Anger is a powerful emotion. Learning how to manage can be difficult. Yet, not impossible.
The problem isn’t that you get angry; the problem is in the way you express your anger. While anger is a normal and natural emotion, it can be overwhelming if not dealt with correctly.
When you allow your anger to take over your life, it begins to negatively affect your life. This is a sign that it’s time to make important changes to how you handle your emotions.
There are certain steps you have to go through to be able to cope with your anger in a healthy and productive way. We’ve rounded up some of these tried-and-true techniques you can try to cope with your anger.
You’ve probably heard of some of them, but don’t knock any of them until you’ve tried each one several times.
Remember, the more you practice, the better you’ll get at controlling your anger. So, the next time you’re in a situation that gets your blood boiling, try these tips.
Think happy thoughts, and let’s get started.
1. Breathe Deeply
Breathing deeply helps you take the time to think about the situation. It gives you time to calm down rather than lashing out immediately.
Taking a few deep breaths also boosts blood flow to your brain. The more oxygen going to your brain, the more rational your thoughts and behaviour will be.
Want to take it a step further? Count slowly.
You can count up to 10 as you breathe in and out. Or you can count backwards from 100.
Take the time to think about what number comes next. This effort will shift your focus and distract you from what’s making you angry.
When you disconnect yourself from the event that’s making you flustered, you’re less likely to act out. Taking some time to moderate your anger is a healthy and smart way to manage your anger.
2. Acknowledge Your Emotions
Start by accepting your anger. Tell yourself that it’s okay to be angry, but it’s not okay to let it out on others in a destructive way.
Be true to yourself. If you feel there are any negative issues from your past holding you back, find a way to deal with them.
There are several things you can do to move past painful memories, like
- Write your thoughts and feelings in a journal
- Find local support groups
- Counselling or therapy
- Practice yoga and meditation
3. Look Inward
Reflecting inward can help you see things from a different vantage point. Seeing things from a different viewpoint gives you clarity. As a result, you can deal with the situation in a calm, relaxed manner.
Also, take a moment to ask yourself if the person who angered you actually meant to harm you. Or was it done unintentionally?
Looking at the situation from a 3rd person viewpoint is a terrific coping mechanism. You’ll be able to reach an amicable understanding while being respectful of yourself and others.
4. Learn Your Triggers
We all have certain people or places that make us angry. Just thinking about them makes your temper soar.
To avoid seething with anger each time you’re with someone or in a certain situation, learn your triggers. Start by figuring out what makes you angry.
Once you’ve identified your triggers, you’ll be better equipped at handling them. For example, let’s say you always take a certain route to work, but it’s always congested and that makes you angry. Why not look for a different route and spare yourself the aggravation of wasting time in traffic?
5. Do Something You Love
Anger is a very intense emotion. To balance it out, you need to take up a hobby or activity you enjoy.
Creative activities like drawing, painting, or playing a musical instrument benefit your mental health. In fact, the more time you spend on creative pastimes, the less angry and stressed you’ll feel.
Other hobbies include physical activities like hiking, kickboxing, and cycling. Even taking a 10-minute in the park can uplift your mental wellbeing.
These activities can help release pent-up negative energy in a healthy and safe way. Not only that, but exercise stimulates your brain to release more feel-good hormones. So, you don’t just get better at controlling your anger, you also feel happier and more resilient.