As human beings, there will be times that you will feel anxious, frustrated, stressed and disappointed. All of these feelings may lead to anger. Anger is a strong emotion that is like a double-edged sword. It can be healthy for you but it can also hurt you and others. Knowing how to handle and manage your anger is very important in order for you not to burn bridges and instead build stronger relationships. This article will give you 12 tips about controlling anger.
How to Control Anger
Know if your anger is out of control
It is totally unhealthy and it might be time to seek professional help if your anger is getting out of control. Signs of uncontrolled anger include getting mad over simple things. It happens almost always -- you become violent or scream when angry. And the worst outcome is you having an addiction. Your temper is at its worst whenever you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Know what your anger indicates
Most of the time, anger is just a secondary emotion used to cover up for other feelings that a person is having a hard time recognizing and accepting. For example, when a person feels frustrated or deeply hurt, they tend to get angry because this is easier for them than healing their hurts. Anger is also used as a defense mechanism when a person feels depressed or frightened.
It is important to evaluate yourself if you are feeling a variety of emotions and if you are trying to suppress them because you believe that they should not matter to you. Another tip on controlling anger is to see a therapist if you realize that you use anger to replace other emotions.
Aside from it being a good outlet for your anger, physical activities release endorphins which help you relax and calm down. Regular exercise can also regulate your moods. Some helpful exercises you can choose from include jogging, yoga, boxing, cycling, swimming, dancing, boxing, meditating and martial arts.
Have a good night sleep
Who said adults don’t need sufficient sleep? As an adult, you need to have at least 7-8 hours of sleep at night. Sleep deprivation may lead to mood swings and shortness of temper. If you have trouble sleeping at night, it is advised that you see a physician to help you on how to control anger by recommending lifestyle changes or even supplements.
Stop and distract yourself
Remember that you don’t always have to respond when somebody triggers your anger. It is best to calm down in order to control your anger. You can do this by excusing yourself from others or by simply saying “I’ll think about it and get back to you later.” If you are at home, you may want to have a walk in the park or stay in your room until you feel better. It is also advisable to call someone that you trust whom you can talk to.
Deep breathing is used in meditation in order to control one’s feelings, including anger. This is very useful especially when you feel that you are about to explode and burst in rage. Calm down by slowly breathing deeply for three seconds: make sure that your lungs are filled, and hold your breath for another three seconds. Exhale slowly while counting 1 to 3 again. Repeat this several times until you feel that your emotions are under your control again.
Imagine a place you love
If you are still having a hard time to calm down, try to imagine a beautiful place that you love. It can be your favorite beach, your childhood backyard, a garden full of flowers or maybe a forest full of tall, leafy trees swaying with the wind. Even if these are only imaginary, they will help you relax. While thinking of them, imagine that you are truly there, smell the flowers, walk through the backyard and feel the cool wind of the forest kissing your cheeks. Do this until you finally feel relaxed and calm.
Forgive and forget
Experts say that when a person is offended and angered, he continuously thinks about what the other person did -- this is called rumination. So, another way on how to control anger is by knowing that rumination is destructive and the best remedy for this is forgiveness. This does not mean that what the offender did was right, but this is important in order to achieve peace of mind. As the saying goes, anger is like drink the poison and waiting for the other person to die.
There are studies conducted that prove compassion is a great tool in calming an angry person. So, if someone is angry, instead of ignoring him, it is advised to talk to him and make the person feel loved. So just do something nice to those who are angry to make the person feel better.
Relax before talking
Talking about the incident immediately while a person is very angry will only cause more problems. Opinions about the incident should best be expressed when both persons are already relaxed and when they are already capable of thinking rationally.
Sign up for an anger management program
It is advised that you should join a local anger management program in your area because this will not only help you manage your anger healthily but also will make you feel that you are not alone. By searching online, you will be able to choose a program that is suitable for your age or other preferences. You may also ask your doctor for referrals.
Have a journal
Here comes the last secret on how to control anger. Experts say that one of the best things to do in controlling anger is by choosing to respond rather than to react. Reactions are based on emotions but most of the time they are not reasonable while responses are well-thought of. So, when angered, write your thoughts in a journal and think how you want to respond to the situation; this way, you are able to think clearly and rationally making you handle your anger healthily and professionally.