For many of us divorces and the breakdown of relationships have become a part of our everyday life. Recent reports have shown that divorce rates have recently risen. It means that one in three marriages now breaks down by the 15th anniversary, compared with one in five in 1970, with more men and women in their early forties splitting up than in other age groups.
After the break-up dealing with the aftermath is no easy feat, getting over your ex-partner can take months, and often leave you stressed, angry, physically, emotionally and mentally drained. It’s therefore important to learn to deal with your anger in healthy ways to help you get over your relationship, move on and if you have children ensure the break-up is as easy as possible for you and them.
To help deal with the anger post relationship break down there are a few ways and techniques that you can adapt to help you keep calm.
Keep an Anger Diary
People get angry for one basic reason – it’s a habit. Like many people who shop in the same shop or put their clothes on a certain way they have learned to behave a certain way by reinforcement of behaviour or habit. This means when your ex-partner does or says something that upsets you your first reaction is to get angry. However, the good news is that we can break this habit.
Next time you feel stressed or angry write it down. Be sure to write down the day, date, time. Within this diary be sure to also include fully what made you angry and what you did about it. Again, this is useful information as you may start to see patterns and that may give you clues for how you can change things. Also write down what you could have done differently. This will reinforce positive steps, so when something upsetting is said relating to your relationship again, you will be able to resolve the situation without getting angry.
Talk About Your Feelings
It is an old saying but a problem shared is a problem halved. Managing stress and anger seems very difficult to many people as we are brought up not to discuss our feelings and do not want to seem like we are not ‘coping’. Many people feel they are a burden and don’t want to trouble people with their problems. However, you will often find that many of your friends are only happy to help in any way they can.
By talking to a friend or family member that you trust, about your hurt and the stresses you are under, can help you process your emotions before they turn into anger. By talking through your emotions you will often find that friends or relatives have experienced similar feelings in the past which will help you not to feel so alone in your situation.
Remember the Good Times
During a divorce or break-up ‘remembering the good times’ is often one of the hardest things to do. It is often far easier to focus on the negative when you are angry. Although you do need to deal with the issues the break-up have caused, it’s important before you do, to take the time to remind yourself of all the good times and all the good things that you once did for each other. Sometimes when people get angry they allow the anger to seem much ‘larger’ and more important than it really is.
Take Care of Yourself
Physical, emotional and mental health are interlinked. Although post break-up you may feel like hiding yourself away under the duvet and eating junk food if you try and look after yourself you will feel more positive and in control.
When your heart is breaking many of us reach for the take out food and wine or feel we can’t eat a thing. Although this can help in the short term it can end up with us feeling sluggish, undernourished and make us feel unhealthy and unhappy in the long term. By trying to eat a better balanced diet you will feel better, less stressed and angry. If you are struggling to cook for yourself talk about it to a friend. A home cooked dinner from them with them will help you on your way to feel better.
Scientists have proved that exercise is great for your mental health; it helps keeps stress and therefore anger in check. Regular exercise can help you feel more revived. Why not talk to friends about an exercise you enjoy that you can do together and work out that anger!
Robert Agar-Hutton is an expert on anger, aggression and violence with over 20 years experience delivering training courses throughout the UK. A published author, his latest book ‘How To Deal With Your Anger’ is the perfect tool for employees and managers looking to say goodbye to anger caused by stress once and for all.
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