Taking These 7 Actions Helped Me Let Go of My Anger and Live a Happier Life Here's how I learned to control my anger — and seven tips to help you do it, too.
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
I don't like my neighbor. He is old, conservative and very loud at times when our kids are sleeping. There are many more reasons, but let's get into the real topic of this article. I eventually found ways to switch my anger and release it from my body. At some point, I just realized that it is not healthy for myself or for my family. The person who was most frustrated was me, and the other person even didn't know it. I just realized that this is not the role model that I want to be for my kids, so I started my own journey to fix this. Here are some ways you can do it, too:
1. Gratitude post of the week
This became a real tradition for me! At the end of the week, I wrote a post on social media highlighting all the things that I am grateful for. Especially as entrepreneurs, we so often focus on and stress about things that need to be done, but this allowed me to focus on the real important things — my family, health and the positive relationships around me. Switching your focus from the negative to the positive things in your life should be an integrated habit in your life! By the way, this not only feels very good, but it is also a great way to stay in touch with the people I have positive relationships with because I am tagging them all, and they see my posts!
2. Realize the effect anger has on your body and health
Anger is a natural emotion, but it can also have long-term side effects on our mental and physical health. Some of the short and long-term health problems that have been linked to unmanaged anger include:
High blood pressure
When I read this list of potential issues for the first time, I just thought, "do I really want to risk any of this because of a neighbor?" So, ask yourself what you're getting from the situations that make you angry. In most cases, you get nothing.
3. Ask yourself: Where is this anger coming from?
Oftentimes these strong feelings are coming from past experiences or experiences in our childhood. In my case, I repeated the fifth grade in my school, and it was a very intense experience. I had no real friends and failed in almost all subjects. At that time, I was criticized heavily and struggled when people made fun of me. To some degree, I overcompensated for this and reacted emotionally whenever I had a negative experience with someone (like the neighbor I mentioned earlier).
So, think about where your anger may be coming from and what it may be rooted in. Analyzing and understanding your anger can help you manage it better. I also realized that anger is an important part of our emotional intelligence because it helps us to know when something in our life needs to change.
Related: What Anger Says About You
4. Set things in perspective
Are you going to think about this situation in 10 years? Am I going to think about my stupid neighbor in the year 2032? Hell no! Who cares? We have plans to move to a cooler city and take cool trips, so who cares about this old guy? Setting situations in perspective like this helped me to think differently and let go of some of my anger.
5. Get professional help, and forgive
If you're at a point where you feel like your anger is out of control or that it's putting a real damper on your life and relationships, it would be a good idea to seek professional help. Qualified professionals can help you develop the skills and mindsets you need to manage these emotions.
It's also important to practice forgiveness as you navigate your anger. I am a big fan of Dr. Wayne Dyer, who has written many best-selling books on psychology. He is also called the father of motivation. His main message in all his books is this idea of forgiving not only other people but also yourself for the things that may have happened as a result of your anger. At the same time, it's important to embrace the moment and live a life of growth. So, try to forgive anyone who is causing you to be angry, and then move on by focusing on your personal growth.
6. Write about it, and share your experience
I wouldn't give my neighbor credit for it, but writing about this situation has helped me in many ways, and it also led to this article. Anger within neighbors is a common thing, and many people can relate to this, so why not share my experience and write about it? Taking the time to write about your experiences can help you feel more in control of your emotions. And sharing your experiences gives you the opportunity to receive (and give) advice, helping you and others feel less alone. Where can you publish and share your own experience?
7. Talk about it
Find someone you trust with whom you can speak about such experiences. In my case, it is my wife. When we speak about these situations, we find a solution together. Most often, my wife gives me ideas to focus on and execute. So, find someone you can talk with. Speaking with someone else about a struggle is better than thinking about the struggle alone in your head.
Even with the best plan, sometimes old habits come back. Just be gentle with yourself, and remember this is a marathon and not a sprint. It takes time, and maybe you need two or more rounds to work on yourself before it really works out for you.
Just remind yourself always that there is a reason why you feel this strong emotion. Asking the "why" question is critical and helps you to dig deep into your past. Finding the true reason and accepting this helps you to overcome the situation. Focusing on your personal growth will not only make you more self-confident but will also help you grow in your professional relationships.