Recently, I have found myself in extremely intense situations where I completely lost my cool. I RAGED. I had gotten so angry I felt like I needed to destroy the things around me or else my raw anger would destroy me from the inside out. Speaking with my counsellor about my easily triggered rage, we discussed personal methods both to prevent my outbursts and how to deescalate my raging tantrums. Below, I mention a couple rage prevention and rage de-escalation methods.
How to Prevent a Rage Outburst
1. Get away from the source of your anger.
Whether it’s a person or something inanimate, just get away from it. For example, I thought I had failed a class so I just stared at my grade in desperation and let the feelings build up. Yeah, that wasn’t good AT ALL. I kept thinking about how incapable I was in the subject and then it escalated further into nearly complete self-loathing. The best thing to do is not to dwell too hard on it, which may be easier said than done.
2. Avoid involving yourself in situations that upset you.
A good way to avoid becoming upset is to avoid situations or conversations that are known to upset you. While there are certainly some situations that are hard to avoid, never feel that you can’t say that you’re uncomfortable. Your feelings should be valued in any circumstance so even if you feel uncomfortable saying ‘I’m uncomfortable’, summon the courage to say it and I can assure you that you will feel better. And if someone gets upset with you for stating your feelings, surround yourself with other people or avoid those types of people altogether.
How to De-escalate a Rage Outburst
1. Distract yourself.
Once I realized how quickly I was becoming upset over thinking that I failed another university class, I decided to make myself some tea and watch anime. I watched anime and youtube videos to help distract myself from the impending self-loathing that would have suffocated me. I know finding a distraction is easier said than done, but, sometimes, it helps direct the negative energy away from yourself and into whatever else you can invest yourself on.
2. Focus on thinking about how it won’t hurt as much later on.
In order to calm myself down, I think about all the other hard experiences I’ve dealt with thus far into my life and how I made it past all of them. While some past experiences feel trivial, others still cause a bit of pain, but much less so than before due to time. I use this type of thinking as a healthy way to branch my thoughts from being purely destructive.
3. Punch your pillows or stuffed animals.
Although cruel to your favourite stuffed friends, it does help dispel some of that intense energy. It’s a physically active way to relieve any type of stress or frustrations and you don’t inflict damage upon anything or yourself.
4. Train yourself to think of positive methods to better your circumstances.
As soon as I felt myself being swallowed by my own self-hatred, I thought of alternative outcomes than just sitting back and letting myself drown it. In regards to my potentially failed grade, I decided to reach out to the instructor for guidance as a way to tell myself: “Even though this may be a failed grade, at least you tried to change the present circumstance.” The outcome with the least regrets is always the most desirable outcome. I understand very well that this may be a difficult trait to adopt, but it truly helps. Continuously trying to change a pessimistic way of thinking will never be a bad thing.
To everyone who deals with moments of rage or pure anger, I hope we all adopt healthy manners of dispelling our emotions to protect others and, most importantly, ourselves.