Aside from heartbreak, being angry is probably one of the worst feelings in the world. It can be hard to focus and think rationally. If you've tried to find ways to control your anger in the past, but it still seems to be an issue in certain situations, then you might have a problem. But that doesn't mean a solution isn't out there. Anger is an emotion, just like happiness and sadness, that we have to manage on a daily basis. While there's absolutely nothing wrong with being angry, you want to be able to deal with it in a healthy way
"We all get angry, but we have to know when, where, and how it is appropriate to express that anger. If we do not learn these skills, we can cause serious issues for our relationships, work life, friendships, and family life. Having too consistently high a level of anger can cause hypertension, heart attacks, strokes, and high blood pressure to name a few. So as you can see, it is truly essential that we learn healthier ways of expressing and managing our anger," says Nicole Martinez, Psy.D., LCPC, in an email to Bustle.
Knowing when to turn off your anger can be troublesome if you have a short fuse or you don't know how to deal with tough situations. While it's always a good idea to talk to a therapist about managing your anger, there are at-home tricks you can do in the meantime to help. And even though it may seem impossible, there's a light at the end of the tunnel. Here are 11 ways for you to control your anger.
1. Identify Your Triggers
Being self-aware of what makes you angry is important. It allows you to prevent the situation from getting worse, so you can take a step back and calm down. "They need to identify their triggers and avoid them. You can not be angry and calm at the same time, so if you have strong relaxation techniques to pull from, you will be a true master of your anger," says Martinez.
2. Make A Calming List
"Make a list of things that have a calming effect on you and refer to it if need be when you are in your angry moments. It can serve as a good reminder and cue for you," says Martinez. Always try to have a little notebook handy. When you find yourself getting angry, try to jot down words that will make you feel peaceful. It's a great mental trick you can do when you're out and about.
3. Check The Reality Of The Situation
It can be easy to get caught up in the moment when you're angry. But instead of focusing on the problem, try opening your eyes and seeing the big picture. This may allow you to calm down and prevent you from getting angrier. "When we are angry, this is the most important to check ourselves and the reality of the situation. Is this situation or this person really worth feeling this angry over? Is this person spending their time thinking about me like I am about them, probably not? What would I rather be doing and feeling right now?" says Martinez.
4. Get Physical
Doing a small workout is a great way to stop your anger from escalating. When your body experiences stress or physical pain, your brain produces endorphins, which are natural painkillers. "Take a brief walk, exercise such as swimming, yoga, or something even more physical," says Martinez.
5. Think Proactively Instead Of Reactively
When something makes you angry, don't allow your emotions to take control. Learn to take a step back before you attack. "[You] can think more proactively instead of reactively. Ask [yourself] what would happen if [you] acted on this anger. What are the potential consequences?" says psychotherapist and author of Your Best Age is Now Robi Ludwig in an interview with Bustle over email.
6. Engage In Self-Talk
"Ask [yourself] what [you] need to do to manage [your] mood better, so [you're] less likely to let the anger rise to a level where it's uncontrollable," says Ludwig. Take a moment to figure out why you're reacting this way and how you're going to change it. Whether you do it through journaling or self-talk, it's important to find a solution as to why you get angry so easily.
7. Contemplate The Type Of Results You Want
When you're in an argument with someone, find a solution instead of trying to win the argument. After when you figure out what is bothering you, contemplate about the type of results you want to happen. Remember: yelling and screaming won't work, it's about learning how to communicate effectively with the person you're in an argument with. "[You] should also ask [yourself] what would happen if [you] acted on this rage. Would it get [you] the results that [you] wanted. The answer is usually, no," says Ludwig.
8. Be Kind To Yourself
Don't get frustrated if you're having a hard time trying to calm down. If you've always had a short fuse, try to be patient while learning how to let go of your anger. "Sometimes if people understand that it's OK to feel angry as long as they don't act in a way that's self destructive, it can be very helpful. They can also ask themselves what they need to do to work though their anger, so they can feel as good as possible, under the circumstances," says Ludwig.
9. Take Deep Breaths
"As soon as you feel a swell of anger rise inside you, take a breath. Keep breathing deeply and slowly until the anger dissipates — which it will, since research shows the shelf life of an emotion is only 90 seconds," says holistic wellness coach Pax Tandon in an interview with Bustle over email. Close your eyes and take three deep breaths to relax. Think about things that make you happy and try to visualize the big picture.
10. Think Of Anger As A Physical Response
Sometimes it helps to think of anger as a physical response. It allows you to step outside of yourself so you can control the situation before it escalates. "All emotions are a mixture of hormones and chemicals in the body-they flood the system as an acute response to a trigger, but then dissipate just as quickly. Ride the storm until you've calmed, realizing you are not your anger, you are just having a physical response.
11. Take A Moment To Pause
Just like taking a deep breath, pausing for a moment can allow you to control your anger in a healthy way. "When someone acts out of anger, it can destroy their relationships with others as well as negatively impact how others see them..which impacts the opportunities that can come your way. When anger is acted on in the moment and impulsively, it's usually very self-destructive," says Ludwig.
While no one likes to be angry, it's unfortunately a part of life. If you find yourself getting angry over a situation, take a deep breath, be kind to yourself, and check the reality of the situation before you react and regret anything you might say. With practice, you may be able to control your anger in no time.
Images: Pexels; Bustle