We asked IML'ers to tell us about some of the positive, constructive ways they've found to express or release anger. Here are just some of the great ideas you sent in:
Think it out
Talk it out
- "If something gets on your nerves, just sit down and relax! Then try to think in your head how to solve it."
- "Just go into your room or the bathroom and lie down and think about it."
Write it out
- "Talk with parents or a counselor."
- "Get help from a doctor or close family member."
- "Telling someone about it to get it off your chest is a good way to deal with anger."
- "If you're really mad at somebody, just tell them how you feel, but in a non-violent way."
Let off steam
- "Keep a journal about your feelings."
- "If you have a diary, it really helps to actually talk to it. It sounds stupid, but you know it won't ever say anything mean to you!"
Channel anger into creative activities
- "I think just letting it out in a quiet place is great. I go into the basement and just scream and let it all out."
- "Scream into your pillow!"
- "Punch your pillow a couple times."
- "Listen to music or paint."
- "I put my feelings into my artwork."
- "Listen to calming music."
- "Meditate with yoga."
- "Count to ten and then let out a deep breath."
- "I just relax and think about cool stuff."
These are all good ways of dealing with anger, and they all have one very important thing in common: none of them involve causing harm to yourself, other people, animals, or property.
- "I take boxing classes and I punch my punching bag."
- "Run laps."
- "I go to the gym when I'm angry."
- "When I play baseball, I imagine that the ball is the thing that makes me the most angry."
As for which one of these ideas works best for you, you'll have to figure that out for yourself. The idea is not to ignore your feelings or keep them inside, but to find ways to work through them so they don't bother you as much.
You might be the type of person who prefers to listen to mellow music and meditate, releasing the anger by making your mind calm. Or you might prefer to listen to energetic music and go for a run, releasing your anger through physical activity. Then again, maybe neither of these options works for you, and you just have to talk about your feelings with a trusted friend until you get everything out of your system.
It's all about finding the best way to work through your anger, as long as it's not destructive, hurtful, or something that will make the situation worse.
Okay, so we've talked about coping with the feelings of anger, but can we fix or change the actual things that make us angry? Yes! In the next section we'll look at ways of Getting To The Source of your anger.