We all know what anger is, and we’ve all felt it. Few events:-
Why does the milk delivery guys come early morning & rings the bell, like 5 times?
When will I get out of traffic?
How many times do I have to tell mom, not to cook cabbage, I hate it?
Why does my TL always asks me to review my projects every time?
How is that auto-driver is driving the auto?
Do you face such ‘Grrrrrrr…’ feeling every day?. It comes mostly in form of annoyance or in extreme cases as full-fledged rage. Anger is a natural emotion. It is healthy sometimes. It can be a problem if not kept under control. Responding aggressively is a natural instinctive way of expressing anger. The purpose of anger is to start or stop something. Anger is needed when you need to block a threat or take control of a situation.
Anger is “an emotional state that varies in intensity from mild irritation to intense fury and rage,” according to Charles Spielberger, PhD, a psychologist who specializes in the study of anger.
It can be caused by both external and internal events. Like other emotions, anger is accompanied by physiological & biological changes. When you’re angry, your heart rate & blood pressure rises, as do the levels of energy hormones and adrenaline. Uncontrolled anger can take a toll on your health as well as your relationships. Unexpressed anger can create other problems. Problems at works, relationships and overall quality of life.
Why Anger is not Good?
Anger is not at all helpful and is a problem because it is an ineffective way of operating in the social world. It can occasionally backfire and ruin relationships. anger is an evolved intimidation strategy. Most of our anger is for whom we love and care about. Anger is much less effective in getting people to behave ‘correctly’. Anger costs warmth, intimacy and tends to comes back to bite you. Having a Warm (non-angry) relationship is keep to happiness & emotional wellbeing.
Anger management reduces your emotional feelings and the physiological arousal caused by anger. Life will be filled with frustration, pain, loss, and the unpredictable actions of others. You can’t change that, but you can change the way you let such events affect you. Controlling your angry responses can keep them from making you even more unhappy in the long run. Here are # anger management tips to curb down that anger triggers.
Managing your anger is as much about managing your happiness and contentment as your anger, It should be a part of developing your emotional intelligence and resilience
#1 Write It Down
Before going to bed, write each & every incident that made you angry. Mention each event in detail. Make sure to include exactly how you felt, what made you angry, where you were, your reaction & what you felt afterwards. After you have kept your journal for a while, look out for common things in each incident. Look at what triggers anger in you. Work on those triggers. If you’re angry with person or persons, write an apology letter. Writing reduces anger & if you can forgive someone who angered you, you might learn from the situation and strengthen your relationship. Writing your anger is the healthiest way of managing anger.
#2 Practice Assertiveness
Angry people tend to curse, swear or speak in highly colourful terms reflecting inner thoughts. Their thinking gets exaggerated & overdramatic. People think irrationally when they are angry & demand things. They criticize or place blame on others. This increases tension, causing stress. Assertive behaviour means acknowledging the needs of both parties involved in the disagreement. Emphasize on using ‘I’ in all statements that you speak. Be specific and respectful. Instead of saying – ‘You never do any housework”. Say “I’m upset that you didn’t offer me help with this housework”. Be careful of words like “never” or “always”. Stick to the facts, make requests respectfully, communicate clearly. Remind yourself that getting angry is not going to fix anything. Nor it will make you feel better (and may actually make you feel worse).
#3 Deep Slow Breathing
Anger makes your body tensed. To calm down breathe slowly & deeply. It lowers the internal anger meter. Even if you do not meditate, using deep breathing techniques offers similar benefits. Breathe from your diaphragm, not from the chest. Breathing from chest won’t relax you. Picture your breath coming up from your ‘gut’. Speak out words like ‘Relax’, ‘Take it Easy’. Keep breathing until you feel that you’ve regained control. Practise this daily to automatically use it when you’re angry.
#4 Talk About It
Ask for the support of someone you trust. Talking about your anger means unloading and decompressing with a friend or close confidant. This helps you to vent your anger. You will get a different neutral perspective on the situation. You can even talk it out loud, while no one can hear you. Clearly mention that you don’t want any advice, just sympathy, unless otherwise (if you need a solution).
WARNING! Never discuss anger at work with your colleagues. Neither do talk to them about your anger at home.
