Do you consistently lose your temper? Do you feel like your anger isn’t always under control?
Anger is a normal part of life and, in some cases, can be a perfectly natural and helpful response. It can motivate us to change our behaviour, to start a discussion or to choose a different path in future. But if you find you’re getting angry more quickly and more frequently than you want to, it can start to affect your mood, your relationships and many different parts of your life.
This ‘before’, ‘during’ and ‘after’ guide gives you strategies that you can implement today to get your anger under control.
Managing anger before it happens:
Try these simple things - anytime - to put yourself in a better position to manage anger-inducing situations when they arise:
·Recognise what makes you angry
Perhaps there are particular situations, events or even topics of conversation that you can identify. Knowing these can go a long way to helping in managing your anger. You can plan to avoid them, or pre-plan responses that will guide you away from angry interactions.
·Build your resilience: make exercise a part of your day
We all know it: undertaking regular physical activity (a walk, a swim, a quick gym session) can help you to clear your head and release those all-important endorphins (your body’s natural stress-reliever). All of this can help to put you in a better position to manage challenging situations when they arise.
·Find your way to relax
Is it yoga? Meditation? Or maybe just going for a run? Whether it’s something active or something calming like listening to music, we all need a way to wind down. And regular relaxation will help you foster calmness – great ways to ward off built-up frustration. ashtanga yoga is great for relaxation.
Managing at the moment:
These tips can help you regain control when you feel anger building:
·Recognise when anger is on its way…
Take notice of your ‘warning signs’ – they can help you recognise your anger before it gets ahead of you. Signals might include grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw, an increased heart rate, sweaty palms or hot flushes.
Remember that no matter how bad the situation is, anger rarely brings you closer to a resolution. So pause, take a deep breath and give yourself a chance to think through your options before reacting.
·Diffuse or deflect
Deflecting a tense topic with a humorous response – or even a straightforward statement like ‘I need some time to think’ – can be a good way to bring everyone out of a heated moment.
Managing the outcome, without anger
Now you’re on your way to calmly resolve the situation. Keep these things in mind to guide you:
Give yourself a moment to think: make sure you can identify exactly what it is that’s bothering you. Once you’ve done that, think about how you feel it should be resolved. Are there multiple options you would be happy with? Are there other people you could involve to find a solution?
Once you’re calm, find the best way to express why you’re feeling angry. Use clear, calm statements – be firm, but steer away from confrontational language. Take your time – wait until you are thinking clearly and can freely discuss the situation.
·Blame, forgiveness and moving forward
Blaming others and holding grudges can use up valuable energy and lead to more frustration. Instead, look at what you can do or change for yourself. This doesn’t mean you should let people or events push you around, but finding your own ways to move forward can empower you in managing frustration and anger.
Finding Professional Support
If anger is already negatively affecting you, seek professional guidance immediately. In Australia, organisations such as the Brain Wellness Spa, a mental health clinic in Perth, can give you access to professional support and have great results in break free services for anger and mental health issues.