“The anger sharks are swimming in my head” – Time for Positive Action!
“The anger sharks are swimming in my head”
We’ve all been there at some point – or even regularly – in our lives. And its no wonder why…with increasingly high expectations, never ending workload, and pressure to live up to the “highlight reels” of success we see constantly on social media. Finding yourself being stressed out and irritable is never a fun time. Unless you’re the Incredible Hulk and can use your anger to help fight the forces of evil, being perpetually miffed doesn’t do much good.
Here’s 4 steps you can take to get yourself back on track.
Acknowledge your emotions
Ok, you’re pissed off…now what? Take some time to acknowledge your emotions and feel mad. Set a timer for 5 minutes and feel it out. You might find that allowing yourself a moment to feel angry instead of trying to brush it off or cover it with a smile can prevent a single negative experience from taking over the whole day and creating even more problems.
Ask yourself why?
Anger is an emotional indicator; like a human check engine light, it tells us when things need fixed. But just like the check engine light, it doesn’t tell us exactly what the problem is. Go ahead and ask yourself why you’re mad. Often times there’s more than one answer and it can be helpful to make a list or even a flowchart to find the root of what’s really setting you off. Additionally, identifying the cause gives us perspective to our emotional response and makes finding solutions more manageable.
Find a Solution
You’ve found the underlying cause, or at least a prime suspect; are you surprised by what you discovered? Your feeling could be a direct result of mistreatment or wrongdoing OR stemming from stress, lack of sleep, frustration, fear, or just being plain ol’ hangry. Whatever the reason (or combination of reasons), rest assured there’s a way to work through it. Think up a few solutions (not revenge plots) that could work for you and give them a try. Remember to be patient with yourself and others during the process. And If you find the issue at hand is bigger than you expected, its always ok to ask for help.
The smallest actions can make a huge impact when it comes to diffusing your crappy mood. If you’re able, begin taking steps to put your solution to work. This could mean setting up a time to talk it out with a friend or counselor or adding some extra “me time” to your schedule. Actually making plans will encourage you to follow through with getting what you need even after you’ve calmed down. But what if you need a quick fix to keep the anger sharks in check? Try these techniques!
- Go for a walk
- Treat yourself to your favorite coffee or tea
- Listen to some soothing music or an audiobook/TED Talk
- Do a random act of kindness
- Meditation or self hypnosis
- Find something to make you laugh
- Be creative: doodling/coloring
- Aromatherapy with essential oils or other pleasing scents
The takeaway here is to remember that anger along with other negative (and positive) emotions are all part of being human. While we can’t and shouldn’t avoid our feelings, there are ways to redirect their path. It is totally possible to go from bad to better instead of bad to worse.
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