Releasing anger: Effective ways to blow off steam
The emotion of anger has gotten a bad wrap as many people allow it to get to the point where they ‘explode’ and many can be hurt in the process. Anger is in actual fact a healthy emotion, showing you that a boundary was crossed or that something is not as it should be. When you feel anger you have two ways of expressing it: constructively or destructively. Unfortunately most people express anger in a destructive manner, making people want to avoid this unfavorable emotion. However, if you can find constructive (effective) ways of expressing your emotions (including your anger); you will be a role model to others.
When is anger a serious problem?
Anger is a problem when it is:
- constantly on your mind- to the detriment of other pursuits.
- caused by something that happened ages ago.
- causing you to do spiteful and harsh things.
- making you act violently towards others, even yourself.
- hurting your relationship with friends and family.
Short term solutions to release anger:-
-Admit that you are angry.
-Try not to overreact.
-Divert your attention to a peaceful thought.
-Be honest and identify the true source of your anger.
-Listen closely to the other person before interrupting or showing anger.
Long term solutions to release anger:-
Reach out to others to find out how they coped in a similar situation.
Open up to someone you trust about how you are feeling. Ask for any input from their side. People are generally more than happy to help out.
Avoid blaming yourself.
Examine your expectations of yourself. Great expectations of ourselves and others can drag us down. Don’t allow ego and/or social pressure to push you into a corner. Be honest with yourself and others at all times.
Create time for exercising as it is a great way to blow off steam.
Exercise improves your mood. There is no evidence as yet that one exercise is better than another but most studies have looked at running or other forms of aerobic exercise. Walking and weight training have, however, been found to be just as effective.
Reduce your stress level.
Choose to meditate rather than medicate. Meditation is not religious - it is an activity that enhances health. A quick and easy way to incorporate it into your daily life is to focus on your breath. Inhale deeply through the nose into the lungs- hold it in for a count of 5 then exhale through the mouth. Hold it in shorter if it causes you to hyperventilate. Do this for several minutes. It is time wisely invested.
Get some peace of mind
Inner peace ultimately leads to outer peace. Practice patience and accept what cannot be changed. Stay away from negative people and situations. If you cannot avoid them, direct your attention elsewhere. Focus on what you want in order to be anger free. Your mind will help you make that happen.
Keep a journal
Writing down your pent up frustrations will work wonders. It is a therapeutic way of releasing any anger and annoyances. Furthermore, when you later read it, it could provide the solution you were searching for.
Get professional help
If your anger is not improving, please see a professional. You could see a psychologist or an anger therapist. You could try acupuncture or hypnotism. The options are varied and many – do your research and ask anyone you know for a possible referral.
Some therapists recommend literally smashing pumpkins. Getting a baseball bat and a few pumpkins – heading to a remote spot and smashing them! Others recommend a night out dancing or singing. It is your life - see what works for you to help you blow off the steam that you need to.
Omega 3 and anger
We already know that omega 3 may be the treatment of choice for ADD, but now comes a report of its use to decrease anger in substance abusers. According to Medicine Issue 39 - in this double-blind, placebo-controlled trial there was a significant decrease in feelings of anger in a group of persons with substance use disorders. The author also mentions other studies showing that DHA supplements prevented an increase in aggression at times of stress in Japanese students. A third study mentioned prisoners were treated with a cocktail of supplements that included omega 3s, and had fewer disciplinary incidents.
According to Dr Les Carter - knowing how to blow off steam in a constructive and effective way is a massively empowering tool. One that you can use anywhere at anytime. Others will look to you as a role model and you will definitely open the door to a happier and more peaceful life.
( Buydens-Branchey L. Long chain N-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids decrease feelings of anger in substance abusers. Psychiatry Res 2008; 157: 95-104