When you’re dealing with stress of any kind, whether it’s on the job, in a relationship, dealing with family demands, or managing people in public places, it’s helpful to have a few strategies for coping with an uncomfortable situation.
Stressful situations usually make us react to the person or thing that’s put a roadblock in our path. But becoming angry isn’t the only way, nor is it the healthiest way to deal with your current circumstances.
In fact, keeping your anger alive doesn’t really solve the problem you’re facing, or the situation that is blowing up in your face. Once the moment has passed, the unfortunate reality is that if you’re letting something really bug you, the problem is still there, and you most likely won’t enjoy the remainder of your day.
The first thing to consider is that when you become angry, it’s almost impossible to immediately see the other person’s side of the situation. You can talk to someone who’s not involved and share your side of the story, but then, you’re still keeping the anger alive. What you’ll end up with is an opinion from that person you just shared your story with. Is that really what you want—another opinion, or someone to take your side?
An impartial person will help you sort through your thoughts, your reactions, and the situation. That person you’re confiding in wants to help you get back to normal. The sooner you speak with a professional, apply some techniques, or resolve that you’re not going to give that confrontational person all your power, the quicker your attitude and life will return to normal. However, that’s easier said than done until it becomes an automatic reaction when you are faced with stressful situations.
Another suggestion is to write your feelings down on paper or dictate exactly how you feel into a little handheld tape recorder. This lets you express exactly how you feel without adding fuel to the fire by spewing out those words to the person who caused the stress. You might not think of yourself as a writer, or that dictating your thoughts and feelings in a storage medium is a vehicle for anger management, but it truly could help you find those triggers that set you off and that cause you to become angry.
Have you ever been so mad at someone who wouldn’t get angry back at you and instead, smiled and walked away? Yes, that might infuriate you, but who do you think is the healthier person? It’s not an easy thing to just “let go” of the stressful situation, and you certainly don’t want to keep your anger bottled up inside of you. But what if you could shake off your stress and refuse to let it invade your thoughts for twenty-four hours?
If possible, try to take a day off from work, or if you’ve been living under a tremendous amount of stress, plan a getaway vacation, just by yourself. Time and space often helps restore a positive attitude and makes the world look like a better place when you return to your normal routines.
If you pray or meditate, that’s another wonderful way to handle stress and anger. It releases your tensions and negative thoughts. It also helps you search your soul for answers in a spiritual realm rather than trying to handle everything in a human world that sometimes wracked with ego and negative emotions.
Here are a few more tips to try, in no specific order: Get some exercise, listen to your favorite music, take a walk in nature, breathe deep, go see a movie, take a nap, or get involved in a community volunteer event. Stressful situations are only stressful when you allow them to be.