Anger is a normal emotion - everyone experiences it at some point in time. However, anger can be destructive if it's not managed in a healthy way. When you're angry, your body releases hormones that can make you feel agitated, tense, and even aggressive. If you lash out at others or destroy property when you're angry, it can damage your relationships and lead to other problems.
Tips for controlling your anger
The good news is that there are things you can do to control your anger. Here are some tips:
Identify your triggers
What are the things that make you angry? Once you know your triggers, you can start to avoid them or develop strategies for coping with them. For example, if you get angry when you're feeling stressed, you can try to find ways to manage your stress levels.
Take a time-out
If you feel yourself getting angry, take a few minutes to cool down before you say or do anything you'll regret. Go for a walk, listen to some calming music, or do some deep breathing exercises. This will give you a chance to calm down and think about the situation rationally.
Write in a journal
Writing about your anger can be a helpful way to process your emotions and to develop healthy coping mechanisms. When you write about your anger, you can explore the reasons why you're feeling angry and what you can do to manage your anger in a healthy way.
Learn relaxation techniques
There are many different relaxation techniques that can help you calm down when you're angry. Some popular techniques include deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, and visualization. These techniques can help you to relax your body and mind, which will make it easier to control your anger.
Change your thinking patterns
If you have negative thoughts about yourself or others, these thoughts can trigger anger. Challenge these thoughts and replace them with more compassionate ones. For example, if you think "I'm always getting screwed over," try to think "I'm not always in control, but I can learn to deal with things better."
Exercise is a great way to release pent-up energy and to reduce stress. When you're angry, try going for a walk, running, or doing some other form of exercise. Exercise can help you to calm down and to manage your anger in a healthy way.
Preventing anger before it starts
There is also value in taking steps to prevent anger before it starts. These key strategies can help:
Set realistic expectations
Don't expect everything to go your way all the time. When things don't go as planned, try to stay calm and remind yourself that it's not the end of the world.
Learn to say no
Don't be afraid to say no to requests that you know will make you angry. It's okay to set boundaries and protect your time and energy.
Take care of yourself
Make sure you're getting enough sleep, eating healthy foods, and exercising regularly. When you're taking care of yourself, you're better able to manage stress and anger.
Expressing anger in a healthy way
When you do get angry, it is critical to know how to express your anger in a healthy way. Use these best practices to help you communicate effectively:
Avoid blaming or attacking others
When you're angry, it's easy to lash out at others. But blaming or attacking others will only make the situation worse. Instead, try to focus on the problem and on how to resolve it. If you find yourself blaming or attacking others, take a step back and remind yourself that this is not helpful.
Be assertive, not aggressive
Assertiveness is the ability to express your thoughts and feelings in a clear and direct way. When you're expressing your anger, use "I" statements to communicate how you're feeling. For example, instead of saying "You always make me so angry!", you could say "I feel angry when you do that."
Even when you're angry, it's important to be respectful of others. This means avoiding name-calling, insults, and other forms of verbal abuse. When you're expressing your anger, focus on the behavior that is making you angry, not on the person who is doing the behavior.
Listen to the other person's point of view
When you're angry, it's easy to focus only on your own perspective. But it's important to listen to the other person's point of view and to try to understand why they did what they did. This will help you to see the situation from a different perspective and to develop a more constructive way to resolve the conflict.
Controlling your anger is a skill that takes time and practice. But with effort, you can learn to manage your anger and live a happier, healthier life. If you're struggling to control your anger on your own, there are many resources available to help you. At Salt River Therapy, our experienced professionals can support you in learning how to understand and manage your anger. Start now - click the button below to schedule a free phone consultation.