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5 Ways to Let Go of Anger and Live a Happier Life

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how to deal with anger

Someone once said, “Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die”. Anger destroys happiness, and letting go of anger and resentment is one of the main keys to living a happy life.

Listed below are several ways to let go of anger and start living a more peaceful, happy life:

1. Change negative thoughts to positive ones

Negative thoughts can fester in a person’s mind like open wounds, and the quickest way to get rid of them is to change them into positive thoughts. When you find yourself thinking negatively of a person or situation, try to seek out the silver lining. Look for the good in that person or situation, and focus on that.

Like it or not, our attitudes are the product of our thoughts adding up over time, and negative thoughts lead to anger and resentment. Positive thoughts, though, can at least lead to peaceful acceptance and tolerance, even if you never truly grow to like the person or situation itself.

According to the Mayo Clinic, “When your state of mind is generally optimistic, you’re better able to handle everyday stress in a more constructive way. That ability may contribute to the widely observed health benefits of positive thinking.” Start turning negative thoughts into positive ones, and you’ll find that anger and resentment (as well as the stress and unhappiness that they bring) are a lot less likely to form.

2. Let it all out

Self-help magazines, blogs, and books are filled with advice telling you how damaging it is to hold anger inside you, and they’re right. Anger and resentment never really goes away, it just builds and builds like pressure inside of a rocket until eventually it either explodes or severely damages your mental health and well-being.

The trouble is that people who hold back their anger most often do so because it feels like it’s the right thing to do. They don’t want to be confrontational or bothersome, and they may feel like bottling up their frustrations really is the best way to handle them.

In reality, though, bottling up your anger is one of the worst things you can do. While it’s not a good idea to lose your control, and you should certainly keep your temper in check, it’s important to vent from time to time.

Confront the things that are angering you head on, and say your peace. You’ll feel much better if you do.

“It is important that we forgive ourselves for making mistakes. We need to learn from our errors and move on.” – Steve Maraboli

3. Associate with positive people

We’re all a product of our surroundings. If you choose to associate with positive people, their optimism and positivity will wear off on you. If you choose to associate with negative people, though, their anger and resentment will inevitably wear off on you as well.

The motivational speaker and wildly successful entrepreneur Jim Rohn once said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with”. If this is true, which evidence certainly seems to suggest that it is, what does that average look like? Hopefully, the average created from the five people you spend most of your time with would be a positive one.

If, though, it would be one that harbors anger, resentment, and negativity, it might be healthy for you to reevaluate the people you associate with the most.

4. Focus on self-love

You are your own priority. At the end of the day, what everyone else does and says is outside of your control. People who are unable to recognize or accept this often find themselves trying to control and fix situations that are beyond them. When it doesn’t work out like they’d hoped, they become angry and resentful.

Instead, focus on the one thing you have control of: yourself. Rather than becoming angry at someone else, shift your attention inward.

What can you do to make yourself happy at this moment? As long as you don’t use it as a crutch, a little self-indulgence from time to time can go a long way.

5. Make a mental note not to add “hate” in the world

It’s a sad reality, but there’s an awful lot of hate in this world already. You don’t have to look very far to see instances of hate, resentment, and, in far too many cases, pure evil. It exists at national levels, cultural levels, and personal levels.

While we are working to change the hate that exists at larger levels such as national and cultural, we can also change the hate that exists at the personal level by refusing to add any more of it to the world ourselves.

By avoiding anger and resentment, we are doing our part to not only improve our own health and happiness, but also to make the world at large a better place. If just a small percentage of people on earth were to adopt this mindset, think how much better off the world would be?

Make a mental note to not add any more hate to the world through anger and resentment, and start making the world a better place one person at a time.

“It’s not an easy journey, to get to a place where you forgive people. But it is such a powerful place, because it frees you.” – Tyler Perry

Anger and resentment are two of the most harmful emotions a person can have. They are destructive not only to the person themselves, but also to everyone around them. Fortunately, we don’t have to be slaves to these emotions. Do everything you can to let go of any anger you might have, and start living a happier, healthier lifestyle.

How has letting go of anger improved your life? Please leave your thoughts below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

Kolyanne Russ is an Accounting Manager with CPA designation for one of the largest commercial real estate companies in North America. She is also a founder of Pinch of Attitude blog. It focuses on attitude-building, self-improvement, and lifestyle design to help people draw the right action plan and achieve a desirable balance between success and happiness. Her goal is to share her personal experiences as guidance for others to learn from and build the life of their dreams and experience true happiness in every area of their life. You can connect with her on Twitter @pinchofattitude.

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