How often do you get angry? Almost never?…Sometimes?…Every day? To what extent are you angry? You almost don’t notice it?…You are very angry?…You explode? Whom are you most angry with? Your parents?… Your relatives?…Your friends?…Colleagues?…
How to deal with anger in a healthy way?
Anger is one of the most destructive human emotions. And, perhaps the most common. In a fit of anger, we do things that often hurt our loved ones. And then we regret about our actions and words.
And while disputes, even quarrels, are sometimes useful for communication because they contribute to the otherwise hidden arguments and problems, letting go of anger is already a final phase that damages relationships.
If you find it difficult to control your anger, this article may help. I’ve put together some good tips on how to deal with anger in a healthy way, how to control your temper and emotions, as well as some good points on why is that important. So, let’s start by looking at a few reasons why it’s important to control your anger in stressful situations.
Why is this important?
- For your health. A quiet heart is life for the body. In addition, the Journal of Medicine and Life states that “anger directly affects cardiovascular disease.”
- For the sake of your relationships. If you have problems with anger, do not be surprised that others avoid you. If you don’t learn to control your feelings, you will lose valuable friends and even ruin your relationship with relatives.
- Because of your reputation. If you lose control of your emotions, others will notice and this will affect their opinion of you. Ask yourself “How do I want to be known – as a balanced and peaceful person or as a delayed bomb?” A famous proverb says, “He who is in no hurry to be angry has great insight, but who is impatient shows his foolishness.”
In many cases, friends, colleagues and even relatives pull away from a person when he loses his temper. No one wants to be around an angry person.
However, controlling anger is difficult and not everyone is able to control it effectively. Some people flare up suddenly, and sometimes very ominously – so much so that they don’t always know what they are saying. In those moments, the risk of hurting people around you is enormous. Even more so if the angry outbursts are a daily occurrence.
There are 5 main types of anger. They largely determine the overall personality and character.
- Explosive anger – People, who are often considered quick-tempered, fall into this type of anger category. They rage for a split of a second. It is typical for them to get angry about unimportant things. They can set fire to something insignificant, but at the same time shout out some very edgy statements. “I’ll kill you if you loose your socks once again!”, for example.
This type of anger usually doesn’t last long, but can be very annoying for other people around to constantly bear with it. To deal with the explosive anger, try to think for a second and ask yourself “Is this really important?” and try to take a few slow and deep breaths to give yourself some time for the strong emotions to pass.
- Self-victimizing – Some people like to play the victim. Even if they are guilty, they begin to blame their opponent. “It’s my fault, but you don’t support me. You do not understand me. I always try, and you don’t appreciate me.” Such outbursts and manipulations are typical for this type of quiet and manipulative anger.
A good way to deal with this anger is to learn to defend your position. Confront when you need to. Express opinion when needed. Don’t sacrifice yourself unless you really are a victim.
- Avoidance – Some people express their anger passively by avoiding confrontation. They say that everything is fine, that they are fine, that there is no problem, and in fact, that is not true. They happily avoid any annoyance and pretend that nothing has happened. They harbor anger within themselves and fear not to ruin their reputation.
This type of anger can be very destructive because any negative emotion that is kept inside becomes an illness. Over time, such people become emotionally unstable, irritable, depressed, deeply vulnerable.
How to deal with this type of anger? Psychologists advise to ask yourself if you are well. What will happen if you name the problems with their real names? Even if your life changes completely, even if it turns 180 degrees, this may help you face your fears. And, ultimately, you will feel much better.
- Sarcasm – A sarcastic approach to problems does not solve them, only deepens them. It provokes anger in the person to whom the ironic sweeps and sarcastic statements are addressed. People who are sarcastic about anger are usually insecure and hide their insecurity behind the irony.
How to deal with the sarcastic type of anger? Sarcasm is passive-aggressive communication. To deal with your anger, try to find the right words to express yourself. They have to be honest and really outline the problems directly, not ironically.
- Passive-aggressive – The passive-aggressive type of anger is neither active nor quiet. This anger is somewhere in the middle. People who are angry in this way do not like confrontation, but are also on the alert so that you do not accidentally attack them. These people live their lives silently, even if they are not happy with it. They are reconciled, but they like to imply every mistake on their partners.
