Anger is an intense emotional response. It is an emotion that involves a strong uncomfortable and emotional response to a perceived provocation, hurt or threat. It can occur when a person feels their personal boundaries are being or going to be violated. A person experiencing anger also experiences physical ailments such as- increased heart rate, elevated blood pressure, increased levels of adrenaline and noradrenaline. The external expression of anger can be found in facial expressions, body language, psychological responses and at times a public act of aggression.
All of us experience anger from time to time. It is a normal, healthy emotion. But it is unhealthy when it goes out of control. Anger can be destructive if a person does not know how to control it. An often misplaced anger can have serious consequences on one’s health, personal as well as professional relationships, the state of mind and can hurt one’s reputations.
It is important to control anger but not crush it because anger is an emotion, which is neither good nor bad. Like any other emotion, it conveys a message, telling us that a situation is upsetting, unjust or threatening. Therefore, while it is perfectly normal to feel angry when one is mistreated or wronged, anger becomes a problem when it is expressed in a way that harms oneself or others. One can definitely learn to express anger without hurting others.
Managing anger is, therefore, very important before it becomes destructive and takes full control over us. Here are some effective tips which can be tried:
1. Problem Detection:
The first thing that should be done when it is difficult to manage anger is, to be honest with yourself and acknowledge that you have a problem. Once this is done, we know that every problem has a solution, and it adds to our frustration to find out that this is not always the case. Therefore, the best attitude to handle such a situation is then, to not focus on finding the solution, but rather on how to handle it and face the problem. We can make plans and check our progress along the way. At the same time, we have to make sure that we give it our best and not punish ourselves if an answer does not come right away. Once we give our full efforts in facing it, we are less likely to lose patience even if the problem does not get solved right away.
It is very important to learn to calm down. Simple relaxation tools such as deep breathing, exercising, relaxing imagery and some good music can help to calm down anger. Practicing these techniques daily will automatically help to calm down tensed situations.
3. Keep better communication:
It is common for angry people to tend to jump to conclusions when some of those conclusions can be very inaccurate. Therefore, it is very important to slow down, analyze the situation, listen to what others have to say and think carefully about what you want to say before answering.
4. Cognitive Restructuring:
This implies changing the way you think. People in their anger tend to curse, swear or speak in highly colourful terms that reflect their inner thoughts. In anger, one’s thinking can get exaggerated and dramatic very easily. So, one should always try to replace these thoughts with rational ones.
5. Building trust:
Angry people have a tendency to believe that others do things on purpose to annoy or frustrate them even before anything happens. So, it is important to build trust on people because it is very important for the person to realise that people often focus less on him than he might think!
6. Change your environment:
Sometimes it is our immediate surrounding that gives us causes for irritation and fury. So, give yourself breaks and make sure that you have some personal time scheduled for times of the day. This will help to feel better and lead a stress-free life.
7. Point out the humour in your anger:
Learn to laugh at yourself and do not take everything seriously. The next time you feel tempted to lash out, try to see the humour in your expressions of anger. This will help to control anger. Silly humour can also help diffuse rage in a number of ways.
8. Being assertive:
It is better to be ‘assertive’ and not ‘aggressive’. When one is aggressive, he focuses only on winning caring little about other’s feelings. Whereas, when one is assertive, he focuses on balance and is honest about what he wants without disrespecting others. Moreover, in anger, it is difficult to express oneself clearly. So, one must assert himself and let others know about his expectations, boundaries and issues.
9. Forgive and forget:
In order to make long-term changes, it is important to forgive people who have been the reason of your anger. It is not easy to forget the past resentments, but we cannot let the past affect our present. Therefore, this is the only way to move ahead and let go off these feelings. This helps to reduce frustration, which is one of the causes of anger.
10. Live life to the fullest:
So, let’s not let anger get in the way of the joys in life. Always remember, “Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured” –Mark Twain.