#5 Perform Physical Activity
Physical activity reduces stress caused due to anger. If you find anger escalating, go for a brisk walk, run, dance, or spend time doing other enjoyable activities. The endorphins that come from exercise can help you calm down, and moving your body provides a physical outlet for your rage. maintaining a regular exercise schedule can also help you regulate your emotions in general. Focus on the body & activity that you are doing, not the event that made you angry.
#4 Laugh it Off
Anger can be diffused by Laughter. Fake it till you make it. Practice laughing while you’re angry. Use humour to help you face what’s making you angry. For all those Bollywood fans who have watched Munna Bhai MBBS, you will relate this well to Boman Irani’s role.
#6 Break Away Anger
When you get angry, just break away from that situation. A 5 min walk, a fake laughter or deep breathing anything will help. The idea is to create a mental and/or physical escape from anger. Bathrooms are the most common place for anger-break. Singing out loud from lungs in Traffic Jam is another anger-break.
#7 Think before you speak
During that moment on anger. it’s easy to say something that you’ll regret later. Take a pause, collect your thought before saying anything. Allow others who are involved in the situation to do so.
#8 Accept People as they are
Accept people who you encounter are the way they are. Not everything about them is good or bad. They are struggling just like you for a happy life. With this thought, acceptance comes easier and your anger reduces. You cannot change someone’s behaviour, alternatively, change yourself.
#9 Respond, Don’t React
Be a Scientist, not a Lawyer! If you get into an argument which may lead you to anger. Don’t be that lawyer who argues back. Sometimes, our anger and frustration are caused by very real and inescapable problems in our lives. Every problem has a solution. Instead of reacting to it – by beating the pillow, smashing things around. It would be better for you to respond to the problem or situation in front of you. Remember that anger will make things worse and won’t fix anything.
#10 Picture this!
Imagining yourself in a happy situation will lighten you up. Thinking of yourself at a beach with a beer in hand can bring down anger. It may be difficult to start this, but with practice, you can attain this feat and manage your anger is a positive way. Simple imaging a red stop sign, or a childhood memory or anything that relaxes you will help.
#11 Don’t Display Your Anger
Displaying anger can only intimidate others or make them angry as well. It’s not how you should deal with it. Anger signals a threat to others, particularly children. Your anger is your problem, not somebody else’s.
#12 Get enough sleep
Deprived sleep leads to major health concerns including the ability to manage emotions. Humans need 7-8 hours of sleep per night. Adequate sleep improves mood & lessen the anger. For people with chronic sleep problems should get medical attention. Good sleep also reduces stress. Do read my blog on stress management as well.
#13 positive self-talk
Giving yourself a positive assurance of any situation that may lead to anger is another effective way to control it. Upon experiencing an anger-triggering event, calm down & discuss the situation with yourself in positive & relieving terms.
#14 Count to 10
Simply counting to 10 when you get angry. It really calms you down. This will give you time to think & respond to the situation. Rather than getting angrier & doing something really stupid.
#15 Watch Yourself
Angry people often take pride in rage. The often experience a warm inner glow of self-satisfaction as a result of their action. Even if they leave a scene achieved nothing, they appear to believe so. But this is not, of course, how they are perceived by their victims, spouse or onlookers. Interestingly, if they themselves saw from outside they would have a completely different thought on the same situation while not angry. You must see or hear yourself genuinely angry at least once in a lifetime. Roger Federer stopped smashing rackets, after watching himself getting angry on TV.
#16 Get Your Facts Straight
People, when angry are biased towards interpreting others’ behaviour as inappropriate, even though they don’t have information to be really sure. The first simplest step in reducing anger is to take a moment & make sure that you understand their situation so as to why they behaved in a particular manner or spoke something. Ask questions calmly to understand better. This little habit alone can save a lot of unnecessary grief or grievance.
#17 Let it Go
Do not hold thoughts related to that event which made you angry. Event occurs, you became angry, Event over! Why the thoughts should be still with you. Such thoughts will not let move your focus from the event that agitated you. Let these thoughts go and it’ll be easier for you to calm down. Try to avoid phrases/thoughts with include words like:-
- Should or Shouldn’t
- Must or Mustn’t
- Ought or Oughtn’t
- Not Fair
Anger Management is not that difficult, it seems! Let me know your thoughts on this article in the comments below.
I do host anger management training & workshops, contact me for further details.