How to deal with this type of anger? Allow yourself to be angry from time to time. Let go of the steam and try to communicate and address your anger in an appropriate manner.
How to control your anger to healthy limits?
You may not realize it, but character and personality formation is largely encoded in childhood. Anger, and the attitude towards it, including your own style of getting angry also root somewhere in your childhood. Try to understand what makes you angry, what you experienced the first time you were angry, and what made you truly mad.
- Identify your “triggers” that make you break out. Be honest with yourself. This is most important in terms of anger management. When you self-deceive, you are not helping the people around you, nor your relationships.
The key is to be fully aware of the things that annoy you. It’s important to track yourself – how you react, what you say. Consider whether you are crossing the moral boundaries and what you can change.
- Think of a phrase or a ritual to perform when you feel that anger is coming. Psychologists advise that you come up with some useful way to control your anger. Once you have identified the triggers that cause it, it will be easier for you to know when it will occur. Before you break out, perform your ritual or say the magic phrase. Do it in front of your partner without worrying. That way you can then discuss the events and make a sober decision.
- Set a time to go back and talk. It is helpful to control your anger and withdraw from a direct confrontation while you are still taken over by emotions. Come back after you have calmed down, you have thought over the situation and you are ready to talk normally.
- Think about how you would react in a conflict so you don’t let your nerves out. I believe a key point in having a better control over your anger and your emotions is for a person to know themselves well. This gives them the power to react adequately, to direct conversations and disputes in the desired direction, and most importantly, to act constructively.
When does anger get dangerous?
Physically, anger damages your health in many ways. If the moments of anger are repeated regularly, this can lead to problems at different levels:
- Digestion. Occurrence of inflammation and ulcers in the small intestine; inflammation of the walls of the stomach (gastritis), irritable bowel syndrome.
- Immune system. The angrier you are, the more likely you are to get the flu, and the slower your recovery from accidents and surgeries.
- Heart and circulatory system. The risk of heart attack and stroke is significantly higher for people who are having troubles to deal with anger.
- Mental health. Risk of depression, addiction, self-destructive and aggressive behavior.
What can you do?
“A wrathful man causes strife, and he who is inclined to rage commits many crimes.”, a saying.
In my teenage years, it was hardest for me to control my emotions. My close relatives have the same problem. We used to joke that its in our gene. We have a hard time managing our wild temper.
However, if I give credit for my good qualities to my personal development, would it be wise to blame genetics for the poor ones? Definitely not.
“The soft answer curtails anger, and the abusive word provokes anger,” a saying.
Therefore, I believe that the most important thing is to learn to control your emotions. What I’ve learned is that if you develop softness and try to be positive, you will not allow yourself to lose your temper. That won’t even be a problem for you. And that formula has worked for me tremendously so far.
Why is my initial reaction so important when I am challenged?
When I answer in a gentle way, it makes the others feel calm and this way we can talk without losing our temper. I am sure you’ve also realized that when you keep your voice low and reply gently, this, in most cases, discourages the angry person from throwing its rat on you.
“When there is no wood, the fire goes out.” This saying, sums it up.
How in words and actions can I just stop pouring oil into the fire?
Sometimes when I am taken over by angry feelings, I know I can say or do things that can hurt others or ruin relationships. Therefore, in some situations, I prefer to leave and give myself some time to think about what happened. Then, when I’m calm, I can handle the situation. What is important here is to leave the tensed situation without giving the impression that you are being neglectful. And this excludes slamming doors or rushing out of the house like a fury.
Of course, there are moments when we may loose control of our emotions and explode. But we must also learn from such situations. It is important that we quickly come to our senses when we make a mistake and be determined to do better next time.
Suggestion: Set a goal. Try for a certain amount of time, such as a month, to react calmly when someone provokes you. Make a note and track your progress.
I used to think of people who quickly withdraw from a tense situation without getting angry as week. Now I understand that they have actually shown humility – one of the most important qualities we can develop. It’s not easy for me to learn how to handle my emotions, and I am sure if you are struggling with controlling your anger, it is not easy for you too. But it’s worth it!
