May 11, 2015

4 Ways To Calm You Down When You're Really Angry

So you can still be who you are and avoid hurting people you are not intentioned to

I don’t usually lose my temper, but if I get angry, it’s true - I’m scary. It’s like a room full of gas, any tiny spark will fire the whole universe. No one likes to get angry, we can’t control the trigger, but we surely could choose how to respond.

Whenever I get angry, I mean really angry, what I tend to do is getting drunk, throwing whatever stuff reachable against the wall(normally my phone), wasting money on things that never make sense when I’m sober. Oh there is a bottle can on the road? Perfect I would kick it badly and let it bounce and bounce. I do have the violent part inside me.

However, over the years I’ve learned it in a hard way that if I can’t calm myself down, not only the issue can’t be solved, but also it’s gonna hurt the person involved and further make a huge negative impact to the relationship almost unfixable. Thus I’ve written down 4 ways to accomplish the inner peace and use it as a personal reference.

1. Are you overreacting?

“There was never an angry man that thought his anger unjust.”

You must have every single reason to be angry, maybe that’s something related to your deep down memory, maybe that’s what you called belief, principle, the way you see the world and how you’ve disciplined yourself, but the person just break it cruelly again and again.

Well, take a deep breath first. Even though this sounds the stupidest question but I insist on asking and trying your best to answer it.

Are you overreacting? Is what you see and hear really the truth? Is the person who get you angry aware of your reason being and expectation? If you know the person well, do you think it’s his/her intention? What if there’s some misunderstanding, what if you missed one important piece of the story?

I find these questions very effective to shift my focus from being a “victim” to a “outsider”. And for my experience, to be honest most of the times it was not that big as I thought, main reasons were either lack of information or lack of communication.

2. Go outside, move your body

Go for a long walk with your favorite music.

You wouldn’t believe how amazing moving your body will lift your mood. If I close myself in a tiny room that may feel like sitting inside a time bomb. Limited space and static view will make you do nothing but stuck in your little angry world.

Also fast paced music is recommended. Just follow the rhythm and move your body, try not to think about the thing.

Normally after a 60 minutes walk I would start to think, “yeah maybe I’m being a little bit childish here”.

Any outdoor activity that can make you find some sort of solitude, make your brain go into autopilot mode is ok.

3. Pause, don’t hurry your response

“You can be right, but wrong at the top of your voice”, one great lesson I learned from book Love and Respect: The Love She Most Desires; The Respect He Desperately Needs

There’re times when you can be 100% right, but if you deliver it poorly it could cause so much trouble when you try to confront/communication later. And there’s no way to get back what you said, you could equally hurt the person if you can’t control your words.

Think about being the other side, have you forgotten what a person says to you when they are angry? You probably not, even though you can’t recall the exact words, you must still remember the hurt feelings. Don’t make the same mistake.

For me, I thought I was picking up the softest words at that time but, it turned out, I regretted afterwards every single time. I wish I would never said that kind of thing. So I just admit I’m totally not capable to response without anger when the emotion is that high.

Don’t speak with hatred, it backfires and really hurts.

4. How you react now is gonna redefine and reinforce who you are and who you want to be

There is no single moment more important to test who you really are than when you’re angry. How you react at this emotional high is gonna make a significant mark on your characters.

If you seek alcohol, close yourself and run away from this incident, next time you have a high chance to repeat the same thing, and the next time, and the next time… Through the repetitions the evil routines will grow and be “promoted” as your go-to solution whenever you get angry.

Everybody functions ok when he/she is happy, but not everyone handle the opposite well. This is the key moment to show your true color, to distinguish yourself from the others. On the plus side, if you handled it well the reward is invaluable. This is also a great chance to build and strengthen the trust between you and the person, and the people around.

We all have darkness inside, don’t let yourself be swallowed by it. Instead, conquer it, tame it.

I use this as the ultimate weapon to remind myself.

Last, because we care

Even though I’ve listed all the methods it’s still hard, it’s a hard work and pain process, and I assume this is never gonna be easier. Why? We get angry because we care. There’re things and people we care about, and when it doesn’t reach our expectation, the way we wish it to be, the stronger the presumption is wired in our mind, the more angry we become.

Be aware of the trigger, learn to deal with it and don’t make the move you know you’ll regret later.

When was the last time you get angry and how you responded to it? How do you calm yourself down?

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Qihuan Piao

Qihuan Piao

(aka kinopyo) is Chinese based in Tokyo. Software writer. He shares stories inspired him in this blog. His infamous line - "I feel calm when I kill those monsters, or people (in game)" shocks his friends deeply.

He also writes in Japanese and Chinese.