Do you find anger bubbling up inside all the time even at the slightest provocation? Is anger a natural response to things you do not like? How often do you lose your temper before finding out the whole truth? If you said yes to any of these questions, anger may be taking over your life.
While anger is a natural response and completely normal, getting angry at the ‘drop of a hat’ can indicate something deeper is going on. If you continue letting anger spill over, then it will start causing problems in your relationships and at work. It will degrade your quality of life until you know no better. You will start to feel that anger is the only emotion you can express. But how to control your anger?
What is anger?
Getting angry causes other biological and physiological changes. Your blood pressure rises, and so do does your adrenaline and energy hormones.
Causes of anger can be either external or internal events. You may be angry at someone such as your neighbour for mowing the lawns too early on the weekend. Or getting stuck in traffic or a cancelled flight can send your anger spiking. Negative self-talk and constant worry about personal problems, and remembering a past trauma can also trigger feelings of anger.
How you express anger
Expressing anger aggressively is instinctive. It is a natural response to feeling threatened and allows you to defend yourself when feeling attacked. So it is important to express your anger sometimes. But you cannot let your anger loose at everything that upsets you, otherwise you may live much of your life in that state.
Frist you need to recognise your anger so you can learn to deal with it. There are three main ways to deal with it — through calming, expressing and suppressing. The best way to express anger is to be assertive rather than aggressive . To learn how to do this you need to let others know what your needs are without hurting them. Make no mistake, being assertive is not about being demanding or pushy. It is about showing respect for others as well as yourself.
Supressing your anger means you can convert and divert it. Instead of thinking about what makes you angry, think about something positive to convert anger into something more constructive. Not expressing your anger outwardly can be dangerous as it can turn it inward so you end up angry at yourself. And this will cause other problems such as high blood pressure, depression, anxiety and hypertension. You may even become passive-aggressive or a complete cynic always putting others down, being judgemental and critical. If you become this sort of person, you may struggle to maintain any sort of relationships.
Calming down inside is the best solution. This is when you control both your internal and external behaviour. Doing something to lower your heart rate will help you become calm and the angry feelings will die down.
When you cannot do any of these, you may need to consider anger management.
Managing your anger
Managing your anger is about reducing your negative emotions as well as the physiological effects caused by anger. It is important to learn to control how you react to the people and things that cause you to lose control.
Here are 25 tips to help you to control your anger. Use these strategies to prevent you from doing or saying something you may regret later.
1. Have a mantra to repeat
Have a phrase or a word to repeat when you feel anger rising. Repeat it over and over to yourself when you start getting upset. For example, good ones to use include ‘it is ok’, ‘calm down’ or ‘relax’.
2. Stretch it out
Stretch your muscles when anger starts to take hold. Do some shoulder and neck rolls to help control your body and emotions. You can do these anywhere.
3. Stay silent
Stay silent when you feel you are about to let fly with angry words. Keep in mind that anything you say in anger you usually do not really mean. All you will do is hurt someone. Instead, mentally glue your lips shut to give you a little time to collect your thoughts.
4. Play music
Play some music. Put on your favourite tunes. Get lost in the music. Allow it to carry you away from what is upsetting you. Put on the headphones, turn it up and bop along until the anger fades away.
5. Count to 10 or 100
Count up or down to 10 or 100, depending how mad you are. By the time you finish the anger will disappear.
6. Take deep breaths
When you get angry your breathing becomes shallow and gets faster the angrier you get. Take slow breaths. Breathe in deeply through the nose and exhale slowly through your mouth. Repeat until you feel better.
7. Go for a walk
Go for a walk. Exercise is a great way to dispel your anger. Take a walk around the block, up and down the stairs or around the garden, even take your dog for a walk. You cannot stay angry when you get the blood flowing as you move.
8. Harness the energy
Harness the energy into something positive. Do something for someone. Cook a healthy meal. Wash your dog. Channel that energy into something productive.
9. Look for a quick solution
Someone at work may make you angry with their constant chatter. Put on your earphones and music to shut out the sound. Look for these types of quick solutions for other things that make you angry.
10. Relax muscle tension
Gradually relax muscle tension. Start at your feet and gradually work up. Tense up each muscle group one at a time. Hold it for a few seconds and then release. As you do this take slow, deep breaths.
11. Escape mentally
Take a mental escape when anger starts to take hold. Find a quiet place so you can analyse your anger and take the time you need to calm down. Imagine the smell of coffee, the feel of the sand between your toes or the sound of birds chirping in the garden.
12. Take a break
Take a break. Some quiet time. Find somewhere you will not be disturbed for a little quiet time. This can help you to calm down and could be a good thing to schedule in to your daily routine.
