Anger Management Tips: Control Your Anger – Before It Controls You
How to release anger and stay in control of your emotions? Well, there are some routines that you can implement in your life that can help you to beat the anger.
First, let’s see how anger is defined and how can be triggered.
Anger is a common emotion and can be healthy when it’s handled correctly. But sometimes it can feel so hard to keep it under control.
Learning how to release anger appropriately can help you stabilize your moods, have healthy relationships, and improve your health.
According to the Mayo Clinic, anger is a natural response to perceived threats-a survival instinct that activates the body’s fight or flight reaction.
Muscles tighten, and the face and hands begin to flush. Often anger inspires powerful, and sometimes aggressive, feelings and actions to defend ourselves when we feel attacked.
Anger can be triggered by both internal and external factors.
- External triggers are a result of outside influences, such as a coworker spreading rumors about you or a person cutting you off in heavy traffic.
- Internal triggers involve brooding about personal issues or obsessing over negative experiences from the past. Learned behaviors, inherited tendencies, and brain chemistry may also play a role in the severity of anger.
Being easily angered can mean you have a low tolerance for frustration. You may feel like you shouldn’t be subjected to frustration, annoyance, or any inconvenience. This can cause you to have a much harder time taking anger triggers in stride.
But the good news is that you can learn how to control your anger. Research shows that therapy can help 75% of people that struggle with anger management problems.
Why Are Some People Angrier Than Others?
It could be several things. Genetics and physiological factors tend to play a role, even at an early age.
Some children are noted for being more irritable and easily angered. Learned social and cultural behaviors may also affect someone’s ability to handle anger. If someone is taught expressing anger is bad or rude, they may suppress their anger or lash out when they can’t handle the emotion any longer.
Finally, the family background can play a role. People who grow up in families that are chaotic, disruptive, or not skilled in expressing emotions often have a harder time managing anger.
Not only do people deal with anger for different reasons, but they also deal with it in different ways.
The Mayo Clinic talks about three typical categories in which people deal with anger:
Expression: This is how you convey the message of being angry. Expressing anger could range from reasonable, rational discussion to lashing out in a violent outburst. The healthiest way to express anger is being assertive rather than aggressive.
Suppression: This involves holding in angry emotions in hopes of converting them to more constructive behavior. Suppressing anger turns your anger inward which can affect your health and well-being.
Calming Down: By controlling your outward behavior and managing your internal responses, you could allow the intense emotions to subside. This involves knowing yourself, how anger affects you, and coping strategies that work for you.
The Dangers of Suppressing Your Anger
As discussed above, some people choose to suppress their anger in the hope of the situation changing or simply going away. Suppressing anger can have significant impacts on your health, including:
Increasing the chance of heart disease. Those more prone to angry outbursts were at twice the risk of developing the coronary disease compared to calmer peers.
If you are more prone to being angry, some changes in how you deal with emotions can help your heart. Constructively dealing with anger, like using assertive communication, wasn’t associated with heart disease.
A greater risk of stroke. One study found angry people had a three times higher risk of having a stroke after an angry outburst.
Weakening the immune system. The stress hormones released when a person is angry can weaken the immune system making a person more susceptible to colds, the flu, infections, or even cancer.
Increasing anxiety and depression. Suppressing anger and not resolving issues can cause a person to fixate on specific triggers. This could lead to higher incidences of depression (especially in men). Also, the hostility of having internalized, unexpressed anger is a major contributor to more intense generalized anxiety disorder symptoms.
How To Release Anger
Here are 10 tips for letting go of anger and stay in control of your emotions.
Take deep breaths
In the heat of the moment, it’s easy to overlook your breathing. But that kind of shallow breathing you do when you’re angry keeps you in fight-or-flight mode.
To combat this, try taking slow, controlled breaths you inhale from your belly rather than your chest. This allows your body to instantly calm itself.
You can also keep this breathing exercise in your back pocket:
- Find a chair or place where you can comfortably sit, allowing your neck and shoulders to fully relax.
- Breathe deeply through your nose, and pay attention to your tummy rising.
- Exhale through your mouth.
- Try doing this exercise 3 times a day for 5 to 10 minutes or as needed.
- Recite a comforting mantra.
- Repeating a calming phrase can make it easier to express difficult emotions, including anger and frustration.
