Anger is an emotion that everyone experiences at different points throughout their life. Unfortunately, there are times when it can become excessive and even dangerous. If you regularly experience getting “worked up” or are constantly stewing over something, you may be allowing your anger to control you and your actions. Fortunately, there are a number of ways you can modulate your reactions to situations that can decrease your anger.
1. Acknowledge It
One of the first and best things you can do about your anger is acknowledge that you are angry. When anger arises, we often get the sudden urge to act, which we may later regret. Whenever you notice the physical manifestations of anger such as a flushed face, shallow breathing, or tense shoulders—take a breath and verbally acknowledge that you feel yourself getting angry. This can be a helpful tool in reacting differently when angry or frustrated.
2. Take 5
The longer that you are in a triggering situation, the more likely you are to act irrationally out of anger. By temporarily removing yourself from a situation, like going for a five-minute bathroom break, you can take the time to allow your emotions to return to their baselines. This will help you to become a more effective communicator and prevent you from lashing out verbally or physically out of anger.
3. Have a Laugh
They say laughter is the best medicine but did you know that humor can help to diffuse you when you are angry? Humor can help you have a more balanced perspective. Additionally, humor can also help you realize when you are being a bit unreasonable. However, don’t just try to “laugh off” your problems. Instead, use humor to face your anger more constructively. Remember, don’t use humor, like sarcasm, as a form of aggression when dealing with others.
4. Consider the Alternative
Sometimes when we are angry it seems impossible to view the situation or person from any other alternative perspective but our own. The angrier we become, the more rigid our thinking becomes. Loosen up your thought patterns to help reduce your level of anger and consider alternative viewpoints. Consider things like what’s really important? What type of outcome do you want? and what are some points of your opponent’s position that make perfect sense? While this may be difficult, this helps you from acting out because of it.
It may be hard to empathize with a person or situation that makes you angry. First and foremost, your feelings are always valid. However, so are the other peoples’ feelings. Practicing empathy during frustrating situations can help you balance your emotions. Also, practicing empathy can help you understand where the other person is coming from.
Knowing When You Need Help…
Anger is a perfectly natural emotion that everyone, young and old, will experience throughout their lifetime. However, when anger starts to control your life that’s when it is a problem. Anger should not totally dictate your actions or interactions with others. If you are having trouble controlling it please contact one of our highly trained specialists to help you manage your anger.