13. Just Stop!
Imagine a bright red stop sign in front of your face when anger hits. It is a great way to visualise you need to stop what you are doing, take a break, and walk away from what is making you angry.
14. Write it out
Instead of letting out your angry words, put them in a letter or an email. Write down what you are feeling and why, and what you want to say in response. By doing this it gives you clarity about the situation as it helps you to reassess and time to calm down.
15. Practice being grateful
Practice being grateful when everything is going wrong. Mentally name at least five things that you are grateful for in life — a job, a safe place to go home to, a pet that loves you, a family and that you can pay the bills. Be grateful. It helps to put everything into perspective and helps you to calm down.
16. Stop and think about how to respond
Before you say something you will regret, stop and think about how to respond. Then rehearse what you want to say in response to the situation instead of saying the first thing that pops into your head.
17. Laugh out loud
Learn to laugh out loud. Nothing is better than a good laugh to turn a bad mood around. While you may not feel like laughing, make a conscious effort to laugh. Watch funny videos or look at memes on the internet, even play with the kids.
18. Mix it up
Getting stuck in traffic is enough to frustrate anyone. Instead of putting yourself through this daily commute to work, find another route. While it may take longer at least you are not crawling at a snail’s pace so your frustration is not so great.
19. Talk it out
Instead of internalising your anger, talk it out with someone you trust. You never know, they could offer a different perspective and you both end up laughing about it rather than you feeling angry.
20. Be forgiving
Have the courage to be forgiving towards someone who has hurt you. It does not make what they did right. Forgiveness is about you and how you feel, not about them.
21. Set a time limit
Set a time limit for feeling angry emotions before responding. This gives you the time to calm down and respond in a more concise way.
22. Do something creative
Pour your anger into something creative so you become productive rather than destructive. Draw a picture, get out into the garden, knit a scarf, write a short story. Creativity requires powerful emotions so you can redirect your anger to diffuse it.
23. Put it in a letter
Write a letter to whoever makes you angry. Then delete it. Just by expressing how you feel in this way can be all that you need.
24. Be empathetic
Be empathetic. Try to see things from their perspective. By doing this it can give you a new understanding that may give you a ‘lightbulb moment’ that leaves you feeling not so angry.
25. React assertively
React assertively. It is alright to say how you feel as long as it is not in an aggressive way. Stop and think before you let angry words spill from your mouth. It is not going to solve anything. Be mature in your response and it will help reduce your stress and anger.
Does this help?
Do any of these strategies help? If they all fail to help you get your anger under control, you may need to seek help elsewhere.
Brain Wellness Spa
When anger rules your life it can be soul destroying, especially if you do not know how to control it. It can affect your mental, emotional and physical health, and all areas of your life including your relationships and career. Trying to deal with anger on a constant basis can be an ongoing battle of emotions that is stressful. You need to do something about your anger when it starts taking over your life. If not, until you do something about how you react, it will continue to negatively impact you and those around you.
The Brain Wellness Spa is pioneering a new technique, a natural treatment for anger that may help. It only requires you to relax. Highly trained facilitators help you learn relaxation techniques and recognise any underlying triggers. It may help you find inner peace so you start feeling emotionally happy again. You may even notice an improvement after the first session.
With some simple changes to your life, and with practice, you can learn to better control your anger. Discover what triggers it and learn to manage them.
If your anger has become a problem that affects your life, it is time to change it before it gets worse. Do something positive about it. Seek help. Take back control. You do not have to go through it alone. The sooner you get help, the sooner you can stop losing control. Constant angry outbursts can hold you back from enjoying life.
If you struggle with anger, reach out to our professionals. When you are not coping, contact us. We can talk to you about getting your angry reactions under control. But if you reach a crisis point, call us immediately. We are here to support you.
We can work with you over the phone, via Skype or in our Spas. Book in today for my Emotional Empowerment Program. I have an introductory offer for just $49 so you may start taking back control of your life. We aim to help you put strategies in place to control your anger and deal any mental health challenges you may be experiencing. Our facilitators may alleviate the effects of these so you start to enjoy life again.
Let me help alleviate the effects of anger
My Emotional Empowerment Program has helped many people for more than a decade. My aim is to help manage your symptoms and anger triggers. This can give you new hope for the future. A future filled with happiness, peace and contentment in weeks not years.
Take charge of your life. Book a free 25-minute telehealth consultation with Brain Wellness Spa founder, Terri Bowman. Or discover a seamless way that may help you manage your emotional and mental health by becoming a member. It will give you access to more than 75 audio programs that may help you to live an inspired life.
What are you waiting for? You have nothing to lose.