Try slowly repeating, “Take it easy,” or “Everything’s going to be okay,” the next time you’re feeling overwhelmed by a situation. You can do this out loud if you want, but you can also say it under your breath or in your head.
You can also keep a list of phrases on your phone for a quick reminder before a stressful work presentation or challenging meeting.
Finding your happy place in a flight delay or work setback can help you feel more relaxed at the moment.
When wrestling with boiling tension, try painting a mental picture to calm your body and brain:
Think of a real or imaginary place that makes you feel happy, peaceful, and safe. This can be that camping trip to the mountains you took last year or an exotic beach you’d like to visit someday.
Focus on the sensory details by envisioning yourself there. What are the smells, sights, and sounds?
Be aware of your breathing and keep this image in your mind until you feel your anxiety starts to lift.
Mindfully move your body
Sometimes, sitting still can make you feel even more anxious or on edge. Mindfully moving your body with yoga and other calming exercises can release tension in your muscles.
The next time you’re confronted by a stressful situation, try taking a walk or even doing some light dancing to keep your mind off the stress.
Check your perspective
Moments of high stress can warp your perception of reality, making you feel like the world is out to get you. The next time you feel anger bubbling up, try to check your perspective.
Everyone has bad days from time to time, and tomorrow will be a fresh start.
Express your frustration
Angry outbursts won’t do you any favors, but that doesn’t mean you can’t vent your frustrations to a trusted friend or family member after a particularly bad day. Plus, allowing yourself space to express some of your anger prevents it from bubbling up inside.
Defuse anger with humor
Finding the humor in a heated moment can help you keep a balanced perspective. This doesn’t mean you should simply laugh off your problems, but looking at them in a more lighthearted way can help.
The next time you feel your rage bubbling up, imagine how this scenario might look to an outsider? How might this be funny to them?
By not taking yourself too seriously, you’ll have more chances to see how unimportant minor annoyances are in the big scheme of things.
Change your surroundings
Give yourself a break by taking some personal time from your immediate surroundings.
If your home is cluttered and stressing you out, for example, take a drive or a long walk. You’ll likely find that you’re better equipped to sort through the mess when you return.
Recognize triggers and find alternatives
If your daily commute turns you into a ball of rage and frustration, try finding an alternative route or leaving earlier for work. Got a loud co-worker who constantly taps their foot? Look into some noise-canceling headphones.
The idea is to pinpoint and understand the things that trigger your anger. Once you’re more aware of what they are, you can take steps to avoid falling prey to them.
If you aren’t sure where your anger is coming from, try to remind yourself to take a moment the next time you feel angry.
Use this time to take stock of what happened in the moments leading up to your feelings of anger. Were you with a particular person? What were you doing? How were you feeling leading up to that moment?
Focus on what you appreciate
While dwelling on your day’s misfortunes can seem like the natural thing to do, it won’t help you in the short or long term.
Instead, try refocusing on the things that went well. If you can’t find the silver lining in the day, you can also try thinking about how things might’ve gone even worse.
It’s normal and healthy to feel upset and angry from time to time. But if you can’t shake a bad mood or constantly feel overwhelmed by anger, it might be time to ask for help.
If your anger is impacting your relationships and well-being, talking with a qualified therapist can help you work through the sources of your anger and help you develop better-coping tools.
Beat Your Inner Anger Monster for Good
Being angry has stolen your happiness for too long. It’s eaten you up from the inside and shattered your peace of mind.
It’s even affected your health. But worse still, it’s allowed the person or events that caused your anger to have power over you.
Just imagine getting through a whole day without losing your temper.
Imagine that seething resentment disappearing, leaving you feeling liberated of all those toxic thoughts.
Imagine being able to react with forgiveness instead of rage and being able to respond by letting go rather than clinging on to old hurts and wrongs.
By taking small, simple actions, you can take great leaps in beating your anger monster for good. Try to be open-minded in letting these ideas speak to you. Pick the ones that shout loudest.
Put yourself back in charge of your emotions, your life, and your happiness.
Final Words About Dealing With Anger and Controlling Emotions
By adopting these routines in your daily life you can easily release anger and start controlling your emotions.
If these tips are not helping you it is better to seek help. By taking small actions you can beat your anger inside of you for good.
Related articles with anger management
- Breathing Exercises To Control Stress and Calm Your Mind
- 10 Ways To Calm Down When You Are Stressed and Anxious
- Grounding Techniques to Try When You’re Stressed or Anxious