It is a natural human tendency to get angry. It is the body’s way of expressing emotional issues or problems. However, if not kept in check, uncontrolled anger can lead to outbursts and even physical altercations at times. While angry, an individual can say things or do something that they might probably regret later. Hence, before your anger takes complete control over your speech and actions, it is best that you learn how to tame it. Hence, we have decided to list 10 steps that will help you towards managing your anger better:
1. Revaluate what you say
While angry, an individual rarely considers the consequences of what they say. In the heat of the moment, as an act of releasing your anger, it is easy to say hurtful things that you will regret later. Hence, the best thing to do when you are angry is to collect your thoughts and reconsider your thoughts before saying them out loud. If there is another party that is angry as well, allow them to do the same as it can minimize conflict built on anger to a great extent.
One of the best things to do to tame your anger is to exercise. Physical activity is proven to reduce stress. Working out or running exhausts your body and makes your mind clearer, enabling you to control and understand your emotions better. You can do a wide variety of things such as going out for a walk, riding your bike, or anything that would activate your muscles and cardiovascular activity in your body. Exercising will prevent your anger from escalating even further.
Mediation is one of the best tools to keep anger in check. Practicing the art of being mindful will enable you to tame your anger better. Meditation does not believe in rejecting your anger. Instead, it asserts that you accept your anger as a natural response and work on calming yourself down. Practicing breathing exercises will help you calm down and refocus.
4. Express your anger
Once you manage to calm down a little and can think better, there is nothing wrong with expressing your anger. Anger does not always have to be in the form of an irrational emotional outburst. Anger can also be expressed in the form of letting the other party know your concerns and what upset you without being rude or hurtful.
5. Take a timeout
During times of the day that are the most stressful, make it a point that you take timeouts. Even a little amount of quiet time can help you to prepare for situations that stress you out without getting irritated or angry. During a timeout, you will be able to process the events that stressed you out or made you upset and return yourself to a neutral emotional state. You might even want to schedule a timeout within your daily routine in order to make it a habit.
6. Maintain a journal
On getting angry, often you might want to express yourself by saying things that can be hurtful to others. In a situation like this, it is best to stay quiet and process your thoughts better. This can be done by writing down all your thoughts and expressing yourself in a journal. On writing everything down, you will be able to judge for yourself what part of your anger is irrational and too extreme. This is a great way to reassess your thoughts.
7. Identify possible solutions
In most cases, anger is not the solution to a problem. We often forget that getting angry is only a form of expression and not the solution to the problem itself. Hence, what you can do instead, is try to understand what it is that made you angry in the first place. Once you identify that, you can work on coming up with a solution for the issue. This is a much rational approach as compared to simply having an outburst. It is important that you constantly remind yourself that instead of fixing the issue, anger can only make things worse.
8. Do not hold a grudge
Anger can not only be the response to action but also a reaction that was built up in a long period of time. If you allow anger and other negative emotions to keep piling up on top of each other, it will overpower even the positive emotions that you have within you. Forgiveness, in this case, is a very powerful tool. Forgiving is not something that you do for another person but for yourself. On forgiving someone who angered you, it’s a win-win situation as you have learned from that experience and it might also strengthen your relationship with the person in the future.
In a situation where everything feels wrong, try to focus on everything that has worked out for you. We often forget all the good things in our life while dealing with situations when angry. Remembering all these things can help in neutralizing anger and working with the situation better. Hence, gratitude is something that should be practiced on a daily basis.
Similar to gratitude, it is also equally important to practice empathy. When someone has angered us, we lash out at them without much consideration. Instead, if we take a moment to put ourselves in the other person’s shoes and try to understand why they acted the way they did, we will be able to control our anger better. On understanding the situation from their point of view, you will not only get a new perspective but will also become less angry with the person. Practicing empathy will also make you a more positive and understanding human being.