Anger is a normal emotion, it is healthy and I believe we have all experienced it at some point. When anger gets out of hand, it becomes a problem and can eventually become destructive.
We have heard of relationships, friendships, marriages, etc destroyed as a result of anger. Anger can lead to murder and other dangerous consequences if not properly dealt with. It can get to a point where it controls your life and you are afraid of what harm you will cause when next you become angry.
Today’s post will help you understand and learn some ways to control anger.
1. Deep breaths!
I’m sure in the face of rage the last thing you want to be doing is taking a deep breath. I know you just want to act but just breathe! Breath deeply, from your diaphragm. This will help you relax and think very carefully about your next move before you take it.
Taking a deep breath takes your focus off whatever is making you angry, which can help you “de-escalate,” says Mitch Abrams, Psy.D., a clinical psychologist who helps big-time athletes work through anger issues.
When you’re really angry, your adrenaline levels begin to rise which causes your muscles to get tensed up. Also, your heart rate and breathing quickens.
This is called “the fight-or-flight” response that makes you want to act out irrationally.
So, just breathe!
2. Stop talking
Most times when we are boiling with anger, we just want to express how we feel. You just feel like you can’t hold it in. When we speak out of anger, we say words that we will eventually regret. These words might not just affect those we say them to, but we might also regret even saying it. So it’s best we stopped talking.
Calm down and express your feelings when you are in the right frame of mind. When you do this, you are less likely to do or say things you will regret.
3. Think before you speak
You know in the law court when they say “whatever you say will be used against you”? The same thing applies to when we are angry. If we do not think before we talk, those words depending on how bad or hurtful they are, can be used against us.
4. Take a timeout
Move away from the whole situation. Give yourself a break to think and process everything that just happened. Sit away from others. In this quiet time, you can process events and return your emotions to neutral.
Taking some time out might be just enough for you to feel better and capable to handle the situation without getting more furious and irritated.
“If you are patient in one moment of anger, you will escape a hundred days of sorrow.” – Chinese Proverb
5. Listen to music
Listening to music might help you stay calm. It works for me. I also play Candy Crush while listening to music. It helps me relax. Music distracts you from your feelings and all the drama. Put on an earpiece and listen to your favorite jam.
6. Problem Solving
Most times our anger is valid while other times it isn’t. It’s okay to feel angry and it’s healthy to feel that way. Anger doesn’t just push you to act out and hurt others. Some form of anger can drive you to be proactive and take huge, life-transforming steps. As we all know, all problems have a solution. The issue is figuring out the solution. In dealing with an annoying situation,
- Correct every wrong impression
- Express how you feel or felt about the situation
- Avoid throwing punches and cursing
- Hear the other person’s side of the story before coming to a conclusion.
7. Talk to a friend
Sometimes this week I was really angry about a situation that didn’t go as planned. I was so angry but I kept telling myself “it will go away”. I got tired of waiting for the feeling to disappear so I had to speak to a friend that helped me see things differently and calmed me down.
Don’t just keep all the emotions locked in. Talk to a friend that will help you process what happened, calm you down, and offer a new perspective on how to handle your current situation.
Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.
8. Don’t hold a grudge
Forgiveness is a powerful tool and I know it is not as easy as it sounds. If you allow anger and other negative emotions to steal your positive vibes, you might end up being drowned in bitterness and sadness which can be destructive. But when you learn to forgive someone who offended you, you will learn to be better, be opened to more positivity, and build better and stronger relationships.
P.S. Anger can be very difficult to manage/ control. It takes a lot of intentionality. You have to make up your mind not to respond to situations in anger, take deep breaths, and do everything mentioned above.