Anger Uses Time, Energy and Thought

By Jackie Saulmon Ramirez | August 13, 2014

Your angry emotions are speaking when you scream, “You are grounded for a month!”

Shopping for a vehicle when you are in a hurry is risky business. Driving 65 mph in a school zone is tempting fate. Pushing firefighters aside to run into a burning building is just plain folly. Then why would anyone discipline a child when upset, angry or in a hurry?

“Anger blows out the lamp of the mind.” ~Robert Green Ingersoll

Calming yourself down when you are angry may not be easy but is necessary for your health and for those who are close to you. When parents discipline children while angry the resulting punishment will probably be much harsher than needed. Harsh punishment often fails to teach the needed lesson and is therefore ineffective. Excessively harsh discipline can cause children to rebel, thus undermining any teaching goal.

“No man can think clearly when his fists are clenched.” ~George Jean Nathan

• Counting. Count up to 100 by twos, then threes if needed.
• Step outdoors. In winter a chilly blast may just be the answer. Take a brisk walk. Walk or jog the perimeter of your property, apartment complex or around the block.
• Pound nails. Don’t announce that you are taking a walk because you are angry, just go. Walk to your tool shed and pound a few nails into a piece of scrap wood then remove them from the wood next time.
• Go up or down stairs. Something is always headed up or down; take laundry to the basement or carry supplies upstairs. The exertion causes increased breathing: inhale… exhale… repeat.

“Anger is one letter short of danger.” ~Author Unknown

You can always apologize and say you were angry but you can never take back those hurtful words.

• Bounce a ball. Tossing a ball from hand to hand or just squeezing is good exercise.
• Breathe deeply. Inhale to the count of two; exhale to the count of four. Doing this increases the exchange of gasses in your lungs and the focus may help cool anger.
• Repot a plant. Spending a few minutes upgrading a favorite plant can be beneficial. Watch for garage and clearance sales for larger pots.
• Try yoga. Go to YouTube and yoga your heart out! Yoga is relaxing and can be tailored to novices, beginners or experts.

“Sometimes when I’m angry I have the right to be angry, but that doesn’t give me the right to be cruel.” ~Author Unknown

• Write it out. Scribble your feelings in a journal, see if a pattern emerges. Start a free blog and write about your experiences.
• Just vent. Make a call to a toll-free helpline and empty your gut for ten minutes.
• Read aloud. The Declaration of Independence, the Bible or even a dictionary can help change your focus until rational thinking returns.
• Drink water. Guzzling eight ounces of water may give you the time you need to take a step back from the situation and calm down.

“Temper tantrums, however fun they may be to throw, rarely solve whatever problem is causing them.” ~Lemony Snicket

Even after a parent loses control, kids still look for acceptance because they only want to please parents.

• Drown it out. Plug into earphones and listen to a portable radio or music.
• Reach for the stars. Simple stretching can loosen tense muscles and enable better breathing.
• Increase distance. Move in a direction away from the source of your anger.
• Palms down. Stand by a sturdy table and press your hands flat; move the fingers apart, then together, repeat.
• Go nowhere. Sit in your vehicle with the motor off and listen to the radio, recorded book or even yell.

“It is wise to direct your anger towards problems— not people; to focus your energies on answers— not excuses.” ~William Arthur Ward

• Identify the problem. Problems have a way of popping up time and again but identifying the actual problem is the first step to finding a solution.
• Troubleshoot to solve. Once identified, list possible solutions or compromises.
• Name your feelings. Label your feeling to clarify.
• Use “I” messages. Have your say in a respectful manner.

“Anger in itself is not a bad emotion it’s what you do with it that counts.” ~Tinker

• Listen to others. First seek to understand, and then to be understood: Ask questions and repeat what you are hearing.
• Note anger triggers. Find the spark and head off the next episode by putting a plan in place while you are calm.
• Look for help. There are many options out there for professional help: therapy, counseling, anger management or clergy. Like Parents Anonymous says, “Asking for help is a sign of strength.”

“Do not teach your children never to be angry; teach them how to be angry.” ~Lyman Abbott

Repetitive outburst of anger over time can result in rebellion and mental health issues in children.

Before I had a handle on my anger there were times when I slammed doors or kicked and threw things but none of those actions ever solved any of the problems that created the episodes. I learned that my anger/rage had many sources: My husband listening to talk radio, things I forgot, letting people take advantage of me and so on. My husband had a love affair with talk radio and would come home mad as a bear and we would end up in a fight over something that had nothing to do with either of us. In time I was able to get him to see how talk radio was the problem. I also learned to change the way I responded to others to prevent blowups before they occurred. In each instance it was a matter of identifying the problem and devising a fix, one problem at a time.

Anger uses up an enormous amount of energy and there are other more enjoyable things I would rather spend my time doing. Other than be angry, what would you rather do?

PHOTO CREDIT: Courtesy of Melissa Segal Under Flicker/CC License.
PHOTO CREDIT: Courtesy of Andy Under Flicker/CC License.
PHOTO CREDIT: Courtesy of Lotus Carroll Under Flicker/CC License.
PHOTO CREDIT: Courtesy of Leo Hidalgo Under Flicker/CC License.

Copyright © 2014 Jackie Saulmon Ramirez. All Rights Reserved.

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About Jackie Saulmon Ramirez

Jackie has volunteered for more than twenty years for children and family issues. Currently she writes for parents in the "Reminder" and "Parent Rap" Facebook page. If you are interested in receiving the "Reminder," send her a message.
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17 Responses to Anger Uses Time, Energy and Thought

  1. tric says:

    Wow this was a really great post. Full of good sense and tips that can be remembered. Myself i keep thinking ‘anger is one letter short of danger’ and ‘Do not teach your children never to be angry, teach them how to be angry’.


    • Jackie Saulmon Ramirez says:

      Thank you, Tric. My girls learned both ways to be angry and I hope they use anger productively. I learned both from my mother too; I preferred her doing carpentry or gardening rather than abusing me. Thank you again for your comment.


  2. stellingsma2010 says:

    like this post …..i have a new born (3 months old ) and a stepson age 11 and puberty on the way ….anger ….yeah i know all about that i use meditation too relax myself cast out all angry thoughts,and think , and then some more …..great work 🙂


    • Jackie Saulmon Ramirez says:

      Augh! Puberty… fasten your belt, it’s going to be a bumpy ride! I am teasing… If your son doesn’t behave like other boys his age I would be concerned. Oh my, a new baby, that is wonderful! You are at that wonderful time when you can change all those not-so-good parenting choices your parents made to create a perfect little being. ❤ Bless your little one!


      • stellingsma2010 says:

        thank you so much ….yeah i can make a change and give him what i didn’t get a mother and a father ,security,love,and no worries 🙂


      • Jackie Saulmon Ramirez says:

        Focusing on outcome can sometimes mean giving our children what we did not get from our own parents. As for myself, I was happy to not damage their self esteem with my words or to abuse them like my parents abused me. Thank you for your comment. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Good one. I just read usually. Sometimes I write.


    • Jackie Saulmon Ramirez says:

      Thank you so much! Reading and writing are great ways to soothe anger. I am truly envious of people who manage anger well.


  4. thanks Jackie, I try to step back and breathe deeply!


  5. DarcSunshine says:

    Great post!


  6. DarcSunshine says:

    Reblogged this on Youth Of A Nation:Bent not Broke and commented:
    In times of great stress or adversity, it’s always best to keep busy, to plow your anger and your energy into something positive.
    Lee Iacocca


    • Jackie Saulmon Ramirez says:

      You got the point. I’ve always found I could get more housework done quicker when I was angry. Thank you for sharing this.


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