HOLD UP! Better Ways To Express Anger

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The internet nearly broke when TMZ made public the footage of Beyonce’s sister, Solange’, literally punching and kicking Jay-Z in a hotel elevator one week earlier after the New York MET Gala.  Many speculations still surround why the young soul singer hauled off and hit the multi-platinum mogul, but one thing is for sure, she was mad.  And when a person is mad or angry, many things go through your mind–some not so good.

That kind of anger can happen to any one of us, so it’s important that we understand what anger is and how you (and all of us) can control our anger better.

Understanding Anger

The emotion of anger is neither good nor bad. It’s perfectly healthy and normal to feel angry when you’ve been mistreated or wronged. The feeling isn’t the problem—it’s what you do with it that makes a difference. Anger becomes a problem when it harms you or others.

Mastering the art of constructive anger takes work, but the more you practice, the easier it will get. And the payoff can be huge. Learning to control your anger and express it appropriately can help you build better relationships, achieve your goals, and lead a healthier, more satisfying life.

Understand How We Express Anger

Usually, anger manifests itself in one of three ways. Outward expressions of anger include yelling, screaming or violence, and even less threatening approaches like sarcasm. Inward expressions include feelings like seething, biting your tongue, or suppressing angry feelings. Neither of these approaches is healthy. The third way to express anger is control and channel it into more acceptable methods of expression.

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Here are some tips that will help you deal with anger, constructively:

  • Recognize that anger is a valid emotion and is necessary for survival. Anger has the capacity to wake you up to things that need to change and to help you take the first steps towards changing your situation.
  • Identify what is making you angry. Displacement is a common reaction to anger. Rather than expressing anger towards who or what is actually making you angry, you may become irritated with your spouse or children, friends or colleagues, minor inconveniences or even yourself. If you find yourself being generally angry, trace back your anger to it origin.
  • Practice relaxation techniques. Anger can be an overwhelming emotion because it is so physical–your heart and mind may race, your muscles can tense and you may feel sick. Focus on relaxing your body and mind to help look at the situation more objectively.
  • Be assertive as you express anger rather than being aggressive or physical. Clearly and firmly discuss why you are angry with the person who has caused your anger, emphasizing your needs. If she tries to argue, do not engage in the argument. Just come back to your own needs.
  • Express your anger safely if you need to be physical. Sometimes a physical expression of anger can be helpful. If you need to, hit a cushion or throw a pillow rather than lashing out at yourself, another person or an animal.
  • Use anger to fuel constructive or creative activity. If expressing your anger did not diminish it, seek a physical activity to direct it towards. Dance, exercise and drumming are three ways you can work off the extra energy of anger. Projects that you find personally rewarding can also help you deal with anger.

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So, if you ever find yourself in a situation where you need to express your anger publicly, take heed of the above words and tips so you don’t end up on TMZ or worse, world star hiphop.

Be safe.