgements that over time grow large and cloud your vision. Avoid looking through old photos that stir up negative reminders.
Be kind to yourself. Set aside time to nurture yourself, this is not being selfish. Quite the contrary, it is giving permission to love yourself. Rather than routinely ignoring your needs, indulge a bit. Take time to exercise, to luxuriate in a bath or to close your eyes for a twenty-minute nap when you’re tired. Listen to your physical, mental, and spiritual cues
Allow yourself time to simmer down. When your temper flares, use breathing to diffuse the fire and take a walk, whenever possible. Physiologically it takes twenty minutes to an hour for the fight or flight hormones to dissipate so give yourself time to flush them out.
Recognize what infuriates you and consider if the reason that these behaviors infuriate you is that you act in similar ways; and are unconsciously pretending that you don’t. Perhaps by owning these behaviors your reaction will be defused; allowing you to have compassion and empathy towards others that display those behaviors. Surround yourself with positive people, their energy will permeate your sense of well-being and improve your overall moods. Sleep enough so that you feel rested, as a lack of sleep can cause tempers to flare. Fluctuating blood sugar levels can also set us on edge. If you suffer from hypoglycemia, eat small meals throughout the day. Exercise is excellent for stabilizing your moods so get enough to work off pent up frustration. Our bodies were meant to move, when we sit too long too often, it can affect how we feel.
Laugh more, nothing like a little dose of funny to turn an angry frown into a smile. When we find humor in life and don’t take everything as if it is a personal affront, our lives are more satisfying. Try letting go, seek hilarity and enjoy a big belly laugh. Watch a comedian or hang out more with friends who like to laugh. It has been proven that people with a sense of humor, heal faster and are happier.
Cultivating healthy alternatives to anger has the power to uplift your life. Not that you’ll never get angry, but you’ll be the one in charge, to dictate when to call it quits, rather than the anger, resentment, or frustration being the boss. We all get miffed at times, when a toe gets stubbed or when we experience a serious slight, but we do have the choice to react with a clear head, to breathe, and to move on.