With 1 in 3 people polled stating that they have a close friend or family member who has trouble controlling their anger and 1 in 10 saying that they have trouble controlling their own anger, it’s important that people become equipped with tools to manage their anger. Not only because the lack of controlling your anger can lead to broken relationships, but anger has been shown to be the most common emotion expressed prior to the onset of ventricular arrhythmia. So consider the tips below to manage your anger:
Know your triggers
Before even arriving at the point where you feel you’re getting angry, you must be well aware of your triggers. Develop insight into what takes you to that point of anger. Is there a particular topic that always seems to get you riled up? Or is it a feeling? Whenever you feel threatened or invalid do you begin to yell? Whatever your triggers are, take the necessary time to think through what situations tend to get you angry. And if you find that there are deep rooted causes for your anger, it’s important that you address them. Otherwise you’ll only superficially address your anger and it will continue to be an issue for you.
Recognize what happens to your body
Do you feel yourself getting hot when you start to get angry? Or does your voice begin to raise? Do you clench your jaws or grind your teeth? Or do you start to sweat, especially in your palms? Do you feel your heart pounding? The next time you begin to get angry, stop in the moment and think about what’s happening to your body. Be sure to jot this down. Knowing the physical changes that happen to your body when you get angry will allow you to develop a plan to respond to these changes when they start to happen.
Develop a plan to respond to the physical signs of your anger
What can you do when you recognize the physical signs of your anger? It may help to count to 10 to give yourself time to think and calm down before responding out of anger. You could also try deep breathing exercises. You’d take deep breaths as a way to lower your heart rate, relax your muscles, lower your blood pressure and release endorphin which improves feelings of well being. And if it’s appropriate, perhaps you can excuse yourself so that you can gather your thoughts. Be sure to ask the person to continue the discussion at specific time later that day.
It’s also helpful to train yourself when you’re becoming angry to refocus on solutions instead of thinking about the problem. And consider implementing relaxation techniques into your day. You could try exercise, meditation, deep breathing exercises, yoga or journaling in an effort to manage your anger.
Managing your anger is a continued process. Recognize that each instance where you begin to get angry is actually an opportunity to practice your anger management skills that you’ve developed. However, if you find that you continue to struggle to manage your anger and it’s affecting your relationships, you may want to consider getting help. As I stated before, statistics show that there are many people who have difficulty controlling their anger, so you’re not alone. Just ensure that you’re not one of them who’s lost relationships because of it.