Today’s Solutions: April 19, 2024

Ever had one of those moments where your temper got the best of you, and you ended up unleashing your inner Hulk? We’ve all been there – a moment of explosive anger that leaves us with lingering guilt and regret. Losing our temper is a part of being human, but the aftermath doesn’t have to be a downward spiral. In this guide, we’ll explore expert advice on how to navigate the aftermath of an angry outburst, offering practical solutions that will help you learn and mature emotionally.

Physically remove yourself

So, you’ve just dropped a verbal bomb, and you can cut the tension in the room with a knife. Anita Avedian, LMFT, suggests hitting pause before attempting damage control. “Step away before attempting to problem-solve,” she advises. “It’s actually more helpful to step away before attempting to problem-solve.” 

Taking a breather allows emotions to cool down, preventing further regrettable actions. Whether it’s a walk around the block or a quiet moment in your car, distancing yourself provides clarity and a chance to reset.

Deep breathing exercises

When anger takes hold, try a simple diaphragmatic breathing exercise. Jelena Kecmanovic, PhD, recommends breathing through your belly, not your chest. It’s not a magic trick, but it does wonders. As you inhale and exhale, you’re not just exhaling stress; you’re bidding adieu to lingering guilt and anxiety. As Dr. Kecmanovic notes, “When your mind isn’t clouded by intense emotions, you’ll think more clearly and act more effectively.”

Recognize guilt as a positive sign

Feeling guilty about your outburst isn’t necessarily a bad thing; it’s a signal that your moral compass is intact. Dr. Kecmanovic adds a touch of wisdom, saying, “That initial guilt is a subtle acknowledgment that you know you should’ve handled your anger better.” It signifies self-awareness and caring for others. Instead of dwelling on guilt, use it as a catalyst for positive change.

Be specific while apologizing

Apologizing is an art form, and Anita Avedian insists on mastering it. “Be specific and avoid generic apologies,” she recommends. So, instead of a lackluster “I messed up,” go for the gold with, “I’m sorry I raised my voice. I shouldn’t have unleashed my inner drama queen.” Add a sprinkle of commitment to improvement, like, “I’ll make an effort to manage my emotions better to avoid hurting you in the future.”

Learn and grow

Rather than replaying the angry outburst repeatedly, turn it into a learning experience. Avedian suggests focusing on the future by considering how you’ll handle anger differently next time. Take a moment to reflect on what triggered the outburst and formulate a plan. Use “I” statements to express your feelings without blaming others, fostering better communication.

Owning up to a fiery fit may be uncomfortable, but it’s a crucial step in moving forward. By acknowledging and reflecting on what happened, you can pave the way for personal growth and prevent future eruptions. Embrace the discomfort, sprinkle it with a pinch of humor, and move forward. Remember, as you navigate the aftermath of an angry outburst, every misstep is an opportunity for positive change.

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