Have you ever gotten angry at your parents for not letting you go out with your friends? Or on your friends itself, for not listening to you? You are not alone!
Being angry is natural and we all experience it at some point. It can be a frustrating experience but the good news is you can deal with anger and gain some control over it with love and compassion. Being mindful and kind towards yourself is one of the most important steps to dealing with anger. Shifting focus mindfully, inwards and away from the person or situation, allows you to let go of the constant flood of thoughts that the mind creates.
To help you deal with anger mindfully, there are a set of steps you can follow, so you can shift focus, mindfully regulate this anger, calm down and feel more in control. This activity given below can also be remembered as the PNAS practice
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Activity To Deal With Anger Mindfully
Step 1: Pause
- When you feel anger, recognize your habitual pattern of dealing with it. Do you want to shut down or do you overthink or you want to react?
- Instead of giving in to your habitual tendency, try to pause. Take a few deep breaths. Ask yourself and your body how you are feeling. Let the answer come from within you.
Step 2: Name it
- You already have a name for your emotion. Tell yourself, ‘I am angry now. I will simply spend some time knowing my anger.’
- Promise yourself that you will decide what to do with the person or situation later. For now, you will simply attend to this feeling of anger.
Step 3: Accept it
- “You are angry” –is the reality of the present moment. It is okay to feel angry for now.
- There is no question about whether you should or should not feel angry. Instead, just simply accepting it will suffice. Maybe you can say to yourself, ‘I am angry now, and it is okay.’
Step 4: Support it
- Remind yourself that you need your own affection and support now. Do a quick body scan. Notice where you might feel anger in your body.
- Your jaws may feel tight or you may feel heat on your face or elsewhere in the body. Anger is usually a high-energy emotion so you may feel like moving to express anger. Accept all the sensations in the body completely.
- Now that you can sense what the body is going through, you can actively support it. Support means allowing the body to feel the anger and helping it through a difficult time. It does not mean trying to stop being angry.
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Frequently Asked Questions
While anger is a normal healthy emotion, it can damage many areas of your life if you experience and express anger in an unhealthy way. Anger can impair social connections, your professional life, and many other areas of your life as it can cause strained relationships and misunderstandings.
Anger is an emotion that is essential for your survival, like the positive emotions of happiness and joy. The goal shouldn’t be to eliminate anger, but to create space for it and be comfortable with the experience of anger, and to find ways to manage it in a healthy way.
If you feel like your anger is impacting many areas of your life, and is causing issues in your relationships, and affecting your well-being, it is best to consult a mental health professional like a psychologist/ counselor to understand the concern and learn ways to manage anger.
About the Author
This article was written by Simran Sharma, Counselor at Inner Space. This post was consulted & approved by professional therapists practicing online therapy and counseling.