November 23, 2020

How to Control Your Anger

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I wrote an article last May on the same subject titled “Why do we need to control anger?” and I have been prompted to delve even more into the subject as I feel it is very important.

How many times have you lost control of yourself when you’re angry? Did you do or say something you regretted over time?

The answer is probably ‘yes’ as anger is a completely normal, and usually healthy, human emotion.

But most of us have problems with anger. Do you know how to gain control of your anger, instead of letting it control you? It’s not an easy thing to achieve, especially when you are provoked into such situations. Anger can make you feel as though you’re at the mercy of an unpredictable and powerful emotion. The instinctive, natural way to express anger is to respond aggressively. Anger is a natural, adaptive response to threats; it inspires powerful, often aggressive, feelings and behaviours, which allow us to fight and to defend ourselves when we are attacked. A certain amount of anger, therefore, is necessary to our survival. On the other hand, we can’t physically lash out at every person or object that irritates or annoys us; laws, social norms, and common sense place limits on how far our anger can take us.

If you are facing with this situation next time, you can try out these 8 simple steps. It works for me and it could work for you, too

Step 1: Have an outlet

Many people lash out at those around them when they get angry. Frequently, the person being lashed out at lashes back and the angry feelings spiral upward. Venting can help relieve anger but the venting should not be directed at another person; it’s better to lash out at an inanimate object like a pillow or a punching bag. Or you can scream out loud in an empty room.

Step 2: Identify what makes you upset

Start with identifying what upsets your feelings or emotions. Pull yourself aside from everything you are doing or the anger situation you are in, then take a deep breath and clear your mind. Think, what brought you into this situation. You need to know what is wrong in order to correct it.

Step 3: Use them as a stop signal

When you are done with Step 2, you’d probably already knew what made you angry. You might not have the complete clear idea of it, but at least you have some ideas.

Use these as stop signs for your anger. You’re upset because the little voices inside your head are telling yourself upsetting things. This in return causes a stir in your feelings, therefore resulting in anger. Stop all these little voices from talking within yourself, and you’ll be able to think independently and not being influenced by them and the situation.

Step 4: Tell yourself positive things

It’s important to think positive. You can counteract your upsetting thoughts with framing your mind to have a positive self-message. Tell yourself something nice that will make you feel better. For instance: “this anger feeling is only temporary and I don’t want to say or do something stupid which I will regret for my actions later.”

Put the brakes on your feelings. Tell yourself to slow down and take it easy.

Step 5: Make yourself clear

Clarify the situation for yourself. Ask yourself, “What is really going on in this situation?” You can then feel disappointed with the situation but not enraged at the people who are creating it.

Step 6: Think of constructive goals

Try to set more realistic goals for yourself in regard to the problem situation that you are in. Ask yourself: “What are the alternative solutions that I use to resolve this situation?”

Be specific as possible, and firm: “What can you do to change this situation?” List out the constructive options that you have in mind in which to reach your goals. Ask yourself: “What constructive actions can I take to reach my goals?” Finally, choose a constructive option to reach your goal and act fast on it.

Step 7: Have a break – count to ten

Once the initial burst of anger has been released many people feel much calmer and able to approach the situation making them angry in a more pragmatic fashion. Most people have heard the advice to count to ten when really angry. The reason this advice is so well-known is because it is very effective. It is also helpful to take deep breaths while counting and to count slowly.

If you’re still angry after counting to ten it’s a good idea to count backwards. Another way to take a break is to take a walk around the block. Taking a walk has the same effect as counting to ten — it helps to diffuse the situation and give things a little bit of time to cool down.

Step 8: Visualise a calm place and listen to music

Positive visualisation is another well-trusted method for relieving anger. Many people are able to remove themselves from the anger-inducing situation by visualising a calm or beautiful place. Playing a favourite piece of music of yours is also helpful.

Everyone gets angry at times, but the important thing is: “What can you do to overcome this situation?”

Gain control of your anger, rather than letting it control you

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