Learn to Defuse Anger So You Can Chillax + Sleep

A great read for gals of all ages.
A great read for gals of all ages.

I’m not even remotely proud of this, but I got so enraged by a business call earlier this week that it destroyed two entire nights’ sleep.

Given that I already have major slumber issues, and anxiety that ebbs and flows depending on my work load, it wasn’t a total shock that this could happen. Still, I feel really sad that a single conversation could send me so fully over the edge that I was left with no choice but to hit the Xanax.

I’ve blogged about this before – several times, in fact – but Xanax is horrible for you.

Well, it’s all the “benzos,” really. I just happen to take Xanax. They’re ultra habit-forming and Harvard Medical School even recently linked them to Alzheimer’s.

I don’t want Alzheimer’s. And I don’t want to lay awake seething because of a single, stupid phone call.

So I’m putting together these anger-management tips for myself and all the other Mama Ragers out there. The hope is that we can learn to defuse it enough so we can at least get some shut-eye.

FYI, my sources for this little listicle were:

This piece from the Mayo Clinic website

This massive anger-management section from the American Psychological Association website

This piece on the links between anger, stress and anxiety from the U.K. National Health Service

On y va. Allons-y. Let’s go!


1. Cool off, then express yourself in straightforward terms. The trick here is in the timing; you want to address the situation while it’s still fresh in everyone’s mind, but you also need to be sure that you can communicate calmly. Try to remember that if you go ballistic, you’ll end up getting more angry, not less. Not to mention the fact that you could easily destroy a relationship if you’re not careful.

2. Go running. Or do something else of an intensely physical, heart-pounding nature. Kick-boxing? Soul Cycle? The goal is to get an endorphin fix; a casual stroll around the block ain’t gonna cut it.

3. Build your toolbox of on-the-spot relaxation techniques. These can include deep breathing, visualization, even repeating a goofy mini mantra to yourself, à la: “I’m in control of my emotions,” or, my fave, “I’m not letting this bitch throw me off my game.” Lol…I’m a monster when I’m pissed.

4. Deploy what shrinks call “cognitive restructuring.” Essentially, this is just positive self-talk and re-framing a situation in less the-end-is-near terms. For example, rather than saying to yourself: “This is the biggest nightmare project I’ve ever worked on in my entire life,” reframe it to a more reasonable: “Yes, this is baaaaad. But it will be over and out of my life on June 15.” In my Momover book, I wrote an entire chapter on positive self-talk and re-framing. But did I remember all that this week? No. No, I did not.

5. Recognize that anger is often anxiety in disguise. This is a deeper idea, and will take more explanation than I have time to do right this minute. But I promise to come back to it, because it’s important. Hubby is rushing me out the door for an impromptu date night, and after the week I’ve had, I desperately need to chillax.

TGIF, my lovelies!

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