In recovery, like life, there are a lot of emotions and situations you’ll learn how to cope with. From time to time, you’ll end up in a situation where you’re angry. Being upset is always stressful, and being angry can be a trigger to use as well.
Anger actually can take a toll on the body as well as the mind because it causes stress. It also raises your blood pressure and makes you more vulnerable to diseases. In other words, when you don’t know how to cope with anger productively.
5 Coping Tools for Anger
- Admit that you’re angry. Admitting your emotions is the first key to acceptance. Everyone gets angry or upset. You’re only human. But recognizing that emotion is essential to getting through it unscathed. You can write it down, say it out loud to yourself, or call your sponsor to talk about it. But don’t go around all day telling yourself that you’re not angry. It just doesn’t work that way.
- Practice your breathing. Mindful breathing can help you feel more in control of the physical aspects of anger. When we get angry, our pulse races, we may breathe heavier, and sometimes we flush. Shut the adrenaline rush down by doing practicing slow breathing. Pay attention to your body as you do this. Listen to the noises that surround you. Take one long breath in, and hold it. Release it slowly. Continue to pay attention to your body as you practice this five more times.
- Imagine yourself calm and collected. As you do this, practice the exercise in the previous item. Imagine yourself breathing out the anger, and breathing in the calm. Continue to do this until you can imagine yourself perfectly calm.
- Take a walk. Something is calming about taking a walk and breathing in the fresh air. Try to get as close to nature as you can while you do this. Pay particular attention to the wind and the birds as you walk. Don’t just walk for five minutes – take your time. 15 minutes is a decent time to spend outside.
- Write it out. Sometimes anger is something we have to work through. When there’s not enough relaxation in the world to help defeat your emotions, sit down and write down everything you’re thinking and feeling. You don’t have to share it with anyone. Feeling the anger and expressing it this way can be very healing.
Anger is an emotion you’ll cope with throughout your life, but you don’t have to let it control you or make decisions for you. Learning to deal with anger is an important skill that you can use in your personal life, in the workplace and other situations.
There are other coping skills you’ll learn in recovery that will help you with your anger, but these small ideas will help you start off gently and smoothly.
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