This blog shares five healthy ways to process anger. Experiencing feelings of frustration, anger, or stress does not make us less of a person. In fact, it’s what makes us human. It’s unreasonable to believe that we should always be aiming to feel positivity or gratitude. Sometimes, we just want to validate our anger, and not immediately try to deny that we should be experiencing it.
We may find that when we experience difficult emotions, our immediate reaction is to get rid of them. Whether that’s through distractions, projecting onto others, or displacing our emotions, we ultimately delay resolving the true issue. When we process difficult emotions in a healthy manner, we are better equipped for coping with them in the future, and managing stressors.
Five healthy ways for you to process anger include: 1) Make declarative & factual statements. 2) Identify what you are feeling. 3) Take note of the 90-second rule. 4) Think of ways to self-soothe or express emotions healthily in the moment. 5) Understand what is and what is not in your control.
There are many reasons to get started in therapy for anger issues. This includes needing grief counseling, trauma therapy, anxiety therapy, couples counseling, and much more. Consider calling us today for a free consultation on how you can get started with experiencing relief from your symptoms.
5 Healthy Ways to Process Anger: Make declarative & factual statements
Outwardly recognize what is currently going on for you. Suppressing the anger and trying to act unbothered can lead to these feelings building up inside of you, and inevitably cause you to explode. When we can share our experiences with others, or simply say these statements aloud, we may experience a sense of relief.
This can look like flat out saying, “I had a pretty bad day today because of X, Y, and Z.”. You don’t need to go into detail, replay all of the events, or explain your reasoning behind feeling angry. You can state the facts: that was difficult/frustrating/annoying/inconvenient.
Even just acknowledging that portion, can help us validate ourselves in what we are currently experiencing. There is no need to lie to ourselves, or others, and tell them, “Yeah, I’m a little irritated because of what happened,” and can rather say, “That sucked, and I’m really upset about it.”
Individual therapy focuses on ways to support you fully and address any issues you are struggling with. Therapy also provides you with tools to manage your anger in and out of sessions. Make sure to read our blog on Taking Responsibility for Your Mental Health.
5 Healthy Ways to Process Anger: Identify what you are feeling
For some, anger can be an easier emotion to present to others, rather than grief, anxiety, or insecurity. We are like onions (or cake, if you prefer) – we have layers behind our feelings, behaviors, and thoughts. The first layer may be anger, as it can sometimes sum up the mix of feelings we are experiencing.
When we peel back those layers, we may find other emotions that we originally didn’t consider to exist. For example, let’s say you’re a parent of a young teen, who recently experimented with marijuana for the first time. Your immediate response is anger, “how could they do this?”. However, deep down, you may actually be more worried about them and their safety, than anger for what they’ve done.
Identify what you are feeling at the moment. With everything said already, it is not to say that you cannot truly just feel anger. You certainly can! You may have one emotion towards something, which is anger. It’s important to note, however, how easily anger can disguise other emotions we may experience.
Ways to acknowledge and identify the way you are feeling might look like saying, “I’m feeling pretty frustrated.”, “I’m upset with how that went.”, or “I’m really not happy with this situation.”. If you struggle to identify what you are feeling on a regular basis, that may be a sign that you would benefit from individual therapy.
Trauma therapy is provided at our group through a trauma-informed lens. Our therapists are experienced at working with trauma and other related conditions, such as PTSD, and are ready to help you heal. Since anger is a more socially “appropriate” emotion for men to express, be sure to read our blog on Men’s Mental Health Matters.
5 Healthy Ways to Process Anger: Take note of the 90-Second Rule
The 90-Second Rule states that we feel emotions such as anger most intensely for about 90 seconds, and if we do not act on them, they may subside and lessen. Our immediate reaction when experiencing discomfort or distress is to get rid of it. We want to alleviate ourselves from these difficult feelings, and instantly feel relaxed, distracted, or otherwise in a different headspace.
When it comes to this, you may find that you act impulsively. This could look like using substances, such as marijuana, tobacco, or alcohol as a swift response to difficult feelings. Or, perhaps you struggle with controlling how you speak to or treat others in moments of anger.
This could look like lashing out at others, who may not have even been involved and just happen to be in your vicinity. You may feel guilty or ashamed afterwards, knowing that those actions were fueled by temporary feelings of anger.
Therefore, seeking out individual therapy can help you work to manage and cope with your anger. You can expect to have a non-judgmental space to talk about difficult feelings or situations. Check out our blog on 5 Signs It’s Time to Emotionally Detach from Someone.
5 Healthy Ways to Process Anger: Think of ways to self-soothe in the moment
Think of ways to self-soothe in the moment of your anger. While acknowledging the 90-second rule, consider engaging in breathing exercises. This can help you better regulate your nervous system. Setting aside a few minutes each day can provide you with a quiet moment to breathe and practice exercises for when you may need them.
Breathing exercises are also a part of grounding. Check out our blog on 5 Ways to Quickly Ground Yourself! Our tips include the 5-4-3-2-1 method, moving your body deliberately such as through stretching, walking, weight-lifting, and more. Practice using a variety of strategies to see which one best fits your needs.
More ways to self-soothe depend on what works best for you. It may take trial and error to understand what method is the most effective for calming you down. Just because one method doesn’t work, does not mean that any other method won’t either. Have patience during this process to see how you can support yourself in self-regulating. Remember it’s important to talk through your feelings with someone you trust, and sometimes meeting with a professional is most appropriate.
Quick ways to self-soothe could also be regulating your body temperature through splashing cold water on your face, or dunking yourself in cold water. You can also consider journaling or writing things down, whether it’s coherently written out or not. In all, think of what you can do to intentionally, and mindfully, try to calm yourself and let anger move through your mind and body in a healthy manner.
If you are struggling with: increased irritability, anxiousness, and feeling overwhelmed, you may want to consider starting anger management treatment, anxiety therapy, or therapy for depression. Check out our blog on Coping with Toxic Family Members, if members in your household contribute to your feelings of anger or stress.
5 Healthy Ways to Process Anger: Understand what is and what is not in your control
This can be tricky sometimes. When things are going ary or not to our liking, we want to be able to control every aspect of it. We may struggle with accepting that we are not fully in control of certain things, and need to let go. This can apply to anyone, at any age, with any situation occurring.
When we recognize what we can control, we may feel more peace. A lot of what life throws at us comes unexpectedly, quickly, and with little time to really process or understand it. If we navigate life trying to desperately control it all, we may never feel peace or resolution within ourselves.
Accepting what is in our control, and what is not in our control helps us build resiliency. It helps better prepare you for future events that leave you disappointed or frustrated. This could include being stuck in traffic, making frustrating errors, or dealing with something else that is annoying. All of these experiences might lead to anger.
You have the ability to make and maintain the change you desire in your life. By working with a licensed professional, you can acquire efficient coping skills and apply them to everyday situations.
In-person therapy in Simi Valley is ideal for those seeking a separate, safe space from their home. Check out our blog on Online Therapy or In Office Therapy to understand what format is best for you.
By seeking out support, you can begin your journey to feeling relief. You don’t have to go through finding the right level of support alone, either. Make sure to check out our blog on How to Validate Yourself!
Consider calling our therapy group at (805) 774-1506 for a free consultation! Make sure to check out our blog on How to Sit with Uncomfortable Feelings.
Seek out a validating, safe environment with us today. We will help you get to where you want to be. Our therapists provide teen therapy, individual adult therapy, LGBTQIA+ therapy, anxiety therapy, depression therapy, family therapy, and more in-office in Simi Valley, CA.