How to Let Go of Anger and Stay Calm in Difficult Situations
No matter how hard we may try, there are so many of us who find ourselves finding it impossible to let go of anger. Whether it comes from stress, personal relationships or professional challenges, it can be difficult to avoid feelings of anger all together.
Anger is an emotion—while it can be an intense one—it is a natural emotion that many people feel. It is OK to feel angry, but you need to know how to let go of that anger when it creeps up on you so that you can stay calm in difficult situations and so you don’t let your emotions get the best of you.
Being able to do this will require a great deal of focus, practice and patience, but with some time, you can learn how to let go of the anger that holds you back and to start having more control when difficult situations come your way.
What Anger Can Do To You
There are many people out there who live in a constant or perpetual state of anger—and the worst part is, they may not even realize what this anger is doing to them. When left unattended, boiling feelings of anger and resentment can impact your relationships, your professional reputation and your health.
People who constantly feel a sense of anger are more likely to be overly stressed, have high blood pressure, suffer from insomnia and even deal with feeling of depression. The anger that you hold on to can take a toll on your mental state and on your body if you aren’t careful—which is why you need to learn how to let go of that anger and to learn how to embrace the calm.
Tips to Let Go of Anger
Ready to let go of your anger? There is nothing better for your peace of mind—and these tips for letting go can really help you learn how to stay calm and Zen when anger-provoking situations present themselves.
1. Identify the Cause of Your Anger and Let it Go
When something comes your way that would cause you to be angry—the best thing you can do is to identify the situation, note the expectation you had for the situation, be aware of what didn’t go as expected and what caused your feelings of anger—and then let it go!
It is really quite a simple process and it is one that will give you a feeling of power of the difficult situations that come your way. Here is an example:
Say you were supposed to leave work at 5 PM to go meet your friends for dinner, but your boss has told you that you now need to stay until 7 PM. Here’s how to use this approach to handle it.
- Identify that your boss needs you to stay and work later because it is your job and you have a responsibility.
- Note that you expected to leave at 5 PM so you could have fun.
- Be aware of the fact that you will not be able to go to dinner, for a reason.
- Let go of that expectation of being let off early—and know that there is nothing you can do to change this situation.
Remember, being angry won’t change facts, it will only cause you to feel worse.
2. Pay Attention to How Your Body is Reacting
Next time you feel angry, pay attention to your body and what it is doing when you are in this mental state. It is easy to forget how connected our minds and bodies are. Chances are, you are stiff tense and filled with negative energy.
Take a deep breath in and out. Loosen your muscles, release the tension in your face and let go of that tight grip. You may not be able to control the anger in your mind first, but you can control the anger in your body—and if your body is able to loosen up, your mind will eventually follow.
If you have never meditated before, there is no better reason to start with this practice than to learn how to gain control of your anger. Meditation is such a powerful tool for bringing peace of mind, and the best part about meditation is that it is even powerful enough to help you quell anger.
While you may not be able to stop and start meditating every time a difficult situation or anger-provoking scenario comes your way, there are ways that you can incorporate meditation into your life so that you stop feeling such overwhelming anger in these situations.
All you need is 10-15 minutes a day of regular, focused, mindful meditation. It will teach you to be more in tune with your mind and body to have more control and to feel more at ease when challenges come your way. Start meditating regularly and you will be surprised how much less anger starts creeping into your life.
4. Understand, Have Compassion and Forgive
Learning to let go of anger really all comes down to perspective. If you find yourself starting to get angry—remember it typically comes from a lack of understanding.
Take a moment to try to understand the other side of the equation, and to understand why this difficult situation is coming your way. If there is a person causing this anger, try to be compassionate for their situation and for where they are coming from instead of responding with anger.
If the anger runs deep, because hurt is running deep, practice the art of forgiveness. If you can truly forgive someone who has caused you to feel anger, you will be surprised by the feeling of calm that will wash over you once you let go of your resentment.
Anger is a difficult emotion and one that often gets the best of many of us. There is nothing that you can do to prevent difficult situations from coming your way—but there are things that you can do to learn how to control anger when difficult obstacles arise and to stay calm no matter what challenges life brings you.