Anger is a universal emotion, but for many widows it is still an misunderstood emotion.
We are socialized to believe that nice girls don’t get angry, so issues never get resolved because they never come out in the open.
Over time, simmering anger can cause a host of physical symptoms from headaches to depression and even heart attacks.
Venting your anger is not an answer to your problem either. Studies show that people who focus and vent their anger may actually be increasing it. So, what is the answer?
First, realize that anger, like all emotions, is neither good nor bad; and it is only harmful when acted out violently. You can manger your anger in a healthy way.
Here are a few techniques to help you:
- Keep an anger journal, mentally retrace each day and jot down any conflict situations. What were you thinking about as you felt your anger growing?
- Decide who owns the problem. Is this your problem, their problem or no real problem (as in you can live with it).
- Release your emotions before they blow up. Breathe deeply from the diaphragm and you’ll feel better almost immediately. Walk fast, even if it is just to the next room and back, because rapid movement reduces adrenaline.
- Practice, “feedback listening”. When an argument is building, instead of just waiting for your turn to talk, listen. Feedback listening promotes empathy, the act of hearing from another person’s view point.
- Avoid blame. Many widows repress their needs until resentment builds up and they explode with lots of blame and “shoulds”. When an argument arises, avoid starting sentences with “you”, which can sound accusatory.
- Don’t hold a grudge. Once you’ve dealt with the conflict, release the anger that was around it. For your sake – let it go.