Do you find yourself getting into frequent arguments and fights? Would you describe yourself as having a short fuse? Anger is a healthy and normal emotion, but when anger is explosive and spirals out of control it can have serious consequences. Uncontrolled anger can negatively impact personal relationships, your state of mind and your health. Understanding the real reasons for your anger and introducing some anger management tools you can learn to manage your temper. It is important to deal with anger in a positive way.
Some ways to help you:
Taking a moment–
Rather than reacting immediately, take a moment to breathe. A helpful technique is to count to 20, breathing deeply on each count. You can also move yourself away from the situation or the person you are reacting to. The aim here is to try to get your frustration to subside.
Expressing your anger in an assertive way–
Once your anger has subsided and you are thinking clearly express your frustration in a non-confrontational way. Try to state your needs and concerns clearly. The aim is not to hurt or control the other person, your aim is to have your feelings heard.
Use ‘I’ Statements–
Using ‘I’ statements helps to reduce the possibility of the other person hearing you blame or criticise them. Using ‘I’ statements to describe the problem, for example, “I feel upset with the fact you left your clothes on the floor” as opposed to “You never clean up after yourself.” Always be respectful and talk about the issue in hand, do not bring past upsets or unresolved issues into the current situation.
There are many relaxation techniques that you can put into practice when your temper flares up. Deep breathing, writing in a journal, listening to music, guided imagery and going for a walk are all things that can assist you in defusing your frustration. Being proactive with regard to your relaxation techniques can help make it easier to call on them when the situation requires it.
Let it Go–
Forgiving others is a powerful tool. Letting it go and not holding a grudge can have a positive impact. Holding onto negative feelings can drown out positive feelings and can leave you feeling swallowed up by your own bitterness and sense of injustice. It might be hard to let it go but it might give you the space to learn from the situation.
Identify possible triggers and solutions–
Finding out what acts as a trigger and finding solutions can act to prevent an explosion. If your child’s messy bedroom drives you mad then close the door. If your partner insists on always being late home for dinner then you could decide to eat later or make dinner and let your partner heat theirs up when they come home. Giving some thought to your triggers can also help you manage your potential reaction to them.
Identify what is really causing your anger–
Sometimes when we get angry it can be out of proportion to the actual situation. Sometimes our anger has been building up over time and the catalyst is some minor issue that triggers us into a rage. The cumulative effect of building frustrations can result in an anger explosion that is not justified that is unwarranted and over the top.
If your anger seems out of control consider seeking help. Learning to control your anger can be a real challenge but not doing so can cause you to do things that you regret and might hurt those around you. Seeking professional help in the form of counselling or finding an anger management class can help you explore both the causes and/or how to management your anger.
Physical activity can provide an outlet for your emotions. Going for a brisk walk or jog can help if you feel your anger escalating. The brain chemicals released during exercise can leave you feeling more relaxed and happier than before you worked out.
Try to think first before you speak-
In the heat of them moment you can say something you might regret later. Before you say anything take a moment to collect your thoughts before you say anything. Also, always allow the other parties to have their say too.