We have all been angry at some time in our lives. I would guess that some people are angrier than others as an overall personality trait. Some people let go and forgive, while others can’t. If you wonder how to stop being angry, chances are you have some serious hurt you can’t seem to shake.
Anger is one of the most useless and destructive emotions that you harbor. But, almost like love, there are times when you simply can’t control it. A basic human emotion, although hard to stop, there are ways to make it stop. If you have unresolved anger you can’t seem to let go of, then there is a good chance that it is about more than just anger. [Read: 12 steps to change your life and find happiness]
How to stop being angry
When someone angers you, it is usually because you are hurt by what someone says or does. The thing is only you can let go of the hurt. You choose to carry it around like a rock on your back. And, most likely, you are the only one it hurts.
It took me many, many years to recognize staying mad at someone else doesn’t affect them at all. It only hurts you which is why learning how to stop being angry matters so much.
#1 Forgive. There are times when we say that we forgive. Deep down, we don’t. What we do is to put those things in our arsenal and harbor the feelings.
If you want to know how to stop being angry, truly forgive and forget. That old phrase “I will forgive you but never forget” isn’t real. Forget whatever hurt you or you will always hold onto resentment. Choose to forgive and never think or revisit it again. [Read: 15 positive ways to forgive someone and unburden your mind]
#2 Try some empathy. If you are angry because someone hurt you, try being your own devil’s advocate. Sometimes we ascribe intention onto someone when they didn’t have it or think something was done maliciously when it wasn’t at all.
If you try to put yourself into someone else’s shoes and figure out why they might have said what they said, or even consider that they didn’t mean for things to go the way that they did, it is pretty easy to stop being angry. If you stop feeling like it was intentional, and that it was just an accident, you can’t be angry by an accident. They just happen. [Read: 7 reasons why empathy matters]
#3 Pity the person who hurt you. Feel sorry for the asshole who hurt you. In the end, they are the person who is mean and ugly and loves being that way forever. If someone did something to hurt you, and they just aren’t a nice person, pity the fact that they are so unhappy or insecure that they feel better by making someone else feel worse.
Pity their poor asses because they don’t have the kindness in their heart that you possess.
#4 Recognize that it isn’t hurting anyone but you. When you harbor angry feelings, it literally hurts you physically. Clenching your jaw, tightening your muscles while you sleep, or just carrying it around, takes its toll on your health.
And, guess what? The person you are mad at probably doesn’t know. If they haven’t apologized, they definitely don’t care. So, if you keep on being angry, you let them hurt you over and again. So, you lose. They walk away scott-free. [Read: The guide to find your zone of calm perfection]
#5 Understand anger is a waste of energy. Anger is a very powerful emotion. It literally sucks the life out of you. If you waste all your time being angry, ruminating over a situation, or being stuck in your own stew, think about how you can better use that energy for something good.
#6 Take some super deep breaths. For some people, anger comes on frequently and severe. If left unchecked, it ends up with consequences when you can’t control it.
Scientific research proves when angry, breathing deep helps your body go from the sympathetic *flight or fight response* to the parasympathetic nervous system, which is a calm and relaxed state. If you have long-term anger issues, when they pop up, do some deep breathing. You will find that a lot of the anger dissipates immediately. [Read: How to find peace and make it a real state of mind]
#7 Try some hypnotherapy. For some people with anger issues, hypnosis is the road to calming down and letting go. Thanks to your smartphone, you don’t have to make an appointment like you used to.
Simply download an anti-anger hypnosis program, put your earbuds in, and let your subconscious fight it out with your conscious state. Almost always, the subconscious wins.
#8 Confront the person you are angry with and let it out. Sometimes we hold onto anger because we feel as if we weren’t heard or we never got to confront the person that hurt us. Instead, they walked away never facing the choir.
If you have residual anger because you never got to say what you wanted to, let it out. Write someone a letter or confront them face to face to say what you need to say.
Once it is out and aired, chances are great you won’t harbor it anymore. Who knows, you might even get an apology. If not, at least you got the final word and made them accountable. [Read: 13 grownup ways to deal with bullies]
#9 Take the attitude that it is their loss. If someone hurt you and you are angry about it, walk away. Choose not to have them in your life anymore. Often, we let the same people hurt us again and again because we feel an obligation to be nice.
The only obligation you have is to yourself, so if you can’t get over the anger, walk away and realize it is their loss. They couldn’t stop the behaviors so destructive to you.
#10 Let go of revenge. When we are angry, we think of all sorts of ways to get back at the person we are angry with. If you want to stop being angry, stop thinking about ways to hurt them. Sitting and stewing isn’t going to make the hurt go away, it is just going to keep it front and center. When the thought of what they did comes to mind, shoo it away.
Being angry is an intense and powerful emotion. If you are angry enough and allow it to reside in you, it literally makes you sick. The only way to get over anger is to either get it out or let it go. You can’t continue to hold onto it, make sense of it, get revenge, or to take it on yourself.
If you can let go, forgive, and forget, you can find peace. Make no mistake that whatever baggage you carry around with you, the person who put it there isn’t even thinking about you.
[Read: How to stand up for yourself – Get what you want and deserve]
The only person hurt by your feelings of hurt and anger is you. So, let it go and learn how to stop being angry. What is done is done, so be done with it.
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