Rage, fury, wrath, — whatever you call it, anger is a powerful emotion. Unfortunately, it’s often a worthless one.
Anger is a natural human emotion, and sometimes there are valid reasons to get mad like experiencing frustration over a situation at home or work or feeling hurt by something someone said or did. But unchecked anger can be problematic for your health and relationships.
Fortunately, there are methods you can learn to help you keep your anger in control.
Anger can take different manifestations. Some people feel angry most of the time or can’t stop thinking of an event that made them frantic. Others get enraged less often, but when they do, it comes out as violent fits of rage.
Whatever form it takes, unmanaged anger can adversely impact emotional wellbeing and physical health. Research shows that hostility and violence can increase people’s chances of developing cardiovascular diseases and lead to terrible outcomes in people who already have heart troubles. Anger can also result in stress-induced problems, including digestive issues, headaches, and insomnia.
Anger can also contribute to risky and violent behaviors, including alcohol and drug use. Moreover, anger can unquestionably ruin relationships with friends, family, and colleagues.
Strategies to keep anger at bay
Here are some methods to help you stay cool:
It’s challenging to make smart choices when you’re in the throes of strong negative emotion. Rather than exhausting to talk yourself down from a rock face, avoid mounting it in the first place. Try to identify warning bells that you’re starting to get annoyed. When you recognize the symptoms, step away from the situation or try relaxation techniques to prevent your irritation from escalating.
Some people tend to keep reminding the incident that made them enraged. That’s a futile strategy, especially if you have already resolved the issue that made you mad in the first place. Instead, try to let go of the incident. One way to do that is to concentrate instead on things you admire about the situation or the person that made you enraged.
Change the way you think.
When you’re furious, it’s easy to feel like things are worse than they are. Through a method known as cognitive restructuring, you can replace unhelpful negative thoughts with more reasonable ones. Instead of thinking, “Everything is destroyed,” for example, tell yourself, “This is annoying, but it’s not the end of the tunnel.”
Try these techniques to correct your thinking:
Avoid words like “always” or “never” when talking about yourself or others. Statements like “This never works” or “You always forget things” make you feel your fury is defended. Such comments also alienate people who might otherwise be willing to work with you on a quick fix. Use logic. Even when it’s vindicated anger can rapidly become unreasonable. Remember that the world is not out to get you.
Simple relaxation techniques, such as relaxing imagery or deep breathing, can help calm angry emotions. If you apply one or more of these techniques often, it will be simple to apply them when angry feelings arise.
Shallow breathing is angry breathing. Practice taking slow, controlled breaths that you imagine coming up from your tummy, preferably than your chest.
Visualize a relaxing experience from your imagination or your memory.
Progressive muscle relaxation.
With this method, you slowly tense then relax each muscle group one at a time. For example, you might start with your feet and slowly work your way up to your neck and head.
Improve your communication skills.
People often jump to conclusions when they’re furious, and they can say the first (often rude) thing that comes into their mind. Try to listen and stop before countering. Then take time to ponder carefully about how you want to respond. If you need to step away to calm down before continuing the conversation, make an assurance to come back later to complete the argument.
Routine physical exercise can help you decompress, burn off extra tension, and reduce the stress that can trigger bouts of anger.
Recognize (and avoid) your triggers.
Contemplate on the things that make you enraged. If you know you always get furious driving downtown at peak hour, take the cab or try to alter your schedule to make the trip at a less busy time. If you always altercate with your partner at night, avoid bringing up contentious topics when you’re both tired. If you’re still irked that your kid hasn’t cleaned his room, shut the door, so you don’t have to look at the clutter.
You can’t altogether get rid of angry emotions. But you can alter the way those incidents affect you and how you respond. By creating an effort to keep your anger in check, you and the people close to you will be happier in the long term.
Henna is a wellness lifestyle writer. She loves sharing her thoughts and personal experiences related to natural remedies, yoga and fitness through her writing. She currently writes for How To Cure. She can connect with others experiencing health concerns and help them through their recovery journeys through natural remedies.