There a times in life when we become frustrated. This can be with other people, ourselves or situations that no-one has any control over. These events may cause you to feel angry and this is a normal and sometimes even a healthy emotion to feel (in small doses).
But it is when these events consistently cause you to lose your temper and become very angry, very quickly that you need to consider doing something to manage your anger.
If you don’t take action and learn to control your anger you may find your reactions start to damage your relationships, your health and many other areas of your life.
In this article we will look at some simple, yet effective strategies to better manage anger.
1. Recognise The Signs Of Anger
Before you can manage your anger you need to be able to recognise when it is taking control of your emotions. Everybody will experience anger in slightly different ways but there are many common signs such as:
- Grinding your teeth or clenching your jaws
- Migraines and headaches
- Rapid, heavy breathing
- Increase in heart rate
- Hot flushes in your face and neck
- Sweaty palms
- Pacing, shaking or trembling
- Feeling light headed or dizzy
Understanding your own symptoms of anger can help you detect when your anger is on the rise so you can implement one of the techniques below to calm yourself down.
2. Knowing What Makes You Angry
As well as being able to recognise the signs of anger, it’s important to understand what people, places and situations tend to make you angry. By spending some time to list the things in your life that make you angry you can either try to avoid them, or be better prepared next time you are about to come face to face with your anger triggers.
If you’re constantly feeling angry and are easily irritated then you might be dealing with something more than just an anger issue. Often anger is triggered by stress, depression, anxiety or other mental and emotional health issues which leaves you in an agitated and tense state that inhibits your ability to react in a controlled manner.
3. Pause Before You React
When anger begins to swell inside your body and you feel that you want to react remind yourself to stop before your speak or take action that may add more fuel to the fire. Take a deep breath, collect your thoughts and allow yourself and anyone else involved a few moments of clarity to better address the situation.
Remember that no matter how bad the situation is that you’re dealing with, anger rarely helps and puts you further away from finding a solution to the problem.
4. When Calm Express Your Anger
Bottling up your anger inside does no good for anyone. If you silently keep it to yourself it can cause health problems or build until one day when it explodes in a violent rage. The best approach is to wait until you are thinking clearly and calmly then express your anger in an a firm but non-confrontational way. Be clear about why you are feeling angry and explain what you believe is the best solution without blaming or hurting others.
5. Get Active
When stress builds and builds it can trigger anger in an instant. Taking a quick break to get some exercise will help clear your head, catch your breath and your body will release endorphins, the body’s natural stress reliever. When you return from a quick walk, a surf, a few stretches or any kind of physical activity you’ll notice your anger has subsided and you are better equipped to deal with the situation at hand.
6. Look For Solutions Not Faults
When you know exactly what is making you angry you can then choose to deal with it constructively by either changing your perspective, your environment or your routine. If you get angry in traffic on the way to work, take public transport or organise to carpool. If you’re partners messy habits leave you frustrated organise a time to address the situation calmly and create a solution that you both agree to.
7. Avoid Blaming Others
When you blame others you lose your ability to change and improve the situation. By looking at what you can do or change in yourself, you regain power to avoid these anger triggers. Now this doesn’t mean you should simply let people or events push you around, but it may mean that you realise that you can’t change them and that you need to remove them from your life.
8. Learn To Forgive
Holding onto grudges drains your life energy and can have serious negative effects to your health and well-being. Being able to forgive is powerful tool that can help you to heal and may allow you and the other person both to learn and grow from the situation.
9. Learn To Laugh
When situations become tense using humour is a great way to lighten the mood. Laughter is contagious and having a few moments of joy may help all people involved to look at the situation in a new light reassess what’s really important.
10. Learn How To Relax
There are many techniques to reduce stress and increase relaxation. Yoga, meditation, exercise, writing in a journal or listening to music that makes you happy on a regular basis will help you develop more calmness and compassion in your day to day life. When you are relaxed you are better prepared to face frustrating situations and will return to normal much quicker if your anger levels do start to rise.
11. Seek Professional Help
If anger is already negatively affecting your life then you should seek professional help immediately. In most cases it will not resolve itself and will often get worse as your anger creates more stress and tension in the body, which fuels more anger. At Brain Wellness Spa we specialise in anger management and our 8 step emotional empowerment program will give you you a happier, healthier life and better relationships with family, friends and colleagues.