How often do you get angry? Now how often do you get angry for the right reason? I’d be willing to bet you that that second number is lower than the first. And I’d also bet that this third question will yield an even lower number: How often do you handle your anger the right way? I want to discuss anger and, more specifically, being angry because I feel like it’s something that plenty of people know how to do all too well, while some don’t know how to do it well enough. Yes, some don’t know well enough how to be angry.
First and most important — it is totally OK to get angry. Some people like to think that it’s healthy for a good mental attitude to never get angry. Maybe they meditated and came to an epiphany or maybe they have just been around too many angry friends or family members, but the end result is that they now don’t get angry. This is not healthy at all. Being angry is a way to release stress and frustration instead of bottling that stuff up. The key is to be angry for the right reasons and to express and release it the right ways. One possibility is to buy a journal and before you go to sleep, write down what made you angry and why it made you angry. Really focus on the “why” part of that. It’s important to know exactly why something angered you so that if you choose to confront the person or the situation, you can explain exactly why it bothered you. This is far more constructive than just telling someone that they ticked you off by doing something bad and then leaving it at that. Even if you choose not to confront the person or situation, it is important to know exactly why that something angered you. The better you get to know yourself, the better a person you can learn to be.
Second: It’s OK to get angry, but it is not OK to stay angry. When you stay angry for too long, it tends to find a way to manifest itself into something much more serious than it needs to be. Think of it of a belated or delayed overreaction — instead of overreacting right away, you keep it in, stay angry, continue thinking about it, and then before you know it, you’ve become much angrier and agitated than you need to be. Along with this is that if you keep thinking about anything for a long enough time, it starts to lose its basic meaning because you start over-thinking it and psyching yourself out.
Tying onto the end of my second is my third and final point to bring up. Try to keep you anger focused on what angered you in the first place. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen a friend, lover, or family member get angry about something and then somehow find a way to tie and anger into a multitude of other little mishaps which have no relationship to the original trigger. It’s not fair for everyone involved to have to put up with you when you get mad at every little thing just because something royally ticked you off yesterday or earlier that morning.
I’m no saint and I’m guilty of all of this. This is partly why I can write this with completely confidence in the validity of the advice that I am giving. I have also witnessed all of this many times as I’m sure some of you have as well. So just remember, it’s OK to get angry, but keep it short-lived and on point. Don’t let your anger over stay its welcome and keep it focused on just that one instance. All of this just boils down to this: Try to keep a level head when something really just strikes a wrong nerve with you. By keeping rational you can avoid plenty of unnecessary arguments and hurt feelings.