Anger is a normal emotion. You may fume when your kids refuse to follow your directions or lose your temper when someone cuts you off in traffic. But while anger is considered a healthy emotion because it allows you to cope with emotional distress, it can negatively affect your relationships, as well as your health when experienced at an intense degree.
In this article, we will go over some anger management tips that will help you keep anger in check.
1. Observe your anger as soon as it starts
Your reaction over any situation commonly starts at a scale of 1 and escalates fast from there. As such, it helps to identify the anger when it first arises to prevent it from increasing gradually and getting out of control. As we have said, anger is a normal response to frustrating situations, but it is the escalation of this emotion that causes things to get out of hand.
Keep in mind that managing your anger all comes down to control, and only you will be able to master your own emotions. So while you cannot always control how you react to certain situations, you can identify the feeling as it starts and controls the escalation.
2. Identify situations that trigger your anger
The first step to being able to tame your temper is to identify the circumstances that upset you. Once you are able to pinpoint situations that make you lose control, you can then take steps to avoid those or to practice how you should react to them.
3. Try to cool off
It’s never easy to go from an angry state to a relaxed one when you encounter aggravating situations. But there are ways to do it that will help de-escalate your anger and allow you to handle the situation constructively. One simple way to restore calm is to breathe slowly and deeply until your heart rate becomes lower. If you are having difficulty relaxing, close your eyes as you breathe slowly, and picture a tranquil scene or any activity that brings you peace. Your good thoughts will trump the resentful thoughts that are making you angrier.
4. Think before you speak
It’s not healthy to hide your frustrations from yourself because you will only end up exploding without thinking. But anger will make you say things that you are likely to regret later on, so we suggest taking a timeout, and avoiding speaking to the person who angered you until you are calm enough to express your annoyance in an assertive way.
5. Seek professional help
If you have tried the anger management techniques outlined above, but find that you are still unable to control your anger, or if you are hurting others because of your anger issues, then it may be time to seek professional help. You can find many programs and therapies that are designed to help people with anger management problems.
Asking for help is an important step that will allow you to explore the reasons behind your anger problem, and to practice skills that are essential for expressing your anger in a non-confrontational way.
6. Stop the blame game
If something turns out different from what you expected, it’s easy to blame others for causing the situation. This is not a healthy way to explain your emotions because blame is one-sided, and it causes your anger to escalate. When you play the blame game, you end up investing your energy in making the other party responsible instead of taking the time to understand what really happened. So the next time something makes you angry, recognize your emotions so you can move forward from blaming other people for the way you feel.