2020 was messed up. 2021 didn’t start off any better. Between politics and the COVID19 pandemic, it’s no wonder why most Americans are having trouble controlling their anger issues.
Not all anger is the same. Did you know that there are healthy and unhealthy ways to manage your anger? Sometimes it’s good and right to get mad at something. Positive change can come from being angry at injustice or inequality. Righteous or justified anger from being mistreated can be a great motivator for change.
But if you’ve had bad experiences of anger, say lousy role models in your childhood, you might only see anger as destructive and scary. But learning to control anger issues can have a positive effect on your relationships and boost your emotional intelligence.
Here are some expert strategies to help you manage your anger:
1) Know what you’re dealing with
Understanding why you’re angry and where it’s coming from is key. Maybe you’re stressed and grumpy, fatigued, or unwell. Or perhaps the reason for your anger is apparent. Once you understand your anger issues and their sources, you can start to deal with it.
2) Write it down in a journal
Turning your feelings into words is a powerful act for dealing with anger issues. Just write whatever comes into your head, even if it doesn’t make sense.
The act of writing down your thoughts stops them from running in circles in your head and gets them down on paper. Chances are they might not even seem so big or insurmountable. You might even begin to see patterns, so you can understand what triggers your angry feelings.
Some people even feel better after releasing their rage on paper by burning the paper or shredding it into small pieces. Once the paper is destroyed, move on from those negative feelings.
3) Be aware of anger triggers
Once you know what’s making you angry, you can plan workarounds for it. Be aware of your triggers and minimize them. That can mean making sure you eat properly to avoid blood sugar crises, get enough sleep, and exercise and take time out for self-care.
You won’t be able to avoid being angry sometimes, but you can take control, so you’re not vulnerable to anger and frustration.
4) Don’t brood
Brooding on the cause of your anger is actively unhelpful. It keeps you stuck in those negative feelings, keeps you stuck in victim mode, and keeps you powerless.
Brooding is also bad for your blood pressure and keeps you stewing in adrenaline and cortisol, the fight or flight stress hormones which are excellent in an emergency by not so great to have all the time.
5) Don’t rehash your anger
Talking over your problems can be helpful if you share with a trusted friend. But be careful to keep it focused, or you might end up rehashing your troubles over and over again. Like brooding, complaining can keep you from moving forward and finding solutions to your problems.
6) Smoke a cannabis joint
Lighting up an hybrid strain of marijuana flower like Girl Scout Cookies or Blue Dream can help calm your rage and boost your mood. Just simply inhaling and exhaling the THC-containing smoke will ground you and give you perspective on whatever was making you angry. Suddenly the world doesn’t seem so bad when you’re giggling at a funny movie or have a case of the munchies and start eating some pizza.
While some might see using cannabis as a vice, many people use it medically to cope with anxiety, depression, and stressful situations. The important thing is to make sure if you have severe anger issues, seek therapy, and don’t self-medicate daily with cannabis. But if you’re just dealing with an occasional stressful situation, cannabis can be a healthy way to control anger issues.