“A fool always loses his temper, but a wise man holds it back”- Bible.
Feeling angry is part of being human. It is your natural response when you are being attacked, insulted, deceived or frustrated. Anger becomes a problem for you when it harms you or people around you. This will depend on whether and how you express your anger.
When you don’t express your anger, or express it in an inappropriate way, that can damage your health and your relationships. If you are behaving wrongly, that may cause your relations. Trying to suppress your anger can have negative consequences in the longer term. Failing to manage your anger (express your anger in a safe or constructive or positive way) can be bad for your emotional, mental and physical health. Here are 13 ANGER MANAGEMENT tips to get control over your anger.
- Acknowledge That You Have “Anger” Problem. “You will not be punished for your anger; you will be punished by your anger,”- Buddha. All of us experience anger from time to time. It’s a normal, commonly experienced emotion. But, the main problem is that many of us do not acknowledge or understand that we have got anger problem. The most important thing you need to do is, to be honest with yourself and acknowledge that you have a problem with anger. Only, then you can manage your anger.
- Be Aware of Your Anger Warning Signs and Triggers. “See it coming”. Anger is certainly a psychological emotion, but it is also physiological, involving chemical reactions in your brain. This reaction brings change in your body. Notice the things that happen to your body that tell you when you are getting angry (for example, heart pounding, face flushed, sweating, clenching your hands or jaw, tightness in your chest etc.). Becoming aware of your own personal signs that your temper is starting to boil allows you to take steps to manage your anger. Identify the negative thought patterns that trigger your temper. It will help you to avoid those situations to keep your temper under control.
- Take time out. “The greatest remedy for anger is delay”– Thomas Paine. If you feel your anger getting out of control, take time out of a situation or an argument. During a time out, plan how you are going to stay calm. Getting away from whatever is upsetting you will make it infinitely easier to calm down. Stop what you’re doing, get yourself away from whatever is irritating you.
- See the Humor in Your Anger. “Humor is by far the most significant activity of the human brain”– Edward de Bono. Learn how to laugh at yourself and see the humor in situations. Lightening up can help diffuse tension. Avoid sarcasm, it can hurt feelings and make things worse. If you can introduce some humor, then resentment will be reduced and your mood will be lifted.
- Think before you speak. “Speak when you are angry, and you’ll make the best speech you’ll ever regret”- Laurence J. Peter. 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. Listen to the other person’s response, and try to understand their point of view. Try to express yourself clearly and calmly. Angry outbursts are stressful to your nervous and cardiovascular systems.
- Learn to be assertive. “Raise your words, not your voice. It is rain that grows a flower, not thunder.”– RUMI. Remember, the word is “assertive,” not “aggressive. Being assertive means, expressing your feelings calmly and directly without becoming defensive, hostile, or emotionally charged. if you are able to express your anger by talking in an ‘assertive’ way about what has made you angry, this will produce better results for you. Stand up for yourself, while still respecting other people and their opinions.
- Don’t Hold Grudges. “Life is too short for long-term grudges”- Elon Musk. We all need to accept that everybody is different and that we cannot control the feelings, beliefs or behaviors of others. Being resentful or holding a grudge against somebody will increase your anger and make it more difficult to control. Forgiveness is powerful. If you can forgive someone who angered you, you might both learn from the situation. Try to be realistic and accept that people are the way they are, not how we would like them to be.
- Identify possible solutions. “Do it, fix it, try it,”– Thomas J. Peters. It is more important to focus on a way to resolve problems (what makes you angry) so that they don’t arise again in the future. There is a cultural belief that every problem has a solution. Instead of focusing on what made you mad, work on resolving the issue at hand. For example; is your partner late for dinner every night? Schedule meals later in the evening — or agree to eat on your own a few times a week. Remind yourself that anger won’t fix any problem.
- Learn ways to cool down. “When anger rises, think of the consequences”– Confucius. When you start getting upset about something, take a moment to think about the situation. When your temper flares, put relaxation skills to work. There are many ways to relax and calm down, some might be:
- Breathing slowly,
- Counting to 10 before you react,
- Doing something creative,
- Listening to calming music,
- Using a relaxation technique such as yoga or meditation etc.
- Once you’re calm, express your anger. “Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured” – Mark Twain. Though expressing anger is better than keeping it in, there’s a right way to do it. Try to express yourself clearly and calmly. 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.
- Don’t Take Anything Personally. “There is a huge amount of freedom that comes to you when you take nothing personally”- Don Miguel Ruiz. And, we all know that freedom brings peace and anger go away. Remember, nothing others do or say is because of you. What others do and say is a projection of their own reality onto you. When you are immune to the opinions, projections, behaviors and actions of others, you will not be a victim of needless suffering any longer!
- Get Enough Sleep At Night. “Sleep is the best meditation.”- Dalai Lama. Good quality sleep can help combat many physical, mental and emotional problems, including anger. When we sleep, the body and mind rest and rebuild damaged cells and neural pathways. Being sleep deprived can contribute the inability to manage emotions properly. Getting adequate sleep (6-8 hours) will improve your mood and lessen your anger.
- Take Regular Exercise and Keep Fit. Let exercise be your stress reliever. We release hormones when we are angry- mainly cortisol and adrenaline. When you exercise regularly your body learns how to regulate your adrenaline and cortisol levels more effectively. The endorphins that come from exercise can help you calm down, and moving your body provides a physical outlet for your rage. Running, walking, swimming, yoga, dancing, and cycling are just a few of the activities that can help reduce your stress and keep you fit.
Anger is nothing but a strong emotion. At times, it can feel overwhelming. The key is to learn, how to deal with this strong emotion. When you do it, without losing control, you are becoming more mature. A little effort, a little practice, and a little patience, that is all you need to do it. Only you need to have the willpower or self-confidence in doing it.