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5 Best Ways To Deal With Your Anger (So You Can Find Peace WITHOUT Medication)

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how to get over anger
Self

Why get mad to get what you want if you can be quietly effective instead, and without meds?

You love your children, your spouse, and your roommates. Still, when you are trying to watch the news on TV and someone you live with makes too much noise for you to hear an important newscaster comment, do you feel anger rising within you? Do you speak harshly to the noisemakers? Do you yell? 

If the answer to any of these questions is "yes", probably you have too much anger in your life. It is best to learn to deal with anger — and without medication.

Noise that interferes with your T.V. watching may not be your trigger. Still, how often do you get impatient with key people in your life? Irritated? Outright angry? 

If the answer is more than once in a blue moon, the odds are, you get angry too often.

Pills might help you stay calmer and be slower to catch fire. The trouble would pills though is that psychological medications often have unfortunate side effects. Therefore, it's best to try tips on dealing with anger without medication.

Why do anything about your anger? 

Anger tarnishes relationships. No one likes people who are angry. They may cuddle up to you after your anger has passed, but when you were mad, you contributed to their dislike-bank toward you.  

Eventually, they will cash in that dislike-you bank with hurting you back or, if they are a loved one, leaving you. 

Your anger harms you physically as well, inviting heart attacks and high blood pressure. 

 

RELATED: 8 Ways To Get Through To Your Husband When He's Angry And Defensive

 

And your anger for sure harms the receiver, especially if the receiver is a child and also if the receiver is an adult. That harm is likely to be both emotional and in the form of depression and low self-image.  

The harm can be physical and cognitive damage as well, causing eventual physical detriments such as inviting early dementia. Is that what you want to be doing to those you love?

So why do we get mad? 

Basically, we get mad to bully others into giving us something that we want by dominating over them.

Bad idea. There are more effective and less harmful ways to get your concerns heard and responded to. 

Using at least one of these tips is a good start. If you do all 5, your life is likely to feel happier and your relationships will improve. Those who used to be the receivers of your anger will be especially appreciative, happier, and healthier.

So here are the 5 best anger management tips to teach you how to deal with anger — without medication:

1. Make an anger log.

Pause for a moment and make a list of the last several times you felt angry. What were your triggers? Are you beginning to see a pattern of getting what you want by using anger to overpower others?

Keep a list over the next several days and notice patterns. Do you tend to get mad when you are tired or hungry? Do you get into the same battles again and again? About what issues or concerns do you tend to be hypersensitive?

If this list turns out to include more anger episodes than you have been aware of, that’s an especially good indicator that putting an end to so much anger would be a smart idea.

2. Use your legs to exit.

As soon as you feel anger bubbling up, leave the discussion. If the issue is minor, just change the topic. But, if you are likely to speak out in a frustrated, irritated, or mad voice, before your mouth opens, use your legs to exit the room 

Early exits, as soon as you become aware of even the smallest amount of irritation, are especially important if you have had a tendency to let loose with anger explosions.

 

RELATED: Why Getting Angry Is Actually REALLY Good For You

 

3. Learn to self-soothe.

When you have exited a room instead of becoming angrily excited, use that time to calm yourself. Breathe slowly and deeply. Use distractions like reading a magazine or playing a game on your cell phone or calling a friend to chat.

Putting your mind on anything other than the triggering incident will gradually dispel the angry feeling. Poof. It will be gone.

Just be sure that instead of self-soothing, you don’t hold on in your head to the upsetting incident. Ruminating about how "She shouldn’t have…" is a sure way to keep pouring gasoline on the fire.shouldn’t have…" is a sure way to keep pouring gasoline on the fire.

4. Look inward to figure out your underlying concern.

Ask yourself, "What do I want?"

Be careful here. The question is not, "What do I want him/her/them/you to do?"  It’s, "What do I want?" That is, "What is my concern?"

In the case of the scenario at the beginning, the question is not "What do I want the kids to do?" It’s "What do I want? Oh, I want to be able to hear the news."

5. Look inward to find alternative options for getting what you want.

Ask yourself, "What could I do differently that would be a calmer and more effective way to get what I want?"

Maybe stand up and turn up the volume on the TV. Maybe bring out a game that the children could play instead of making such a ruckus. Maybe invite them to come sit on your lap and talk with them about the news that you are watching. 

Maybe walk into another room and watch the news on your cell phone. Maybe decide that you will watch the news after the children have gone to bed instead of when they are up and want your attention.

Hmmm…

So what have you learned about dealing with your anger without medication?

Young children get angry often. Adults — emotionally mature adults — rarely use anger to get what they want. They reserve emotional escalations for situations of danger or emergency — and even then, calm strong action generally proves more effective than anger. 

To deal with everyday problems in living, instead of heating up to get something they are not getting, they cool down. 

When you feel calm, you get smarter. Brains think more creatively when they are relaxed. Brains can find win-win options, solutions that result in others as well as you feeling good about the action plan. 

If you get angry too often, keep this tips list with you. Re-read the list for dealing with anger without medications as often as you need to so that you, not your anger, are in control of your emotional state. 

You can learn to use these five tips for dealing with anger without medication. As the Rolling Stones famously said, "Try some time and you just might find — you get what you need."

Without battering others with your anger, you can get more of what you want in life.

 

Dr. Susan Heitler is a clinical psychologist and author. Want more tips, and also worksheets and videos, for calming your anger? See Prescriptions Without Pills, based on Dr. Heitler's book, Prescriptions Without Pills: For Relief from Depression, Anger, Anxiety and More.

 

Watch Dr. Rhoberta Shaler on why you are always angry and how to calm down.

This article was originally published at prescriptionswithoutpills.com. Reprinted with permission from the author.

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