Anger is as normal and valid as any other emotion. It typically stems from unfair, upsetting, or threatening situations. Without the ability to feel anger, people will probably just allow others to treat them badly.
Now, even though anger is a normal reaction when you are wronged doesn’t mean you need to let it get the better of you. The problem comes when you have trouble expressing your emotions in such a way that harms yourself and others.
When you’re angry, you might feel the need to vent out just so you can speak your mind and get others to respect you and your ideas. However, when you let anger control you instead of you controlling your anger, it could backfire.
The inability to control your anger does not only harm others, but yourself as well. Improper anger management can affect your physical and mental health. It can also disrupt your relationships and career.
If you want to get better at managing anger, the first thing to do is change how you perceive anger. Remember the following:
- Do not suppress anger, but be careful how you express it. Suppressing anger is not healthy. However, expressing it aggressively may just worsen the situation and keep you from achieving conflict resolution.
- Anger and aggression will not earn you respect. Some people tend to think that if they show their strength and literally speak louder, others will listen and understand them better, eventually earning them respect. However, this is rarely the case. Others tend to be more willing to hear you out if you communicate with respect.
- You may not be able to control the situation all the time, but you can control how you express anger. There are times when you just can’t help but feel angry, and that’s alright. However, it is the way you express anger that needs to be controlled. Remember that you have the choice to respond aggressively or calmly.
4 Best Strategies for Anger Management
Mastering anger management does not happen overnight. However, knowing the strategies is a great way to start.
- Find out where your anger is coming from.
Have you ever found yourself getting angry over something so trivial and silly? For instance, when was the last time you got mad because your spouse didn’t take out the trash when you’ve already reminded them a couple of times? When you think back to such an instance, don’t you think it’s funny how you felt so angry just because of the trash?
When this happens, it is often due to other emotions and situations taking over. Anger can mask and amplify other emotions. A stressful situation can also cause repressed anger to resurface.
Sometimes, anger is an amplified manifestation of a physical or mental health problem. It can also be a disguise for insecurity and anxiety.
The next time you feel angry, try to assess where it is coming from. Is it truly caused by the current situation or a remnant of another experience, condition, or emotion? If you know where the aggression and defensiveness are coming from, it’s easier to think of ways to manage them.
- Be conscious of your anger triggers and warning signs.
Anger is not always spontaneous. It is typically the result of a build-up of emotions. Often, you will feel physical symptoms before an outburst. These may include:
- Upset stomach
- Heavy or faster breathing
- Hot flash
- Heart pounding
- Fist clenching
- Body tension
When you start noticing these symptoms, it would be better to take a break and do measures to calm yourself down.
- Practice calming-down techniques.
Once you’ve learned how to recognize the source and symptoms of your anger, the next step is to try calming down. As mentioned above, if you already feel tensed and uncomfortable, step back away from the situation to avoid reacting to it aggressively. Here are some of the things you can do:
- Take deep breaths.
- Go for a walk.
- Stretch or if possible, exercise.
- Massage pressure points.
- Slowly count to ten while focusing on your breathing or a specific sense such as hearing.
- Listen to upbeat, happy music.
When you’re calm and your mind is clearer, you can better think about the situation and come up with objective ways to resolve the conflict.
- Practice healthy ways to resolve conflict.
You get angry because there’s conflict, which you should not ignore. Make sure that you get your point across in a calm and respectful manner. You should also be willing to forgive and compromise. Ultimately, if the other person/s are on the edge, help them calm down so you can have a healthy discussion.
By practicing these strategies, you will eventually have more control over your negative emotions, particularly anger. As a result, you can lead a more peaceful life and maintain relationships better.