5 Strategies to Help Manage Anger
What is anger? It’s that feeling you get in the pit of your stomach when something or someone annoys you. Most people feel it occasionally, but for some, anger can become a problem corroding relationships and ruining lives.
If uncontrolled anger is a part of your life, don’t worry there are steps you can take to manage your anger healthily and productively.
Here are five practical ways to help you manage anger:
1. Understand the root cause of your anger. First, it’s important to understand the root causes of your anger. What are the triggers that make you angry? Common culprits might include conflict with others, stress at work or home, or even significant life changes like a divorce or job loss.
● Keep a journal and write it down each time you feel angry. Include the date, time, what happened, and how you felt physically and emotionally. It will help you pinpoint your emotional triggers.
● After a week or two of journaling, look for patterns in your anger. Are there certain people or situations that trigger your anger? Remember that you can’t control people, but you can control how you react to their behavior.
● Once you’ve identified your triggers, you can develop a plan to deal with them healthily. If certain people make you feel angry, make a conscious effort to identify what they do to make you feel bad.
● If their behavior is unbearable, you might need to break ties with that person if your interaction with them causes emotional pain or turmoil.
2. Constructively express your anger. Once you know what makes you angry, it’s important to find a constructive way to express that anger. Bottling up your anger can lead to health problems like high blood pressure and heart disease.
● Lashing out aggressively or violently can damage your relationships and cause lasting damage to those around you.
● Healthy ways to process and express your anger: Count to ten before you speak, take deep breaths and think before expressing your thoughts and feelings.
● Understand your feelings, accept them, and find a healthy way of expressing your feelings to your partner, friends, or family members.
● If you find that your anger affects your personal or professional life, it might be time to seek professional help. Talk to a therapist or counselor who can help you understand and productively deal with your anger.
● Exercise. Physical activity is a great way to cope with stress and frustration, so try going for a brisk walk or hitting the gym when you’re feeling angry.
● Exercising is a great way to manage and positively process your anger. It helps to improve your mood, increase endorphins, and reduce stress.
● Take some time for yourself. Finally, remember that it’s also important to take time for yourself to relax and calm down when you feel angry.
● It might mean taking a few minutes to step away from the situation that’s making you angry or spending some time doing something you enjoy, like reading, listening to music, or spending time in nature.
3. Improve your communication skills. One of the best ways to manage anger is to improve your communication skills. When you can communicate effectively, you’re less likely to get upset and angry in situations where miscommunication might occur.
● Some tips to help you improve your communication skills: Listen carefully and without interrupting when the other person is speaking. Look the person in the eye and give them the time and space to speak without judgment.
● Instead of focusing on what the other person is doing wrong, try to understand where they are coming from and why they might be upset or angry. Rather than simply attacking their opinions, focus on understanding where they’re coming from and how you can work towards a solution.
● Try to see things from the other person’s perspective. It is difficult, but empathy is one of the most important skills to help you resolve conflicts and improve communication. Develop empathy by listening without judgment and trying to understand where the other person is coming from.
● Remember that everyone is different and communicates in their way, so the most effective way for you to communicate might not be the best method for someone else. Try to find a communication style that works best for both of you.
4. You can’t control people, but you can control yourself. One of the most important things to remember when managing anger is that you cannot control others, but you can control yourself.
● It means that you handle your actions and emotions, and you cannot force someone else to change their behavior to make you happy.
5. Use the 2-Part technique. The two-part technique is an effective way of stepping back from your anger. Instead of focusing on all the reasons you are angry, take a step back and observe the feeling itself.
● Here’s the two-part technique: “See the anger.” Observing your anger allows you to identify where you feel the anger in your body. Once you’ve observed the anger, you can use a simple method to neutralize your anger. The goal is not to dismiss the anger. Observe it and let it go.
● Take three deep breaths with your eyes closed. Feel your anger, accept your anger, inhale and exhale. If you feel the anger in your chest, take deeper, more intense breaths. If you feel the anger on your shoulders, roll your shoulders back and forth, move your neck, and relax your muscles.
● Clench your fists and release them. Clench your glutes, calf muscles, and other body parts and release the tension.
● Visualize your anger going away. Imagine your anger floating away into a giant balloon. Next, imagine bursting the balloon with a large needle. All your anger disappears into the atmosphere. You observe it, accept it, and let it go.
Anger is a normal emotion, and you can’t eliminate it. It’s impossible to control what other people do, but there are many things you can do to help manage your anger and improve your relationships. These include exercising, taking time for yourself, improving your communication skills, and seeking professional help if needed.
With the right tools and support, you can learn to manage your anger healthily and start living a happier, more productive life.