How to Calm Down When You’re Seeing Red


It’s so easy to just get angry, but it’s also so very wasteful. I feel like I have spent most of my life being angry. Just think what could’ve been accomplished if I turned all that energy towards something more productive. I might have that novel down by now. I could be 50 pounds lighter. I could be happy.

So something has happened that has lit your very-short fuse, and now you can feel yourself about to explode. How do you stop it? How can you maintain it? Well, here are some tips I’ve learned that, if followed, do help. It’s just a matter of, you know, following them.

  • Whatever you do, don’t rant on social media. This will help you get over your anger quicker. If you post a Facebook status about it, every time someone comments, you’ll be reminded of how angry you were and you’ll be right back where you started. Stay off of social media with your problems.
  • Listen to music. Music actually does help with moods, just make sure you’re listening to the right stuff. Listening to heavy metal or Eminem won’t help your cause, but some Beethoven and some Norah Jones might. If there’s a song that makes you smile every time you listen to it, throw that on (Mine is Leavin’ by Jesse McCartney. Don’t ask questions.).
  • “It’s just soup.” Put the situation into context. Should you really get this angry about someone stealing your food from the work fridge? Sure, it’s inconvenient, but if you believe in karma (and I certainly do), they’ll get what’s coming to them. You just need to make sure you don’t waste your time and energy on a problem this small.
  • Put your energy into something constructive. Angry workouts are literally the best. Personally, I like angry batting cages. Find something to physically expend your energy into, and if that’s not your taste, make some art. Write a song. Paint angry slashes. Write a poem. Collage some shit. Title your work, “Leftover Soup”.
  • Anger Prevention. If you know something will make you angry, why are you still doing it? Take precautions. If you know of a fridge where no food gets stolen, use that one. Bring your “happy mix” cd for when you get stuck in traffic. Always carry that backup pair of shoes for when yours stop being comfortable. Whatever it is that makes you angry, find a way around that.
  • Rant to a friend. When all else fails, tell a friend. Tell only one friend. Let loose and drop f-bombs and just go raw into your rant. When you’re done, let it go.

These are all nice things to say, but sometimes, there will be situations where you want to feel angry, you feel justified in your anger. Sometimes, these won’t work for you because you won’t let them work. You want to dwell in that feeling.

A friend of mine once told me that people can get addicted to feeling certain emotions. I’m pretty sure mine is anger, so I know how sometimes, you just want to be angry. It’s okay to be mad sometimes, but all the time? Put your anger in context. Don’t be the woman who cried volcano. That way, when you do explode, people will be more likely to take your outrage seriously.


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