Today we will be talking though tips on anger management.
Anger is a very powerful emotion and while releasing anger can be good for our health, it can also become a burden.
Anger makes us react irrationally and aggressively and can cause us mental health problems including social isolation, physical distress, and emotional unrest.
“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.” – Buddha
There are people who are more prone to anger than others. Conditions of extreme stress, children, and teenagers with mental health disorders, adults with a history of trauma are more likely to have a very strong feeling of anger.
If you need help in controlling your anger, there are many self-help exercises you could try at home and at work. These exercises can help you reduce your anger and improve your overall well-being.
Disclaimer: I am not in any way a certified councillor/therapist, therefore all advice given is from my own experience and should not be taken as medical advice.
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Anger can be triggered by feelings, people, events, situations, or memories. You may feel anger when you worry about conflicts at home. A bossy co-worker or commuter traffic may make you angry.
When you feel anger, your blood pressure and heart rate go up. Certain hormone levels increase, causing a burst of energy. This allows us to react aggressively when we feel threatened.
There are always going to be things in life that make you angry. The problem is that lashing out is not a good way to react most of the time.
You have little or no control over the things that cause your anger. But can you learn to control your reaction.
Effects of Anger
Anger can have a very bad impact on your health. The flow of stress chemicals and metabolic changes that are associated with anger constantly flood our system. This can prove to be detrimental for one’s health. Following are some of the short term and long term health problems that are linked to anger issues:
- Digestion issues, pain in the abdomen
- Anxiety problems
- Eczema and other skin problems
- Cardiovascular problems
- Heart attack
- High blood pressure
Not knowing how to calm down from anger and how to control anger can lead to many other problems as well in the spheres of a person’s social life and career.
Constructive criticism at the workplace, creative differences, debates with colleagues become triggers for a person who has anger issues.
They alienate themselves from their managers, clients and supervisors. At the same time, their co-workers lose their respect for them. They may even face unemployment due to their behaviour.
Also, not controlling anger properly and letting it seep into your relationships can also cause the ties between you and your loved ones to weaken considerably.
Some forms of anger, like explosive anger, can make it difficult for other people to trust you, or be comfortable with you. People may even stop being honest with you altogether. Anger issues can be especially damaging to children.
What is anger management?
Anger management refers to a process through which an individual starts understanding his or her stressors, and learns new tools and techniques that help him or her curb their temper, and react in a socially appropriate manner to situations that earlier were difficult for them to handle.
They may even learn how to handle these situations in a constructive and positive way.
This helps the individual suffering from anger issues decrease anger and replace this destructive and negative response by healthier responses.
This can be done with the support of a mental health professional.
Tips on Anger Management – Ultimate Guide!
Learning how to manage anger and how to control anger involves learning of some tried and tested strategies. These methods are simple, effective, and some of them can help you on the spot, other methods are intended to help you in the long term.
The following are some anger management strategies:
When you’re feeling upset, your breathing may increase.
You may find that you take short and shallow breathes. This can trigger other physical symptoms in your body which can lead to things like high blood pressure.
Breathing exercises are an easy way to calm down from the body’s fight or heightened state of alertness.
Taking a few deep breaths helps activate a calming reflex in the body. Practice the following techniques often so they will be easier to apply when anger strikes.
Practice taking slow, controlled breaths. Imagine the air going in through your nose all the way to your belly. Follow the breath as it leaves your body.
Another great deep breathing exercise involves mentally counting. Inhale while counting to four, hold the breath for another count of four, then exhale counting to four again. Count to four as your rest, then repeat as necessary.
While you’re deep breathing, it may be helpful to imagine a relaxing experience or a pleasant memory. Try to picture it with all of your senses. For instance, if you imagine yourself on a beach, mentally hear the waves, feel the sun on your cheeks, smell the ocean air, etc.
Progressive muscle relaxation exercises
When you feel upset, you may notice that the muscles seem to tense up throughout your body.
One way to express anger is to address this tension. Slowly tense and relax each muscle group one at a time.
This will help your body feel more relaxed from anger’s muscle tightening response.
In addition to these techniques, guided meditations can help calm anger or other emotions. Several websites offer guided meditations for calming the nerves.
You could even install a meditation app on your smartphone to use whenever you’re mad.
Practice being gratitude
Changing your mindset can have an undeniable impact on how you are responding to yourself and other people.
Implement a daily gratitude practice, so you are infusing more positivity and hope into your life.
This practice only takes a few minutes a day. It’s a powerful way to shift your perspective and help you feel more optimistic about your circumstances.
Meditation can be a way for you to re-centre yourself and get your mind off of anger.
If you’re new to the practice, meditation involves focusing on something specific, often your breath, in a directed, purposeful way.
Mindfulness meditation is a fantastic tool for anger, since it encourages you to stay in the present moment with a neutral mindset rather than a judgmental outlook.
Taking a meditation break may calm you down in an intense moment and, over time, learning these techniques could help you break the cycle of reactivity often associated with anger.
Practice letting go
Anger can be difficult to manage because it is a very seductive emotion – anger entices you to hold on to it, particularly if you are righteously angry about something that is unfair.
But holding on to anger often is not helpful. Pay attention to when you are intentionally holding on to your anger and instead, try to ‘let go.’
Recognise your anger as a fleeting emotion
Always remember that, however strong the emotions are that you’re experiencing right now, they will pass.
They do not define you.
Remind yourself that you can dominate and control your anger, and you are not dominated by it.
You are in control of your mind and your emotions; they’re not in control of you.
Remove yourself from the situation
If possible, take five. Go outside or go into the next room.
…just put a little space between you and the thing or person that has made you angry.
If you can, take a short walk around the block or around the park.
It’s amazing what a difference just a small change of scenery or environment – or the tiniest bit of distance – can make.
Get it off your chest
Bottling up your frustration is never healthy, so make sure you express how it is you’re feeling in some way, shape, or form.
Call a friend, your partner, or even your mother to talk about the situation. Or, if you prefer to keep it to yourself, write it down.
You’ll find that verbalising exactly what you’re feeling is essential for putting things into perspective.
If you do choose to share it with someone, try not to raise your voice, but explain things as calmly as possible.
And don’t share it with more than one or two people. You want to get it off your chest, not let it affect you again and again as you retell the story.
Talking about it will help you put your finger on exactly why you’re feeling so angry in this particular situation.
This can help you find a solution, or mean you learn from the situation and don’t become so angry next time around.
Listen to calming music
Lie back and relax if you can, or just plug those headphones in and play a relaxing track or two if it helps.
Music can have a phenomenal effect on our moods, especially when our emotions are running high.
You might already have a song that never fails to calm you down, but, if not, classical music and jazz are always great places to start.
I find film soundtracks to be especially good for helping me rid myself of anger.
Stretch, dance, work out
Exercise is incredible for anger.
Put on your running shoes and pound the pavement, or do 10 minutes of yoga. Anything physical will help to diffuse your feelings.
It’s difficult to stay angry whilst you’re exercising, and it can remind you of your own power and capabilities.
Dancing is a particularly great way to cool off, especially if you don’t have time for a full exercise session.
Just put on your favourite song and dance around the room, preferably singing at the top of your voice.
It’s a wonderful distraction that gives you a chance to cool down.
Count backwards from 100
Sometimes, you need to give your brain another task to focus on in order to give your body a chance to calm down.
Counting backwards from 100 will occupy your brain for the best part of two minutes.
…two minutes of peace.
Count aloud, or just whisper it to yourself.
Visualise your happy place
Some people find that the most effective way of calming down is to summon up a memory of somewhere peaceful. Somewhere you were happy.
Close your eyes and visualise that spot, whether it’s a mountain top or an empty beach.
Or just invent your ideal landscape, adding in the little details as you go, down to the colour of the flowers.
Natural scenery is always the best to calm you down.
Check your language
When you’re angry, it’s very tempting to see everything in black and white, but it’s not helpful.
When you’ve got an inner monologue going on or are venting to someone else, make sure you remember to see things in shades of grey.
Sure, sometimes life is unfair and sometimes people do bad things, but the words ‘always’ and ‘never’ aren’t going to help you.
Catch yourself every time you say them so you don’t end up convincing yourself that the situation is worse than it actually is.
Go for walk
Feeling angry? How about going for a walk? When you’re engaging in any kind of physical activity, your limbs get pumped up, and that can help calm your nerves and reduce anger.
Moreover, it will give you time to self-introspect, and that’s always a good idea!
Get professional help
You’ve been getting angry for most of your life, and it’s a very difficult habit to break.
We recommend you seek out a professional therapist or counsellor for additional help in changing your behaviour.
Aside from damaging personal and professional relationships, uncontrolled anger has been linked to a higher risk of heart disease, digestive problems, and high blood pressure.
There is no shame in asking for help. Look for someone who specializes in anger management, and get some therapy.
Tips on Anger Management – Final thought
Are you ready to finally get your anger under control? Have you had enough of overreacting? Do you feel embarrassed after the fact when you respond the wrong way to your anger?
Use one (or more) of these techniques to help you with your anger management.
Some of these strategies are ‘in the moment’ ideas to help. Others will help you to curb the feelings of anger from coming on.
If your find none of these strategies work, you should seek professional help.
I would love to hear your thoughts on what you are doing to change your life in the coming days and years!
If you have any questions please leave a comment below or reach out to me via firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to hear from you!
I really hope you found inspiration in this article.
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Hello! My name is Adam and welcome to my space on the internet. Here you can find me writing about subjects such as spiritual growth, mental health, self-care, self-development and all things wellness. Connect with me on my journey and join the community!