Anger is a strong emotion that can easily cause things to spiral out of control. While some people have mastered the art of managing such provocations, others experience a lot of difficulty with it, and could end up saying or doing some damaging things they could regret later. In this article, I would be highlighting some helpful anger management tips.
1) Know what triggers you and avoid it: If there’s a particular person or place you know that often gets you feeling angry, you should start by distancing from those people and setting proper boundaries. It’s a simple “prevention is better than cure” tip. You’re still learning how to manage these strong emotions, and the last thing you need is someone pushing or testing you any more than you have to be. Read my article on “Setting boundaries” if you find difficulty in avoiding such situations.
2) Count to 10: When faced with a provocation, it is advisable for one with anger management issues to avoid acting on those emotions and take a moment to breathe. A slow count from one to ten, or even singing a song that calms you down, will help reduce the tension and probably change whatever drastic measures you would’ve taken if you had acted immediately. You’d just be taking a timeout.
3) Express your anger: Do not do this immediately. It is advisable to do this when you must’ve calmed down but still feel the hurt. Do not express it in forms that might be damaging to yourself or anyone else. You can speak to whoever provoked you and let them know you didn’t like what they did and how it turned out. Try to speak using the “I” perspective. For example, instead of saying “You acted stupidly by leaving”, try saying “I felt abandoned because I wasn’t told when you were leaving” This will help you feel a lot better. You can also use physical activities such as running and other exercises that have proven to help reduce stress and anger.
4) Humor and Relaxation skills: Activities such as meditation and deep breathing exercises will go a long way in helping you control your anger. The best part is, when you do them constantly, they become a habit and work more effectively. You can also use humor to express how it is you really feel by making jokes about the situation. This might not make too much of a difference but it releases the tension on you and the little moment of laughter you have will go a long way in calming you down.
5) Avoid holding grudges: The scary thing about anger as an emotion is that if it’s not handled immediately, it becomes a grudge that interrupts your peace of mind and only continues to grow. The bad thing about this is, when next you get provoked, it would be a lot more difficult controlling your anger because you already have some built up that you never took care of. Also, you tend to take out that grudge and anger on other innocent people that haven’t hurt or upset you in anyway. Learn to let go of it as soon as you feel the anger. You could also try seeing a therapist when your anger issues start to seem out of control and the above tips do not help effectively.
The tips in this article will not completely fix your anger problems, but will only help with better management. Don’t feel upset if it seems like they aren’t working, these things take time and have to be developed as a habit to be most effective. I hope you found this article helpful.