It’s not unusual for you to feel angry, aggressive and irritable when you’ve quit weed. These feelings have always existed in you but you buried them under your weed addiction. Now with the weed gone, they’re back in full force. But your anger is out of control. I know from experience that rampant anger messes up your relationships. It jeopardizes all your carefully laid plans on how to stop smoking weed. Soon, you’ll be on the brink of returning to your habit. But you don’t have to go down that route again. All you need is to handle your anger non-aggressively. Here are 5 tips I used to manage my anger responsibly after I quit weed.
1. Acknowledge Your Anger
When someone presses your buttons, admit that you’re angry. Being truthful is important for your overall strategy on how to quit smoking weed. Don’t suppress or deny your anger. It’s still there in your body, floating around like an unhappy spirit. Eventually it will express itself in a weird or unwanted form. I developed something close to ADHD until I accepted my anger.
But try not to respond to the perpetrator immediately. You’ll say or do something drastic. I found it useful to first take a deep calming breath, hold it about 8 seconds, then expel it. Next, I removed myself quickly from the situation before I caused a scene. Once alone, I let loose – allowed myself to feel my anger. Then I found ways to calm my mind so I could deal with my anger rationally. Breathing deeply and soaking in a hot bath worked well for me. But you can do different things to get rid of the excess energy that’s fueling your anger. De-stressing is an important factor in how to stop smoking weed. For more tips on dealing with anger and other issues when you quit weed, see our guide.
2. Unbundle Your Anger
Thinking about my anger triggers helped me considerably. Try this simple strategy. Sit in a quiet place for about 45 minutes and assess your rage. What’s got under your skin? Relive the moment of the anger and feel all the sensations that went with it. Then put aside your emotions and biases, and imagine yourself as an observer. Try to assess the event in an objective way. What are the facts? Do you have ongoing issues with the perpetrator of your anger? Or are you using this person as a scapegoat for your failed recovery plan? What pressures could be motivating your opposite number? If the roles were reversed, would you have acted differently? The answers to these questions will help you put things into perspective and they will stem your anger. As an observer, you’re detached from the event. You’ve set aside the drama and are looking at things factually. So your powers of reason are more advanced. This is an effective strategy with virtually everything to do to quit weed. Keep a journal with you always, to gain insights into your anger.
3. Face Your Nemesis
If you’ve established that someone’s bad behavior is fueling your anger, I suggest you talk to them about it. Others would tell you that these people are toxic and should be avoided. But how do you avoid your partner, your parents, your boss, or even your teacher, if they’re the trigger? You’d best get things out in the open and clear the air. Learning how to quit smoking weed is easier when you challenge yourself this way.
Before attending a meeting with your opponent, prepare yourself. Think seriously about what you’ll say. Anticipate all possible responses and have your counter-responses ready. But I would advise you to avoid using accusing and intimidating language and gestures. Limit the number of times you use the word “you” and don’t be tempted to point or wag your finger. Instead, use the word “I” liberally. It’s less offensive and it makes you sound assertive. And try to focus on how the person’s behavior made you feel. That’s the point of the conversation. You want to thrash this thing out, get the other person to see the light, and apologize, if possible. But don’t lose the upper hand by laughing nervously or looking down at your shoes. Look them in the eye and be confident in your approach. The more you use this strategy, the better at it you become. It’s much easier to learn how to stop smoking weed when you’re assertive.
4. See Things From the Other’s Perspective
Whenever I’ve confronted someone, I’ve found them to have their fair share of grievances against me. Hard as it was for me, I had to allow them to express them in the same way they allowed me to express mine. A give and take strategy is undoubtedly an important part of how to stop smoking weed. Once again, I had the opportunity to play observer, and to see things from my opponent’s perspective. I managed to look at my anger objectively, separate facts from opinion, and delegitimize some unfounded assumptions. It’s much easier to control your anger if you deal in facts and not emotions, believe me. It helps you see how distorted and constricting your beliefs are.
5. Re-evaluate Your Recovery Plan
Your anger could point right back to something that’s gone wrong with your recovery. If so, you’ll only get relief if you re-evaluate your strategy and tighten up loose ends. Address your anxiety and depression, or maybe your cravings and insomnia. Anxiety and depression are normally associated with anger. If you address these two factors, your overall efforts to quit weed will be boosted. Perhaps you need more sleep. Or perhaps you need to absorb yourself in something that takes your mind off your cravings.