We all feel particularly frustrated and annoyed from time to time. Anger is a normal human emotion and one which we can expect to experience on the odd occasion.
If you are concerned your anger (or that of someone you love) is beyond what is considered normal, you may wish to read our article ‘How To Tell If Your Anger Is Normal: Signs You Are Having Trouble Managing Your Anger’.
Let’s take a look together now at some general tips that may assist you to keep your anger under control when you feel your anger building, from identifying your triggers and any symptoms you experience as a result of feeling angry, to taking care of your physical, mental and emotional health.
Tips That May Help You to Manage Your Anger
Identify your anger triggers and physical and/or emotional anger symptoms
Work on becoming aware of the physical and emotional symptoms of anger that you experience when you feel yourself becoming angry. For example, perhaps you clench your jaw, your palms start sweating, your heart rate increases, or you feel flushed in the face.
It can help to keep a notepad or diary handy whereby you make some brief notes each time you feel the onset of anger as to (i) what specifically triggered your anger, and (ii) your symptoms (i.e. warning signs). By identifying what triggers your anger and how you respond, you may give yourself the opportunity to deal with your anger, and save it from spiralling into an angry outburst.
Take a moment to process your thoughts before you speak and focus your energy on solutions to the problem, rather than the problem itself
Feeling very angry when it is perhaps unnecessary to do so can leave us saying (and in some cases, doing) things we regret. Take a moment or two to gather your thoughts when you feel anger building inside of you and consider briefly the advantages and disadvantages of getting angry in response to the situation at hand. You may find that getting angry is not always to your advantage and not always necessary. It can be largely beneficial to focus your energy into coming up with solutions to the problem at hand, rather than reacting angrily to the problem itself.
Express your thoughts assertively and use “I” statements
Once you have taken a few moments to decide what you wish to say, express your opinion or frustration with assertion and remain as objective as possible. It is possible to express your concerns and requirements to another person/people, without the need to intimidate them, personally offend them or get them largely offside. Approach your response without the need for confrontation as best you can.
Try your best to empathise with the other person’s situation. Where a person has upset you, whether intentionally or not, forgiving them can also help you to relieve yourself of the need to feel angry long after a situation has concluded.
Practice deep breathing or engage in a relaxing activity when you feel your temper rising
When you feel your anger brewing inside of you, save it evolving into an angry outburst and instead practice some deep breathing or do something you find relaxing.
Try to pinpoint some activities you can practice anywhere, anytime, so when you begin to feel an angry outburst coming on, you can engage in a relaxing activity no matter where you are or what you are doing and work to reduce feelings of anger.
Look after your physical, mental and emotional health
Taking part in regular exercise that you enjoy is vital not only for strong physical health, but also good mental and emotional health. Exercise is also a fabulous, natural way for releasing stress and results in the release of endorphins, which can help to lift our mood and our outlook.
However, exercise alone is not enough – social support and adequate relaxation time are also important. Social support from the people around us can help us to discuss our feelings when we are frustrated or annoyed.
Scheduling in relaxation time for yourself each day (such as reading, watching your favourite TV show or practising yoga) is also very important for helping us to unwind and feel calm on a more regular basis.
By applying the tips discussed in this article, you may be able to get a better handle on your anger and save it from growing out of control, and as a result, negatively impacting your health, relationships with others and your career. When left untreated, an anger problem can have devastating consequences, particular when anger is channelled into aggressive behaviour.
If you are finding it challenging to control your anger, get in touch with our friendly team today and book your first session.