We’ve all let our anger get the best of us at some point in our lives. You would have definitely experienced an everyday annoyance, or little frustration, and some of us have experienced full blown rage and spat the dummy. Sometimes anger has been warranted and sometime it will have been a major overreaction to the situation. Letting anger get one up on us is something that we want to avoid, and if you read on we will give you some tips on how to manage your anger, but first, let’s have a look at what anger is and why it happens.
Anger is a natural and very human emotion. We experience anger usually in response to a situation, or person, that we perceive as a danger or threat. You might feel that someone, or something, has done something wrong deliberately. While anger is usually talked about in a negative context, not all anger is bad. Sometimes it can motivate you to help solve a problem that is causing you frustration.
Anger is different for everyone. The levels of annoyance, frustration or anger that we feel towards a situation, or person, can vary dramatically. Something you find incredibly frustrating may not have even appeared on someone else’s radar. Sometimes someone may be just as frustrated as you are, but they are able to control these feelings a lot more easily.
The events or situations that cause these feelings of anger are usually referred to as triggers, and sometimes these triggers can be regular occurrences, such as you feeling that you are putting in more effort in a relationship, or work environment than others around you; or they can be unique, unjust or traumatic experiences that you are likely to experience only once, such as having your credit card hacked.
While feelings of anger occasionally are normal, frequent outbursts where you’re releasing pent up emotions can sometimes have bad consequences. Outbursts can be physical or verbal, and at times they can be both. Angry outbursts can be destructive to your relationships and impact your mental health and that of others around you.
Hope is not lost though, if you suffer from frequent feelings of frustration, irritation and anger, there are ways you can manage this. Some anger management techniques that you might find helpful are below.
Anger Management Techniques & Tips.
1. Recognise what triggers these feelings
It is one thing to recognise that you might experience feelings of anger more frequently, but it is another to be able to understand what triggers these feelings.
These triggers are different for every person, and what you perceive as a pet peeve, may be a full blown rage inducing situation for someone else.
Common triggers include, people being late to scheduled meetings, someone interrupting you while you speak, people not pulling their weight at work, or someone leaving their wet towel on the bathroom floor.
Regardless of what the trigger is, the important thing is to actually know what the trigger is. That way you can prepare yourself with ways to handle it when it occurs.
2. Stop, Take a Breath and Think, Before you React.
When you react with anger, sometimes you say things, or behave physically in a way that can be hurtful to others. Sometimes the damage that is caused by anger is irreparable and can end relationships abruptly.
Before this happens, if someone says or does something that triggers your feelings of anger, instead of reacting right away, take a second to take a step back, and breath. Give yourself time to collect your thoughts and think about what you can or will say, instead of letting the words flow out of your mouth.
There are many mindful breathing techniques that you can learn. By undertaking one of these practices, you will find your focus may shift from the actual situation that caused your anger and instead be focused on your breathing. Which in turn, may help you calm down.
3. Choose How you react, aim for solutions
By taking the time to take a step back and think about the situation that has triggered your feelings of anger, it will give you time to actively make a choice of how you react. The reality of life is that you cannot control every situation, but you have the ability to choose how you react to it.
Often our feelings of anger can be triggered by something going wrong when it is a simple task. The frustration can stem from the simplicity, however our anger can make the situation worse. Instead of reacting with anger, aim to find a solution. Often it is easier to fix something that we think, and by focusing on figuring out how to fix something, rather than dwelling on it happening in the first place. By channelling this energy into finding the solution you may find a way to avoid something happening in the first place.
4. Find ways to let out your frustrations
If you find yourself with pent up energy, or feelings of anger occurring regularly, rather than using this energy in a negative way, find a way that you can release it that can benefit you both physically and mentally.
A lot of people find it helpful to take up exercise or a sport of some sort. It can be as physical or as slow paced as you like. Some popular options include Boxing, Swimming, Running and Yoga.
5. Seek Help from a professional
Sometimes there is a stigma around using the help of a professional, particularly when it concerns mental health. But there is nothing to be embarrassed or worried about. The use of these services to help people work through and manage their feelings of anger is more common than you might think.
A professional can introduce you to some anger management treatments suitable for you. He can help you work through your anger in many different ways and often can help you find a root cause for these feelings as well as educate you on different ways you can manage these feelings.
While anger is a normal response that you might feel occasionally, and while not all anger is negative, it is important to recognise when you may be experiencing these feelings more than usual. If you find yourself unable to control your anger, try to use one or a combination of the above techniques to help keep your anger under control.