How to manage anger
Anger management: 8 useful tips that are sure to help
Uncontrolled anger affects every part of our life, health, relationships, career and emotional well being. We provide here 8 simple anger management tips — deep breathing to mentally repeating what you are about to say — that will help you manage it and take control of your behaviour.
Everyday stressors of life can sometimes lead to anger outbursts, such as using foul language when somebody cuts you off in traffic or getting red faced with high blood pressure when your child refuses to follow your directions. Controlled anger is normal and sometimes a healthy emotion — and you have to deal with it positively. Uncontrolled anger can effect every part of your life — health, relationships, family, career and emotional well being.
The tips we provide here are not in any order of preference. You can start with whatever comes easy for you and then slowly incorporate others.
1. Mentally reflect before speaking
Emotional outbursts of anger happen without reflection. So whenever you feel you are getting angry to get into an emotional outburst, pause and mentally reflect on what you are about to say. If you make this a practice, you will find that you will get into a much calmer state of mind and also give others leeway to reflect on their own words.
2. Use assertive language
Once you have reflected on your choice of words and the message you want to convey, convey it assertively without being confrontational. Speak the “I language” such as “It is my viewpoint that what you said just now is not justified and I take it as rude behaviour” without using abusive language and being physically imposing.
3. Do vigorous exercise
A good way to divert your energy and drive away stress is to do vigorous exercise when you find that your anger is being aroused. It is good to go for a outdoor run, brisk walking, bicycle or use a rowing machine when you find that your anger is increasing.
4. Practice mindfulness
During stress and anger our mind gets disconnected with our senses and our pace of breathing increases. Practicing willful mindfulness at such times brings it back in contact with senses and calms it down. Here are the few steps you take for practicing mindfulness in such situations:
- Become aware of the build up of anger in your body.
- Breath consciously and deeply and into the physical sensations of the body.
- Try to replace your feelings of anger with kindness and gentleness.
- Notice the thoughts racing through your brain and let them run their course while affirming that they are just a reaction to the disappointment you experienced and not you.
- Communicate with “I statements” assertively to the other party as previously discussed.
5. Find your “do not disturb” corner
It is good to retire to a “do not disturb” area when you are feeling angry and let the emotion pass through. Some quiet time is good for us to reflect on what happened, recollect our emotions and plan for an effective response.
6. Learn to forgive
Practice inculcating love and compassion for others and give them the benefit of doubt so that it is easy for you to forgive and forget. By forgiving and forgetting the mistakes of others, you will not only help yourself find peace but also will be able to grow your relationships with others without being burdened by the past.
7. Seek professional help
If you are finding it hard to control your anger even after repeated efforts and it is spoiling your relationships and getting you into trouble such as AVO’s, police complaints or complaints at work, it is recommended that you seek professional help from psychologists. They can understand your triggers and help you by putting in place a structured anger management plan.
8. See the funnier side of things
Sometimes by looking at the funny side of things we help in diffusing the situation and relax both ourselves and the opposite party. Remember being funny doesn’t means being sarcastic and you have to learn to manage this fine line.