In a world that has been described by many as being a microwave society, we want what we want, and when we don't get it, the unthinkable becomes a reality. It seems everywhere we turn we are faced with incidents of anger and rage. We all know very well what anger is and how it makes us feel, but what we may not know is that Anger is a completely healthy and normal human emotion. It's when anger gets out of control and becomes destructive, that it begins to create problems in both your personal as well as profession lives, and deteriorate your quality of life. By using some of the strategies shared in this article, you can learn to control your anger in an angry world.
Research shows that anger can increase the risk of coronary heart diseases and having the worst possible outcomes, in people who already are suffering from heart disease. Anger has also been the major cause of stress-related problems such as headaches, insomnia, digestive problems, depression and much more.
Learning to control your anger is possible, and these strategies can be used to assist you.
• Identify your stressors/triggers
In order to control your anger, you must better understand what causes it. Often we cause our own stress by our thoughts, feelings, and sometimes having unrealistic expectations of ourselves as well as others. This includes lingering thoughts we may harbor inside which have been building up all along. Below are some common stressors/triggers listed.
• Identify if any of them are stressors/triggers for you
a) The death of a family member, friend, or other
b) Feeling as though nothing is going the way you planned
c) Feeling over worked and under paid
d) Being cut off in traffic
e) Feeling betrayed by a friend
• Recognize the warning signs
When you become stressed/triggered your body gives you clues to let you know you are becoming angry. These symptoms can be physical, emotional, or behavioral. Examples of these may be:
High blood pressure
If you recognize these warning signs in yourself, be aware that they can make you more prone to disease due to a weakening immune system.
• Identify how you respond to stressors/triggers
Understanding how you currently respond to stressors/triggers can help you reflect on what anger has cost you, and help you identify what you would like to change in order to respond in an alternative way before your negative thoughts have any chance to build momentum. The faster you are able to identify your stressors/triggers and the snow ball effect, the easier it is to stop it.
• Identify and practice alternative skills and strategies
Sometimes we find ourselves in situations we have no control over, and the only thing you may be able to do is learn to accept things as they are. Often this means acknowledging the situation is out of our control and influence, and moving forward. The following strategies can be used to assist you with coping with the things you cannot change.
Simple relaxation techniques such as deep breathing can help people soothe out the angry feelings. Try out the following steps:
a. Breathe in deep, picturing your breath coming out from your gut every time you will exhale.
b. Softly repeat a calming phrase such as 'It's okay' or 'relax'. Keep repeating it to yourself until you feel in control of your anger.
c. Carry out non-strenuous exercises daily such as yoga to relax your muscles and calm yourself down and be in better control of yourself.
Meditation means training your mind, to calm down the mental noise, to draw inner wisdom and to help recognize and remain calmed in your divine state.
Regardless of what is happening around you, have the capacity to remain centered and in control. When in this state, you will be rational and will have the clarity to handle better a situation with minimal stress on yourself and your body.
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• Try to laugh it out!
Laughing is a beautiful feeling, making your feel instantly light hearted. List out the movies that make you laugh and stock them up at home or spend more time with someone who gets you laughing quickly. Whenever angry, watch one of those movies or call that friend over and in no time, you will feel better and joyful and will also forget about your problems, allowing you to calm down.
• Problem Solving
Work to problem solve the issue you may have with an individual or situation. Sometimes when you are stressed/triggered you are only focused on what happened at the moment, and not so much about identifying what we can do different so that the issue is not repeated and you don't respond the same non-productive way.
• Practice! Practice! Practice!
Regardless of the situation, wanting change alone is not enough. You must practice and work toward your goal every day. Change does not happen overnight; therefore, once we understand what we must do to better control ourselves; you must spend the rest of you life working toward achieving this.