There is nothing wrong with feeling angry. It’s natural and healthy when situations occur that warrant this feeling. The problem is that some people hold onto it for too long, let their angry emotions dictate their behavior, or allow their anger to be provoked when it doesn’t need to be. But, you can make anger productive by doing something to squeeze the joy out of angry moments.
Now, let’s look at several ways to interrupt the neural response when things are pushing your buttons:
1: Focus on Breathing.
The key here is to control your own physiological response while also diverting your attention from the thing that’s triggering your anger. Narrowing your focus to something simple within your control. The long term benefit is that if you use this technique often enough, instead of unproductive responses, you’ll develop a habit of focusing on your breathing in stressful situations.
2: Use visualizations.
Visualize yourself someplace else — yes, your “happy place” or whatever you need to visualize that is calming to you. You can even visualize your breathing. Imagine the nice, cool, clean air flowing into your lungs like a small cloud of calm. When you go to breathe out, imagine all the dark, sharp feelings leaving your body. You can take this to any level you want.
3: Ask Yourself Some Questions
Does whatever makes you angry affect you directly or hurt someone you are responsible for protecting? Is there anything you can do to change the issue?
If the answer to either of these questions is no, then you‘re wasting your energy. You might even get angry over an injustice in the world that has nothing to do with you, but it usually all boils down to control. If you can do something to change what’s going on, then use your energy wisely by taking the first step of making a plan.
4: Change your environment.
Even if you have to stay where you are, you can change your environment. If you can’t leave, try thinking of a calming song. Listen to it if you are able, hum it if you can, or just let it play in your own mind. Music can have a serious impact on your emotions, so make sure your inner symphony is playing the right tune.
5: Read your Happiness Handbook
A Happiness Handbook is a notebook you fill with memories or even fantasies that inspire you. Whether it’s a daily journal where you express gratitude, or a small scrapbook filled with pictures, dried flowers, or happy thoughts, keep it on you so you can use it to redirect your thoughts at any given time.