By Amarachukwu Okpunobi
Anger is a natural emotion to be felt, but the management of that anger makes us more human than we are. No matter how perfect we tend to live, a time comes when we also mismanage that which is being laid in our hands and consequently we also mismanage our emotions, of which anger is one of them.
Managing our anger doesn’t mean never getting angry. Instead, it involves learning how to recognize, cope with, and express our anger in healthy and productive ways. Anger management is a skill that everyone can learn. Even if you think you have your anger under control, there’s always room for improvement.
Here, I would love to share with you some tips that can be beneficial to us in managing our anger. Below are some extracts from Verywell mind. Hope it goes a long way in helping us all. Read on….
If you’ve gotten into the habit of losing your temper, take stock of the things that trigger your anger. Long lines, traffic jams, snarky comments, or excessive tiredness are just a few things that might shorten your fuse.
While you shouldn’t blame people or external circumstances for your inability to keep your cool, understanding the things that trigger your anger can help you plan accordingly.
You might decide to structure your day differently to help you manage your stress better. Or, you might practice some anger management techniques before you encounter circumstances that you usually find distressing. Doing these things can help you lengthen your fuse—meaning that a single frustrating episode won’t set you off.
Evaluate Your Anger
Before you spring into action to calm yourself down, ask yourself if your anger is a friend or an enemy. If you’re witnessing someone’s rights being violated or you are in an unhealthy situation, your anger might be helpful.
In these cases, you might proceed by changing the situation rather than changing your emotional state. Sometimes, your anger is a warning sign that something else needs to change—like an emotionally abusive relationship or a toxic friendship.
Being angry might give you the courage you need to take a stand or make a change.
If, however, your anger is causing distress or hurting your relationships, your anger may be an enemy. Other signs of this type of anger include feeling out of control and regretting your words or actions later. In these situations, it makes sense to work on tackling your emotions and calming yourself down.
Recognize Warning Signs
If you’re like some people, you may feel like your anger hits you in an instant. Perhaps you go from calm to furious in a heartbeat. But there are still likely warning signs when your anger is on the rise. Recognizing them early can help you take action to prevent your anger from reaching a boiling point.
By recognizing your warning signs, you have the opportunity to take immediate action and prevent yourself from doing or saying things that create bigger problems. Learn to pay attention to how you’re feeling and you’ll get better at recognizing the warning signs.
Trying to win an argument or sticking it out in an unhealthy situation will only fuel your anger. One of the best things you can do when your anger is rising is to remove yourself from the situation if you can.
When a conversation gets heated, take a break. Leave a meeting if you think you’re going to explode. Go for a walk if your kids upset you. A time-out can be key to helping you calm your brain and your body.
Talk to a Friend
If there’s someone who has a calming effect on you, talking through an issue or expressing your feelings to that person may be helpful. It’s important to note, however, that venting can backfire.
But studies show you don’t need to “get your anger out.” Smashing things when you’re upset, for example, may actually make you angrier. So it’s important to use this coping skill with caution.
Anger gives you a rush of energy. One of the best ways to put that surge to good use is to engage in physical activity. Whether you go for a brisk walk or hit the gym, working out can burn off extra tension.
Regular exercise also helps you decompress. Aerobic activity reduces stress, which might help improve your frustration tolerance. Additionally, exercise allows you to clear your mind. You may find that after a long run or a hard workout you have a clearer perspective on what was troubling you.
Manage Your Thoughts
Angry thoughts add fuel to your anger. Thinking things like, “I can’t stand it. This traffic jam is going to ruin everything,” will increase your frustration. When you find yourself thinking about things that fuel your anger, reframe your thoughts.
Instead, think about the facts by saying something like, “There are millions of cars on the road every day. Sometimes, there will be traffic jams.” Focusing on the facts—without adding in catastrophic predictions or distorted exaggerations—can help you stay calmer.
You also might develop a mantra that you can repeat to drown out the thoughts that fuel your anger. Saying, “I’m OK. Stay calm,” or “Not helpful,” over and over again can help you minimize or reduce angry thoughts.
Change the Channel
Ruminating about an upsetting situation fuels angry feelings. Telling yourself “Don’t think about that,” isn’t always successful. The best way to mentally shift gears, is to distract yourself with an activity. Do something that requires your focus and makes it more challenging for angry or negative thoughts to creep in.
Focus on Relaxation
There are many different relaxation exercises you can utilize to reduce anger. The key is to find the one that works best for you. Breathing exercises and progressive muscle relaxation are two common strategies for reducing tension.
Explore Your Feelings
Sometimes, it helps to take a moment and think about what emotions might be lurking beneath your anger. Anger often serves as a protective mask to help you avoid feeling more painful emotions, like embarrassment, sadness, and disappointment.
When someone gives you feedback that’s hard to hear, for example, you might lash out in anger because you’re embarrassed. Convincing yourself the other person is bad for criticizing you might make you feel better in the moment because it keeps your embarrassment at bay. But acknowledging underlying emotions can help you get to the root of the problem. Then, you can decide to take appropriate action.
Create a “Calm Down” Kit
If you tend to come home from work stressed and take out your anger on your family, or you know that workplace meetings cause you a lot of frustration, create a calm down kit that you can use to relax.
Think about objects that help engage all your senses. When you can look, hear, see, smell, and touch calming things, you can change your emotional state. So a calm down kit might include scented hand lotion, a picture of a serene landscape, a spiritual passage you can read aloud, and a few pieces of your favorite candy. Include things that you know will help you remain calm.
You also might create a virtual calm down kit that you can take everywhere. These are things that you can call upon when needed and are more portable. For instance, calming music and images, guided meditation, or instructions for breathing exercises could be stored in a special folder on your smartphone.