Anger is bad. Anger is bad for your health. I spend way too much time being angry, which stems from the fact that I am a pretty darn sensitive person. Sometimes I am grateful for being a person who feels things so strongly, and sometimes I wish very hard that I didn't feel the emotions I do. I am working very hard to change that. I have been practicing and reading all about Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (my therapist says it's just cognitive therapy with a bunch of catchy new terms- I however find it very useful) It teaches mindfulness and the art of emotion regulation. When I get angry, I can literally feel it in my body. For instance my interstitial cystitis will start acting up and I end up either in bed in pain and/or going to the bathroom every 15 minutes. My urologist actually told me," the greatest thing you can do for your IC pain is to relax" - and of course not consume anything acidic. When I get angry my neck and back tenses up. If I get angry bad enough, I get a huge lump in my throat and an sick feeling in my stomach - which usually ends with me crying it away. I love the phrase that "being angry is like letting someone live rent free in your head."or "drinking poison hoping the other person will die". I couldn't agree more. There is a fine balance in life between just letting things go and being respectfully assertive. You don't want to be a door mat and at the same time you don't want to lash out in anger and possibly do or say things you can't take back. The art of communicating your feelings, without starting WWIII, is a fine art indeed. I am learning. I may make some mistakes along the way, but I learn each time I try. Here are some healthy alternatives and distractions I have found useful when I feel overwhelmed.
- a hot bubble bath
- .a nice long walk
- .working out
- taking a nap
- calling a friend to talk
- writing a letter I never send
- listening to my favorite music
- a hot cup of herbal tea
- playing with my dogs
- cleaning the house
- walking away from a situation to take a few quiet moments alone
The best thing to do, is to first breath and relax, and then find a healthy distraction like the one above. Once you have calmed down, then you can make a plan for your anger and finding out what your anger truly stems from - usually hurt or fear. Then you can deal with the real underlying emotion. Usually you will find that after taking the time to digress the thing that made you so angry is no longer such a hot button. The most important thing to remember, is that anger is YOUR response- no one "makes" you angry - therefor you have the ability to control your emotions and your actions.