A trick that works great in moments of anger is I take a deep breath a few times and this gives me time to think before reacting sharply and then regretting it. Anger is not the solution to any problem. In fact, it can make things worse.
I am sure you can also remember moments when anger and disappointment have made you say things you don’t mean, and to do things that you later regretted.
When one is angry and accumulates more negative emotions in himself, it is better to bring them out in order to ease them. However, this should not happen by pouring them over the other person because, as it became clear, this can lead to some serious problems, mostly related to communication between people.
If you cannot control your anger, here are some practical basic directions to keep in mind during your next angry outburst:
How to deal with anger and anxiety?
Before you say anything, always count to 10. It is thought that during this time a person’s heart rate slows down, he manages to calm down at least a little, and even his anger can disappear.
When you are angry and arguing with someone, you get the feeling that you are short of air and your voice is getting thinner. You can change this by inhaling deeply through the nose and exhaling through the mouth. Of course, you can do this by going somewhere away from others.
- Go for a walk
If you feel that you are losing your nerves, it is better to end the dispute and leave where you are. Taking a walk will help you calm down because when you move, the tension in the body can be “released” even through a 10-minute walk in fresh air.
- Relax the muscles
Muscle relaxation is an ideal way to release anger. Therefore, set some time for it. One thing you can do is get some massage, or self-massage the zones which you feel tensed. You can also lie down for a few minutes or sit somewhere comfortably and focus on intentionally relaxing your muscles in all your body parts.
- Repeat a positive affirmation
When you get angry, people may tell you, “What’s wrong with you? Calm down!” But what you can do is, find some positive affirmation for yourself and repeat it in moments when you feel anger is building up.
For instance, you can say to yourself “Everything will be fine, I am calm!”. The repetition of positive affirmations may have a great effect on some people and may become something like a mantra in difficult situations. If you need support tools in this, try using affirmation cards that you keep everywhere with you.
- Spend some time alone
Deliberately run away from people who have angered or annoyed you. If you have the opportunity, go somewhere in a quiet room or sit on a park bench. Close your eyes and try to mentally take yourself to a more comfortable place. The so-called visualization of different objects will help you feel better.
- Listen to relaxing music
Music can enhance your mood and tone you up after exhausting conflict. Put on your noise-cancelling headphones or play your favorite music in the room. You may also look for relaxing tunes to clear your mind.
- Humor always helps
Use humor to release tension. This is yet another good tip on how to deal with anger. The playful arguments presented through some jokes are a better option than the outburst. However, avoid sarcasm and strong irony. This can make things worse.
9. Write it down
When you feel angry, instead of pouring all those bad words all around, take a piece of paper, or your notebook and write down everything that pisses you off…doodle, scratch,curse on that piece of paper if you wish, or try to describe what makes you angry as if you are speaking to someone. You will be amazed how therapeutic that can be.
- Do exercises
Exercises have a great stress-release effect and help to control your nerves and outbursts. Imagine a pressure bottle. It will explode unless the pressure is released in some way. However, you can learn how to control your anger, namely by releasing the steam.
- After you calm down, express your feelings
When you have mastered the techniques mentioned above, it will be much easier for you to learn to think rationally, respectfully, and in a non-confrontational manner. This is the time when you can get back and communicate to problems clearly and express your feelings. This is very important if you want to clear things out and prevent future conflicts.
- Stretch, rub or massage the area where you feel tension.
Usually, when we are angry, we feel intense tension somewhere in our body. To soothe the nerve system, and with it the muscles, perform a massage at the affected area. You will feel better. And the anger will pass you by faster.
- Take a bath
Another great tip to lose the steam and release the feeling of anger is to take a relaxing bath. It could be a shower with some added bath bombs for extra soothing effect or a bathtub with essential oils, magnesium or sea salt. The warmth of the water can do wonders for your mood and can calm you down in no time.
Crazy outbreaks are not a solution to crisis situations. There are many other constructive ways that can help you get out of a difficult situation and maintain your health, your emotions and your mood. Don’t hurt yourself and others by being angry. Use the tips above to control your anger in the best possible way and feel free to share what works best for you in the comments below.
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