It seems every day between social media, the news, and our families, we become more frustrated and polarized to the point we feel anger. In turn, we sometimes lash out at our friends or family members when we don’t mean to. This happens more often than we like if we don’t have healthy ways to release anger. If left unchecked, anger and stress can cause physical harm to our bodies, as pointed out in Psychology Today.
It’s up to us to find healthy ways to release and process our anger so that we do not harm others or ourselves. If you are looking for healthy ways to release the anger and frustrations you have dealt with this year, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered! Here are 5 ways to release anger positively and healthily.
- Pause before lashing out
- Work out
- Write about your anger
- Vent your anger to someone
- Work on a constructive project
Note: This is for informational purposes only, and not to be taken as medical expertise. If you are experiencing stress and anger that affect your daily life, please consult with a doctor.
Pause before lashing out
One healthy way to release anger in the heat of an intense moment is to take a brief pause before retaliating. Whether it be on social media or at work it is always important to take a moment and focus on why you are angry and how to respond. Breathing exercises are a form of anger management and help you focus on the task at hand and release anger. During your brief moment of release ask yourself questions like:
- How can I respond to this situation to diffuse it?
- Could this person be acting on different information than me?
- What can I control and focus my efforts on?
It will almost always make you feel better to have actionable steps to solve a problem rather than to build anger around it. Question yourself when you are angry and make sure there is no illogical reason you feel anger at someone. You don’t want to lash out and say something that you don’t mean and hurt someone else.
Working out is a great tool to release anger positively. For starters, working out releases endorphins into your body which makes you feel happier. That’s just the beginning of the mental benefits of working out as a healthy way to release anger. As Dr. Shawna Charles writes for Walden University:
“Another mental benefit of exercise is reduced stress levels—something that can make us all happier. Increasing your heart rate can actually reverse stress-induced brain damage by stimulating the production of neurohormones like norepinephrine, which not only improve cognition and mood but improve thinking clouded by stressful events. Exercise also forces the body’s central and sympathetic nervous systems to communicate with one another, improving the body’s overall ability to respond to stress.”
Not only can you feel better when working out, but you can reverse some of the damage imposed by stress and anger. While you may not always feel like running for a time or lifting some weights there are profound health benefits to consider. Both in the short and long term. Working out can be a daily activity you do to let the worries of the day roll off your shoulders.
You are actively working on improving yourself and positively dealing with your anger. If you are in an ongoing situation that causes you anger, working out can give you time to reflect and prepare yourself for what is to come.
Write about your anger
Writing about our problems has been a go-to for humanity since we learned how to write in caves. Many famous people have turned to the mighty weapon of a pen to let go of frustrations or anger. Some even published those angry feelings, but you don’t need to go that far!
Writing about your anger can help you put into words exactly why you are angry and can act as a sort of release. Writing is a healthy way to express anger and let yourself be unfiltered. You may find as you write that some issues aren’t really that big of a deal, or you may find that there is more to a simple insult that is really bothering you. It’s a form of self-care that you can do anywhere and repeatedly when you have events replaying in your head. Don’t doubt the power of the pen when it comes to finding healthy ways to release anger.
Vent your anger to someone
You don’t have to meet with a therapist to vent your frustrations. Venting your anger can be as simple as talking with your spouse or friends. Set out designated times to talk about the things that make you angry. Don’t overindulge in your anger, but do talk to your friends or family about the person or problem and explain your points of view.
On the other hand, if this is an ongoing situation, it may be in your best interest to seek help. A therapist or counselor can help you sort out your feelings that invoke anger but are a bit more complicated. Seeking an objective observer can help you with issues that you have missed, and give you other exercises to deal with your anger. Venting is one of the most common and healthy ways to release anger that we can do right in our pj’s.
Work on a constructive project
As mentioned before, doing constructive things with your time and having actionable steps for your anger can have huge benefits for you. One of the healthy ways to release your anger is to perform productive tasks where you build or create something. This may mean that you work on a side project such as:
- Making videos
- Team sports
- Writing creative stories
- Any hobby that lets you focus on the task at hand
Doing a constructive hobby can help you channel your creativity and anger into one project. It can be artistic or physically active; or it can be both, like cleaning and redesigning your living room. You can choose to think about your anger or not at all. Either way, a hobby allows you to take time to examine your anger and cool down.
If anything, putting your time and effort into a project when you are frustrated can help you maximize the time you are enjoying yourself instead of stressing. Ultimately, that’s what’s most important.
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