Anger: What You Can Do

Anger affects our health and parenting in negative ways and inner calmness is what we all crave.

By Jackie Saulmon Ramirez | February 11, 2015

Anger can steal your peace of mind and add untold stress to our lives.

There are many things I would not do when I am angry: Drive a car, answer the phone, make a financial decision, send a letter, comment on something in Facebook and so on. Like some people, I cannot think clearly when I am angry – I need to calm down.

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

Calming down when you are angry may not be easy but is necessary for yourself and everyone around you. Here are a few tips you might try:

Meditation and yoga are just two excellent ways to calm your mood and find peace of mind.

  • Counting. Count up to 100 by twos, then threes until calm.
    Step outdoors. Winter chills may just be the answer.
    Pound nails. Walk to your tool shed and pound a few nails into a piece of scrap wood or wooden fence. Remove them from the wood the next time anger rises.
    Take a brisk walk. Walk or jog the perimeter of your property, apartment complex or around the block.
    Go up or down stairs. Something is always headed up or down; take laundry to the basement or carry supplies upstairs.
    Bounce a ball. Toss a ball from hand to hand or just squeeze – it 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 focusing on breathing may help cool anger.
    Repot a plant. Spending a few minutes upgrading a favorite plant can be beneficial.
    Try yoga. Google “Beginner Yoga Poses” and take your time.
    Write. Jot down your feelings of anger in a journal, see if a pattern emerges. Start a free blog and write about your experiences.
    Pray. Start a daily prayer list and add the names of those you feel need blessings or divine intervention.
    Vent. Make a call to a toll-free helpline and talk for ten minutes or bend the ear of a sympathetic friend.
    Read aloud. The Declaration of Independence, the Bible or 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.
    Meditate. Think about how you want this situation to be resolved.
    Drown it out. Plug in to 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 cause 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 car with the motor off. Listen to the radio, music or a book read aloud.

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

Almost every community has helplines or warm lines where parents can talk or vent to discharge stress and let go of anger.

In many households, similar stress-producing problems tend to pop up over and over like clothing left on the floor, homework not turned in, messes not cleaned up or children fighting. These quick tips can help reduce stress and increase understanding:

Identify the problem. Identifying the problem is the first step to a solution.
Troubleshoot solutions. Once identified, list possible solutions or compromises.
Name your feelings. Label your feeling to clarify the issues.
Use “I” messages. Have your say in a respectful manner; look for answers, not to place blame.
Listen to others. Seek to understand others; you may not have all the facts in a situation.
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 available for professional help: therapy, counseling, anger management, clergy and so on. Like Parents Anonymous says, “Asking for help is a sign of strength.”

Imagine yourself looking ahead and see your future self behaving calmly while disciplining the kids and then work to become that all-wise, all-knowing June or Ward Cleaver. What you do now will have a ripple effect on you children and their behavior well into their teens.

Children learn how to behave from parents’ examples… What are you teaching your children?

PHOTO: Courtesy of Lauren Rushing Under Flicker/CC License.
PHOTO: Courtesy of Caleb Roenigk Under Flicker/CC License.
PHOTO: Courtesy of Martin Cathrae 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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9 Responses to Anger: What You Can Do

  1. saymber says:

    You probably saw this today and thought about it too….your suggestions are right on and I think if more parents to these things before confronting issues with their kids we might have less need of corporal discipline!


  2. saymber says:

    Reblogged this on As I see it and commented: – I like suggestions Jackie has here and I think if more people did things like this before addressing problems with their kids, discipline wouldn’t involve violence.


    • Jackie Saulmon Ramirez says:

      Yes, I saw that. And while I am not Catholic, I had a lot of respect for the man until now. He obviously does not know about people like me, that once we are in a rage there may be no stopping. I have known only a few like me, and in the other parents, what I saw and heard was scary for me. For me there was only one way for my children to be safe and that was for me to swear I would never hit one of them. I can promise parents that if they can wait to discipline kids until they are no longer angry, they will find there is no need to ever hit a child. I hope in my heart that Pope Francis will reconsider his suggestions to parents. We are to emulate Jesus; all Pope Francis needs to do is to envision Jesus whipping a child. Can you imagine that? Thank you for that. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  3. tric says:

    Learning to control anger I imagine is very difficult. I had a very angry child who thankfully has learned to stay on top of her anger. I can only imagine how she would have turned out without that knowledge.


    • Jackie Saulmon Ramirez says:

      Tric, my father and mother both were people who would become insanely angry often. My father would have a reason, usually grades or a forgotten chore. I saw him plow the driveway with his vehicles until the dust would cover the house like a cloud. But my mother… she never needed a reason at all and especially when she had her period. We lived in a rural area and neighbors ignored my screams; back then people didn’t want to hear. I swore that I would not do to my children what was done to me. Thank you for stopping by, Tric.


  4. jmsabbagh says:

    Great observations.Thank you for visiting my blog.Best regards.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Steven says:

    Ah, here you are. I was used to clicking on your name to find your blog. 🙂

    When I’m angry, that’s when the house gets scoured. I’m a generally happy person, so you might not want to visit at the moment. 🙂


    • Jackie Saulmon Ramirez says:

      Ha ha ha! That is funny! I used to clean, too, but I let my husband help now. Steven, you are one funny dude. 😀 Thank you for stopping by.


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