Do you ever get angry?
I know – there are times when you feel that breaking something (or someone) is the only way you’ll feel better, right? Yep. Everyone gets angry. In moderation, all feelings are natural. But an excess can cause health issues and in this instance – anger – can cause mental health problems. It is the same with suppressed anger. Like bottled soda – waiting to explode. Except, not so pretty.
So what is the big deal with anger?
Anger is a powerful emotion and can cloud your vision, blinding you to what you should see. It usually stems from frustration over something, feeling hurt, being exasperated or unhappy. Being irritated is okay – but rage – hey, that’s not good.
Suppressed anger is even worse. It leads to anxiety and depression. It destroys relationships. It has a major impact on thought and behavior patterns resulting in health problems like high blood pressure, heart disease, skin disorders, stress, headaches and stomach upsets. You also end up saying things you regret later. Sometimes, anger also leads to crime, physical abuse and violence.
Can you manage anger?
Yes. The first step towards anger management is making the decision to deal with it. Anger doesn’t solve anything. Since smashing that person’s face in is not an option, here are some tips to deal with anger and hopefully, stop feeling angry. And no, these have nothing to do with Charlie Sheen!
- The moment you feel that anger coming on, breathe deeply. Indulge in positive self-talk to calm yourself down. I have an Uncle who chants a mantra when he feels angry and this soothes him, even as the anger dissolves.
- Now some of us tend to suppress our anger. If you are one of those, rather than bottle it up, and have it eat at your insides like acid, express it. In an appropriate way. Don’t fly off the handle at the drop of a hat and mess up your relationships. This will not endear you to anyone and your body will also rebel. You’ll stress your nervous system and your cardiovascular system. Get into the habit of being assertive and express how you feel.
- Get support. Vent with someone you trust, someone who cares about you. Work on changing your behavior.
- Keep track of situations which trigger your anger so you can control it better and plan your response.
- A change in perspective might help. How about viewing the situation from the other side? Practice empathy.
- Learn to laugh at yourself. You will find that it is easy to find the humor in most situations.
- Cultivate the habit of being a good listener. This will not only improve the way you communicate, but also help you build trust. Consequently you will learn to deal with your negative emotions.
- Try not to get defensive or react emotionally. Work on expressing yourself calmly.
- Go out for a brisk walk or a jog – those endorphins can help you see the brighter side and kiss the anger goodbye.
- If you think you can’t handle it on your own, get professional help. Talk to a counselor or a qualified psychologist who can help you find ways to overcome your tendency towards anger.
- Since stress and anger are good buddies, you may find that eating healthy can help conquer stress and minimize anger.
Control anger before it controls you!
When you feel that anger coming on, how do you deal with it? I’d love to hear it in the comments.
P.S.: May I invite you to please visit Corinne Rodrigues’ blog Everyday Gyaan where I’ve guest posted today? Here is the post: Tips on How To Breathe where I show you a technique that zaps your neck pain, shoulder aches and fatigue.