5 Healthy Ways To Cope With Anger Or Frustration

young man thinking about anger

Many people in recovery have trouble regulating their emotions. After all, we live in a world that has a lot of natural ups and downs. As a result, life can be upsetting, frustrating and leave you feeling like you can’t cope. But those are just feelings! In recovery, you learn to live with your feelings and healthily express them.

Anger is a normal human emotion. You’re allowed to feel it. What you don’t have a right to do is hurt others because you feel angry. You don’t have a right to drive aggressively or mistreat your spouse.

If you’re angry, you don’t have to act out in anger.

5 Ways to Cope With Anger

Instead of freaking out when you’re angry, give yourself a minute. Coping skills don’t just naturally appear overnight; they must be practiced. By stepping away from a situation when you’re angry, you give yourself time to react.

Take a deep breath, then try one of the following:

  1. Go for a walk and practice mindfulness. Mindfulness is a type of meditation that can help calm anxiety, relax stress, and put you in a better mood. Youtube has a lot of videos you can check out or check your phone’s app store.
  2. Take a quick jog or bike. Getting moving can help calm your anger and fill your brain and body with the feel-good hormone, endorphins.
  3. Vent in a journal. If you don’t like to write, draw your feelings. These are private thoughts you don’t have to share with anyone. But once you’ve vented your emotions on paper, make a vow to leave them there for the rest of the day.
  4. If you’re in an argument, ask the other person to give you time to cool off. Then, sit down with your sponsor and plan what you’re going to say. Remember that each of you has the right to your own feelings. Try to look for solutions to the problem, not get “revenge.”
  5. Accept that sometimes you’re going to be angry. Sometimes life isn’t fair. Working on acceptance is a part of recovery; not everything will go your way all of the time. Talk to your sponsor about acceptance. Learn and practice the serenity prayer. And if things get complicated, take yourself to a 12-step meeting. There are plenty of people to reach out to and learn from there!

Consider Sober Housing

If you or somebody you love are looking for structured, compassionate aftercare, we’re here to help. Our community offers independence as well as structured therapy. Learn more about what we have to offer by calling us at 760-216-2077.

For people in recovery, coping skills can be a significant challenge. Unfortunately, when you were in active addiction, these skills may have been in short supply.

After all, when you were sad, you probably got high or drunk. When you were angry, you probably got high or drunk. When you felt lonely, happy, confused, or lost…you probably got high or drunk, if it was an option. When you get sober, you learn that you don’t have the best coping skills. Discovering new ones will be a lifelong process. But there are some you can try on for size right away. So what are some good ones to practice?

New Coping Skills To Try On For Size

Not every coping skill works for every emotion. Here are some ones to try on for size. If they don’t work for you, you can always try another one, instead. Keep what you need and leave the rest.

  • When you’re angry: Go for a walk or a jog. If you don’t like that type of exercise, choose something like bicycling, surfing, or shadowboxing. Exercise can release calming hormones that also provide a mood boost.
  • When you’re sad: Permit yourself to cry. Then, listen to sad music for 10 minutes, and let it all out. Or, pick up the phone and call somebody in your recovery network to talk it out.
  • When you’re lonely: Send somebody a text message or get yourself to a 12-step meeting, pronto. People are the cure for loneliness. Yes, you can feel lonely in a room full of people. But, if you share that pain, it often is lessened.
  • When you’re happy/excited/proud: Believe it or not, your coping skills for celebrating may not be the best! Many people use good news as a reason to use substances. Instead, make a date with a friend or your sponsor to go out for ice cream. Share your good news with friends in recovery. Happiness multiplies when it’s shared.
  • When you feel like getting high/drunk: Call somebody who doesn’t, and make arrangements to get to a 12-step meeting. Share about how you feel, don’t hold it inside. The feeling will pass, but keeping it secret can be dangerous to your mental health.

Consider Sober Living

Are you or somebody you love interested in a living situation that offers structure and aftercare? Sober living may be the right decision for you. Learn more about your options by calling us at 760-216-2077.

GET CONFIDENTIAL HELP


phone-handsetmenuchevron-down linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram