Control your anger…
…Before it controls you!!
It is said that “Anger” is one of the hardest emotion to overcome and get under control. Why? Because when you are angry you feel superior, you feel confident that you have all the rights and that the universe is working against you, so therefore you don’t give up because you believe that nothing is wrong with you and so many things are wrong with whomever and whatever made you angry.
Like other emotions, anger is accompanied by physiological and biological changes; when you get angry, your heart rate and blood pressure go up (which is not good of course), as do the levels of your energy hormones, adrenaline, and noradrenaline.
Anger can lead to many other negative emotions and states, such as depression and anxiety and so therefore it is important to manage and control the beast in you before it controls you.
Here are some simple tips to manage your anger that most psychotherapists advise their clients to practice:
Think before you speak
In the heat of the moment, it’s easy to say something you’ll later regret. Take a few moments to collect your thoughts before saying anything and allow others involved in the situation to do the same.
Once you’re calm, express your anger
As soon as you’re thinking clearly, express your frustration in an assertive but non-confrontational way. State your concerns and needs clearly and directly, without hurting others or trying to control them.
Get some exercise
Physical activity can help reduce stress that can cause you to become angry. If you feel your anger escalating, go for a brisk walk or run, or spend some time doing other enjoyable physical activities.
Take a timeout
Timeouts aren’t just for kids. Give yourself short breaks during times of the day that tend to be stressful. A few moments of quiet time might help you feel better prepared to handle what’s ahead without getting irritated or angry.
Identify possible solutions
Instead of focusing on what made you mad, work on resolving the issue at hand. Remind yourself that anger won’t fix anything and might only make it worse.
Stick with ‘I’ statements
To avoid criticizing or placing blame which might only increase tension, use “I” statements to describe the problem. Be respectful and specific.
Don’t hold a grudge
Forgiveness is a powerful tool. If you allow anger and other negative feelings to crowd out positive feelings, you might find yourself swallowed up by your own bitterness or sense of injustice. But if you can forgive someone who angered you, you might both learn from the situation. It’s unrealistic to expect everyone to behave exactly as you want at all times.
Use humor to release tension
Lightening up can help diffuse tension. Use humor to help you face what’s making you angry and, possibly, any unrealistic expectations you have for how things should go. Avoid sarcasm, though it can hurt feelings and make things worse.
Practice relaxation skills
When your temper flares, put relaxation skills to work. Practice deep-breathing exercises, imagine a relaxing scene, or repeat a calming word or phrase, such as, “Take it easy.” You might also listen to music, write in a journal or do a few yoga poses — whatever it takes to encourage relaxation.
Know when to seek help
Learning to control anger is a challenge for everyone at times. Consider seeking help for anger issues if your anger seems out of control, causes you to do things you regret or hurts those around you.
Tannaz Moein M.S, LPC-I
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