How to Deal with Negative Emotions Effectively

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Why We Get Angry

When was the last time that you felt angry?

Most people experience surges of anger every day at some point. We might call it something else, like frustration or disappointment, but the emotion is still present.

There are four primary reasons why people have anger triggered.

  • They feel threatened or attacked by someone.
  • There are feelings of being powerless in a specific situation.
  • It can begin because someone feels like they are being mistreated or invalidated.
  • They believe that other people are not respecting their feelings, possessions, or presence.

Everyone has personal triggers that can start a surge of anger as well. Since each person can interpret the same situation in different ways, you might feel extremely angry about something when another person doesn’t feel that way at all.

That doesn’t mean you are misinterpreting things if you feel anger and others interpret that situation differently. Several unique factors in your life contribute to the formation of your triggers, and no two experiences are exactly the same. Even identical twins get angry for very different reasons.

Many Anger Issues Originate in One’s Childhood

How one is raised during childhood dictates how one will behave in later life.

How we experience anger often comes from the influences of our upbringing. Most individuals receive messages about this emotion as children that can make it more of a challenge to manage their triggers as an adult.

Maybe you have encountered some of these circumstances in your life as well?

1. You Were Taught That It’s Okay to Act Out in Violence or Aggression.

Violence begets violence.

When kids learn from an early age that expressing their anger in physical ways is permissible, then it becomes more difficult to understand or manage this emotion. It often results in having angry outbursts whenever something happens that you don’t like, even if someone is behaving in what society would consider to be “normal.”

2. You Were Taught That It Is Not Acceptable to Complain.

Keeping your emotions locked up can lead to negative consequences down the road.

Some kids were punished by their parents if they expressed anger during their childhood. This situation causes adults to suppress their feelings instead, which causes it to become a long-term problem because it will cause inappropriate reactions in new circumstances or times of discomfort. Many people turn their anger inwards through self-criticism when there isn’t a healthy way to release this energy.

3. You Were Taught That Anger Is Destructive.

Being angry – just like being happy – is an innate emotion and is a part of being human.

Some kids grew up in a home where their parents, guardians, or other adults let their anger grow out of control. This situation often causes children to think of this emotion as being terrifying and destructive. It might cause you to feel afraid of these emotions so that you don’t feel safe trying to express yourself. Then the anger might surface at an unusual time, which can make it a challenge to understand why it is present in your life at that moment.

Anger Is Something That Doesn’t Go Away On Its Own

Anger can resurface unexpectedly when it is not dealt with when it first appears.

If you experienced a specific situation in your life that made you feel angry, then this emotion might still be with you if you were unable to express yourself during a triggering moment safely. This outcome frequently occurs when abuse, neglect, or trauma occur to someone. Bullying behaviors can cause it as well.

You might find some situations are difficult to manage because they always seem to make you angry.

Being aware of this issue can help you to respond to the situation in a way that is safer and less stressful.

Unless you are willing to start coping with this emotion, the anger you feel is going to linger until you can do something about it. That’s why having several options to consider if you experience an emotional trigger can help you to manage these feelings more effectively.

How to Cope with Anger Effectively

The key to dealing with anger is to first acknowledge its presence.

One of the most effective ways to cope with anger is to use “I” statements so that you can avoid blame or criticism. Don’t be afraid to label the emotion for what it is. Some people like to use the expression “for me,” before saying what bothers them to avoid directing an accusation at someone else.

It is essential to remember that a timeout isn’t just for children as a consequence for poor decisions. If you give yourself some short breaks during the day when you encounter stressful situations often, then a couple of minutes of quiet can help you to prepare mentally for what’s about to happen.

Getting some exercise every day is an effective coping mechanism for anger as well. You’ll see a reduction in stress while your creativity rises, making it possible to find a solution to what is bothering you at that moment.

When you can reach a place where you feel calm and collected, then express your frustration in a healthy way. You will want to be assertive with your words, but taking action in a way that doesn’t confront someone on a personal level. The goal is to state your concerns directly with clarity and precision without trying to control others or hurt them in some way.

Then identify potential solutions that will help you to work your way out of that situation. Instead of focusing on the triggers that make you feel angry, look for solutions that will help you to feel better. Allowing yourself to stay angry won’t fix any problems, and it often makes things worse if you think this way about your partner or spouse.

The final step is a powerful tool: forgiveness. If you allow negative feelings to crowd out the positive ones, then you’ll always stay in a place of anger. Learning how to forgive can help you to learn from that situation while working to strengthen the relationships you have in your life.