If you’ve spent any time reading or scrolling through social media during the past four weeks, you’ve likely found something that has made you incredibly angry. It’s a tough to have to manage our emotions throughout any presidential campaign, and this one feels especially challenging for many. Feelings of high-intensity anger (and anxiety) can your ruin day if you allow it to, however. Here are some tips to help you ease some of that election anger:
Tip #1 to Ease Election Anger — Find Your "Happy Place"
What is something you do that puts you into that “happy place”? When experiencing anger, seek out experiences that bring you joy. Even repeating a phrase that can bring you back to center can be helpful. Any word or sentence that brings you a sense of peace, such as “relax,” “breath,” “joy.” Saying these words repeatedly in a slow, soft tone can ease tension and feelings of anger. Some other ideas might include:
Taking a shower or bath
Getting a workout
Going out to enjoy nature
Listen to good music
Playing with a pet
Tip #2 to Ease Election Anger — Change Your Thinking
When we get angry, we tend to dwell on what has gone wrong and we ruminate or “stew” on it. That, in turn, increases the experience with anger. Instead of doing that, try to change the way that you think about the experience. Using reason, or getting into our logic brain, will often defeat an irrational anger experience. Try asking yourself this question: “Am I capable and strong enough to get past what is making me angry?” While what is making you angry may indeed be justified, once you realize that you will survive this bit of bad news, you will feel more secure in yourself and be able to quickly move yourself to a place of calm.
Tip #3 to Ease Election Anger — Do Something Silly
I seriously want you to get silly. Or, in other words, play. Do something that just feels funny or out of the ordinary. If you currently working from home and you get hit by something that makes you angry, crank up the music and start dancing. Or get on the floor and start wrestling with your dog. If you are using your vocabulary and calling someone a negative term, such as “dirt bag,” start imagining or picturing that person as a little bag of dirt with a face and legs. Or if other people are feeling morally inferior to yourself, perhaps imagine yourself as a god or goddess smiting the inferior beings.
The goal is to not increase sarcasm or hurtful behavior, but rather to experience yourself not taking all of the things quite as seriously. If you are feeling superior, perhaps you are placing unreasonable and unreachable expectations upon others. If you are being hurtful or sarcastic, perhaps you can draw a picture of what you might look like to others.
Be silly. Enjoy an experience. Be open to learn more about yourself and grow from it.
No one enjoys having an experience with intense anger. The feeling of being out of control can cause emotions and behaviors that really do not serve us or other people well. Productive conversations or interactions are rarely the result of anger. Following these three tips may help you to being happier, healthier, and far more at peace with what is happening in your day.
Wellspace Counseling is located in Tualatin, Oregon and serves Tualatin, Lake Oswego, Tigard, and the Greater Portland Metro Area. To find more information about Wellspace Counseling, visit the at www.wellspacepdx.com.