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How to Control Your Anger: A Comprehensive Guide

Updated: Apr 2

How to Manage Your Anger: A Comprehensive Guide

Everyone has experienced anger, whether it is as a brief annoyance or as a full-blown fit of rage. Anger is a perfectly natural and often healthy human emotion. However, when it spirals out of control and becomes harmful, it can cause issues with your quality of life, at work, and in your relationships with others.

Taming your anger can be challenging but I’ve curated a list of things you can try to bring your anger under control and improve your quality of life. 

What is Anger?

Anger is an emotion just like happiness, love, etc. Anger is accompanied by physiological and biological changes, just like other emotions. Your heart rate, blood pressure, and levels of the energy hormones adrenaline and noradrenalin increase when you're furious. Whether the cause of your anger is external or internal, it is important to keep it under control. 

Anger is a healthy, adaptive reaction to dangers; it gives rise to strong, frequently aggressive emotions and actions that provide us the strength to resist and fight back when we are attacked. Thus, a certain level of rage is essential to our survival. However, we can’t just lash out at everyone who irritates us. 

How Does One Act When One is Angry?

Everyone is unique and responds to various situations differently. Similarly, everyone expresses anger in different ways. Some ways in which people express anger are as follows:

  • Inward aggression: It involves self-loathing, depriving oneself of necessities (such as food or sleep), avoiding situations that could make one happy, cutting oneself off from other people, and self-harming.

  • Outward aggressiveness: It involves acts of physical violence, threatening behaviour, shouting, swearing, slamming doors, punching or throwing objects, and verbal or physical abuse.

  • Passive aggressiveness, often known as non-violent aggression: It includes actions like sarcasm or unintentionally hurtful remarks, refusing to talk to someone, implying that you could leave or damage yourself, refusing to do tasks or purposefully completing them slowly or late.

Why are Some More Angry than Others?

Why are Some More Angry than Others?

Some people get easily angered compared to others. Those who are easily angered typically have poor tolerance for frustration, which is another way of saying that they believe irritation, discomfort, or annoyance should not be forced upon them. They can't take things lightly, and if anything looks unfair—like being corrected for a small error—they get very enraged.

Why are some people like this? There is evidence that certain children are born irritable, touchy, and easily agitated and these characteristics are evident from a very young age. So one cause could be genetic or physiological. Sociocultural factors could be another reason. anger is often viewed as a bad thing; we're taught that it's acceptable to exhibit other emotions, such as sadness or anxiety, but not anger. We consequently don’t learn how to deal with it or use it positively.

Studies have also revealed the influence of familial background. People who get angry easily usually come from chaotic, disrupted homes where emotional communication skills are lacking.

7 Ways to Control Your Anger

Are you ready to bring your anger under control? If yes, here are some ways you can manage your anger.

Employ Relaxation Techniques

Employ Relaxation Techniques

Put relaxation techniques into use when your anger starts rising. Breathe deeply, visualise a peaceful landscape, or say a soothing word or phrase aloud, like "Take it easy." You can feel considerably calmer and your muscles can relax with gentle, non-strenuous yoga-type exercises. Practice these methods on a daily basis. 

Think before you speak

It's easy to say something you'll regret later when you're angry. Before you speak, take a few moments to organise your thoughts.

Do not say the first thing that comes to mind; instead, take your time and consider what you want to say. At the same time, pay attention to what the other person is saying and take your time before responding. Allow the others involved in the scenario to do the same.

Use Humour

"Silly humour" may help calm anger in a variety of ways. For starters, it can help you gain a more balanced perspective. When you're upset and call someone a name or use a creative phrase to describe them, take a moment to consider what that word might literally look like.

If you're at work and refer to a coworker as a "dirt-bag" or a "potato" imagine a large dirt-bag or a big potato sitting at your colleague's desk, talking on the phone, and attending meetings. If possible, sketch an image of what the actual thing could look like. This will take a lot of the sting out of your anger.

Don't hold a grudge

Forgiveness is a strong tool. If you allow anger and other bad emotions to overpower happy emotions, you may find yourself consumed by your own bitterness or sense of unfairness. Forgiving someone who has irritated you may help you both learn from the experience and strengthen the bond between you.

A Quick Workout

A Quick Workout

Anger offers you a boost of energy. One of the most effective anger management exercises is to exercise and engage in physical activity. Working out, whether through a brisk stroll or at the gym, can help you relieve stress.

Regular exercise might also help you decompress. Aerobic activity reduces tension, which may help you handle frustration better. Additionally, exercise helps you cleanse your mind. You may discover that after a long run or a strenuous workout, you have a better understanding of what was bothering you.

Distract Yourself With a New Activity

Ruminating on a challenging scenario exacerbates angry feelings. Telling oneself, "Don't think about that," is not always effective. The most effective technique to mentally shift gears is to engage in an activity. Do something that needs your whole attention and makes it more difficult for angry or negative thoughts to seep in.

Step Away From the Triggering Situation

Walking away from a triggering circumstance might be an effective strategy to regain control of your anger. When a talk becomes heated, take a break. If your children have disturbed you, go for a walk. A time-out might help you relax your mind and body.

When you need to step away, explain that you are not attempting to avoid unpleasant topics, but rather that you are working on managing your anger. When you are upset, you cannot have a productive conversation or resolve the dispute. You can return to the debate or handle the issue when you're more relaxed.

Final Words

While aggressive behaviour may meet your immediate needs, it has long-term implications. Your remarks could have long-term consequences for your relationships or even lead to their dissolution. By lashing out, you are putting yourself under additional stress, which can be detrimental to your overall health.

If you’re having a hard time controlling your anger, don’t hesitate to seek help from professionals. 

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