Contrary to the popular belief, anger is a normal, healthy emotion. But as they say – too much of everything can be dangerous. Inability to control anger can take a toll on your physical and mental health, and destroy your relationship with others.
Maybe the customer on the line is being arrogant, or your boss is nagging again. Maybe your child is having tantrums for more than an hour already, or your spouse made you wait for hours in the restaurant. Things like these can infuriate you to the highest level and make you lose control. Fortunately, there are simple ways to get rid of anger and keep your composure even during the most stressful, exasperating moments.
1. Think not just once, but twice. It’s easy to say hurtful words that you don’t really mean in the height of your emotions. But often, these things make us regret in the end. So before you say or do something. Think about it. Think about the outcomes your action will bring. Experts recommend counting 1 to 10 before making a response to prevent an angry outburst.
2. Express what you feel. Once you feel calmer, it’s time that you express what you feel. You will notice that you are becoming more careful of the choice of words at this moment. Tell that person your concerns in an assertive yet non-confrontational manner. Expressing your emotions will make you feel better.
3. Don’t conclude yet. Instead of focusing only in your emotions and your reasons of being angry, try to become more open and include possible reasons why such person didn’t meet your expectations. Maybe your spouse came late because he had to rush to the clinic for a terrible headache. Maybe the customer is so irate because she has been calling your office for more than ten times and couldn’t get her issue resolved. Maybe her dog is sick or she has other personal problems that she tends to act inappropriately.
4. Learn some relaxation techniques. Taking slow, deep breaths is one way to ease and reduce feelings of anxiety. It also has an immediate soothing effect to your body so in the middle of an infuriating situation, breathe deep, close your eyes, and think of a relaxing image or recall a memory that makes you feel good.
5. Meditate. Incorporating mindfulness meditation or yoga in your lifestyle is a very effective anger management technique. Meditation trains you to become more in control of your emotions. It also helps uplift your sense of wellbeing.
6. Sweat out the bad feelings. Exercising can provide an outlet to your emotions especially during highly stressful situations. If you think you really can’t control yourself, get up and take a brisk walk, jog, or perform your favourite workout routine. Exercising stimulates the production of feel-good chemicals in the brain, making you feel better in no time.
7. Give yourself a break. You may not notice it but little stressors and daily strains can shorten your temper, resulting to a temper outbreak. Go out once in a while, forget about your job, the bills, and your worries, and just have FUN.
8. Try to use humour to release tension. Cracking a joke can help release the tension. But do not use sarcasm as it may hurt other’s feelings.
9. Learn to forgive. Forgiving doesn’t just eliminate your anger but also makes you feel relieved and happy.
10. Seek help if necessary. For some people, managing anger can be easy yet for others; it can be a huge challenge. If these tips don’t seem to help you manage negative emotions, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. With the help of a qualified therapist, you will be able to become more in control of your emotions.
Sources of this article:
American Psychological Association: Anger Control
Nay WR. Behind the mask: Understanding anger and its expression. Taking Charge of Anger. New York, N.Y.: The Guilford Press; 2004:29.
Controlling anger before it controls you. American Psychological Association. http://www.apa.org/topics/anger/control.aspx. Accessed March 8, 2011.