We’re all human beings, and anger is an emotion that everyone experiences at some point in their lives. What is not normal is when the anger becomes more than just a one-time thing.
Anger can become toxic and lead to aggressive behavior that affects your mental and physical health. When we get angry, our bodies release adrenaline and cortisol into our system. Cortisol prepares us physically to fight while adrenaline pumps up our heart rate, so we are ready to act quickly if need be. Anger makes our heart rate go up and blood pressure increase, leading to problems with the heart or kidneys. It also affects our digestive system. Can also cause headaches and sleep deprivation.
So it is crucial to manage anger effectively to maintain healthy relationships and overall well-being. Here are some strategies that can help you manage your anger:
Don’t react right away
When you feel anger rising, take a step back and pause before reacting. This can help you gain some perspective and prevent impulsive actions or words that you may regret later. I know it’s easier said than done but trust me, with practice, you can do it. Reacting immediately to emotional triggers can be a huge error. You’ll definitely say or do something you’ll deplore later.
Try to take deep breaths, go outside, and let your muscles relax and your heartbeat come back to normal. As you become calmer, your thoughts become clear.
As I said before, taking deep breaths can help restore a sense of calm when big emotions hit, it’s extremely hard to remember when we’re feeling angry but with time and practice you calm down your emotions. Inhale a deep breath and hold it for a count of 4, and then exhale for a count of 4, and repeat as often as necessary.
Self-awareness is key to managing anger. You have to know the root of the problem. What made you angry? Is there an event or situation that always sets you off?
Don’t vent your frustration
Don’t talk to others immediately after something angers you, you’ll tend to say things you don’t mean and your emotions will escalate. When you are feeling angry take time out to reflect on your feelings and resist the urge to talk to others until you’ve properly calmed down.
Move your body
The next time you’re feeling angry, consider going for a run or a walk. This is a great distraction to dissipate your state of anger. This can help improve your moods, reduce stress levels, and relieve tension in your body. Physical activity is a great way to release pent-up energy and manage anger.
Write down your feelings freely so you can express your anger. It’s a great technique to stop dwelling on negative thoughts and emotions.
If you lost your cool with someone and feel guilty about it tell them you’re sorry. Acknowledge your mistakes, come up with a plan on how you can avoid a repeat of the situation, and then move forward.
Using affirmations during negative moments can be hard to remember but, one more time, with practice it becomes easier. They are like little mantras to remind us of positive thoughts in times when we need them most.
Here are a few affirmations you can use.
- “I am in control of my emotions”
- “This emotion is temporary”
- “I can choose how to react”
- “Anger doesn’t define who I am”
- “This shall pass”
- “I am okay, everything is fine”
Talk to someone
The best thing you could do for yourself is talk about your feelings, talk about what made you upset with someone who cares about you – whether it’s a friend, sibling, partner, or therapist. Sometimes, discussing your feelings with others can provide different perspectives and help you find effective solutions.
Try to find healthy distractions that help you take a break from what can be an exhausting battle for peace of mind. It can be gardening, painting, dancing, going for a walk, reading a book, watching a movie, and so on.
Remember, managing anger is a process that takes time and practice. If your anger persists and significantly impacts your daily life, consider seeking professional help from a therapist who can provide additional guidance and support.