I go to the ocean to calm down, to reconnect with the creator, to just be happy. Nnedi Okorafor
There are moments of anger that we all experience every day.
Maybe the car in front of you just cut you off. A loved one forgot about a promise. Your boss just lectured you about the quality of your work when it wasn’t you that turned in the project in question.
The reason why anger is difficult to contain is because we often feel justified to have this negative emotion.
It seems righteous. Sometimes it even is a positive thing. We should get angry about things like poverty, disease, and war.
Even if our anger is righteous and justified, it can quickly morph into a chip on our shoulder that won’t want to go away.
At that point, any positive outcome has been removed from the equation.
You must either find a way to calm yourself down quickly and effectively or you’ll find yourself beginning to isolate from others because of your uncontrolled emotion.
There are 5 proven ways that you can use to calm yourself down right now, no matter how angry you may actually be.
Let’s take an in-depth look at each option right now so that you can have the coping skills you may need the next time anger comes your way.
The relaxation response comes when your body feels relaxed, calm, and focused.
We fool ourselves into believing that playing video games, watching a movie on the couch, or taking a drive is relaxing. It’s not.
It is stimulating and only extends the amount of anger that is being felt.
Deep breathing exercises are a great way to encourage your body to calm down right away.
When you use abdominal breathing for up to 30 minutes each day, the increased oxygen levels naturally cause your body to begin to relax because it is funneling out the anxiety and stress that your anger is causing.
Why does this work?
Because the oxygen stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system that is inside your body.
It is this system that promotes a state of higher calm.
This is why when you take deep breaths, you begin to feel more aware of what your body has been trying to tell you.
It quiets the mind, wipes away your worries, and helps you to confront your anger.
There isn’t just one type of breathing exercise that can help you out here.
AIS has several techniques they have endorsed and they have some great advice that can help you to master the art of using deep breathing to help you release your anger.
Breath counting is also a great way to begin helping yourself calm down.
Anger tends to dominate in the mind because we do not shift our focus away from it.
The counting process creates the necessary shift to help the mind begin to cope with the anger instead of allowing it to fester.
Here are 3 great breathing exercises to try that really do help to ease anger.
Slow, deep breaths can also help to lower your blood pressure and your heart rate.
Another option is pranayama breathing, which is a yogic method that involves breathing through one nostril at a time to relieve anxiety.
The technique’s supposed to work the same way as acupuncture, balancing the mind and body.
Breath is the bridge which connects life to consciousness, which unites your body to your thoughts. Thich Nhat Hanh
EFT is something I like to call “poor man’s acupuncture.”
It works through the tapping of specific pressure zones on your body to find the energy disruptions that are causing anger to fester.
When you use a specific EFT tapping recipe for your anger, in just a few minutes you can feel like you’re calming down and back to yourself.
Does this actually work to calm your anger?
Maybe you don’t believe in the power of acupuncture or think that disrupting the energy centers within your body is a bunch of New Age nonsense.
It really could be that EFT works just because it causes your mind to focus on something other than your anger for awhile.
The fact is that EFT requires you to focus on your emotion and the reason why you are feeling it.
Identification is the first stage of coping. The tapping component in each EFT recipe is just part of the healing process.
At the end of each session, EFT also asks you to accept yourself, forgive yourself, and move forward with your day.
Want to know more about EFT and if it could be the right way for you to calm yourself down quickly and effectively?
The video below will help you learn even more about this method.
The greatest step towards a life of simplicity is to learn to let go. – Steve Maraboli
#3. Music and Visualization
Have you ever just sat down and really listened to your favorite song?
Ever notice that when you do this, your mind begins to wander through past memories, pleasant experiences, and other happy thoughts?
Music is one of the few things in this world that can engage the entire mind at once.
It harnesses the mind’s power and puts it to good use.
Anger doesn’t stand a chance if you’re willing to put on some of your favorite music and work on some visualization exercises.
It is a real environment that your mind creates within the scope of your imagination.
It is a universe that is very real to you even if no one else can experience it.
As you’re listening to your favorite songs, picture with your mind’s eye a setting that you find to be deeply relaxing.
Now imagine that you’re walking through that environment.
Take note of what your senses are telling you about it. What does the air smell like? If there is food present, what does it taste like? Is there a cool breeze? How does the grass feel between your fingers?
It doesn’t have to be music that provides your mind with this foundation to create visualization.
Brainwave entrainment and guided visualization techniques can also provide a calming effect.
This is because your mind becomes tuned to the specific brainwaves it needs to accomplish a specific result.
If you’re angry, it can be difficult to relax and focus on sleep.
If you can re-tune the brain to focus on the brainwaves that emphasize relaxation and sleep, you’ll be able to calm down right away.
Music is the moonlight in the gloomy night of life. – Friedrich Richter
No need to go on a retreat to the mountains – just 5 minutes of peace is all it takes to reap the benefits of meditation.
There’s evidence that just two quick bouts of silent meditation per day can relieve stress and depression.
Find a comfortable spot in a quiet place, concentrate on your breath, and feel those anxieties start to disappear.
Now some people might say that you need to be in a specific pose or create a specific environment so that you can meditate.
I disagree with that sentiment.
I’ve heard of people who meditate in the shower.
I’ve heard of walking meditation being successful when no other forms of meditation would work.
I even know a fellow who can only meditate when there’s an episode of Futurama playing in the background.
The fact is that the meditation techniques which work the best to help calm you down must be your own.
You must unlock your own unique combination.
These simple and quick meditation and relaxation techniques are a great place to get started if you haven’t tried meditation in the past.
Meditation is painful in the beginning but it bestows immortal Bliss and supreme joy in the end. Swami Sivananda
Exercise is the great anger reducer.
Your muscles build up toxins like lactic acid that need to be worked out with movement.
Anger can also be a toxin that invades the mind and can be just as bothersome.
When you get into the zone while exercising, everything seems right with the world. You forget about being angry. You just focus on the moment.
You don’t have to be in excellent shape to benefit from what exercise can do for your anger. Maybe you can’t run 4 miles a day, but could you walk your dog around the block?
Even cleaning your home is exercise that can help you focus on more important things than your angry emotions.
Exercise does put your body under physical stress.
It also reduces the levels of the body’s stress hormones, such as cortisol or adrenaline.
At the same time, it creates endorphins that help to elevate your mood and reduce chronic pain.
As an added bonus, if you are a little out of shape, you’ll have more self-esteem and confidence as you see yourself slimming down and getting into those old pants tucked into the corner of the closet.
The fact is that anyone can find a coping skill for their anger no matter where they happen to be.
You can breathe, do EFT, or your preferred method of calming down anywhere you happen to be.
You can also use all of these methods to calm yourself down throughout the day.
Try putting together 20 minutes of exercise with 20 minutes of meditation to see how you feel.
You don’t have to let anger rule over you every day.
Use these methods or use your own and take charge of your anger.
Turn it into the positive energy you know it can be today.
Calmness is the cradle of power. – Josiah Gilbert Holland
Do you have your own ways of calming yourself down? Let me know in the comments below.