Anger is one of the most fundamental emotions we all experience, what causes issues is when it becomes uncontrolled. Unrestrained anger has the potential to ruin your health, relationships and overall quality of life. Learning to observe and feel your feelings and understanding they are not facts changes the way you approach such situations.
Like anything else we can learn how to handle situations which upset us.
Following are 12 ways you can manage your anger better.
1. Explain your anger rather than expressing it :
One of the biggest mistakes we make is that we express our anger rather than explaining it. The yelling, shouting, swearing is expressing the anger. If we explain why we feel angry, it will change the aftermath. Learn to discuss your feelings, instead of putting the other person down. Everyone has their own individual way of communicating, find that and then talk to them in their language.
2. Don’t take it personal :
What other people think of you is not your business. If you start to make that business your business, you will be offended for the rest of your life.” – Deepak Chopra
3. Learn to be a better communicator :
This is one of the best investments you can make in yourself. Most of our fights, may it be at home, at work or with friends arise from not being able to communicate how we feel. Learning to articulate and express our feelings is a great skill to be acquired which will pay dividends for the rest of your life. Express yourself assertively and ask for what you need. When you use a calm tone and voice, without yelling, people listen to you. Once they realize you are making an effort to communicate better calmly, they will start being supportive of the newly adopted behaviour.
Here’s a great book “Rage: A Step-by-Step Guide to Overcoming Explosive Anger” from renowned anger expert Ronald Potter-Efron. I would highly recommend it to anyone dealing with anger issues. It offers no-nonsense, step-by-step anger management tools that actually work.
4. Try seeing things from the other’s perspective :
When you put yourself in the other person’s shoes and look at the issue from their perspective, often you would realize that given the circumstance you’d have probably perceived the situation in a similar if not the same way.
5. Use “I” instead of “You” :
When trying to resolve issues, use “I” instead of “You” , this takes the other person out of defensive mode. If your partner left the dirty dishes in the sink, say, “I am upset I have to do the dishes every morning” rather than, “You never clean the dishes after breakfast.” This approach will stop things escalating.
6. Take a Timeout :
In the early stage, when you start working on your anger issue it might be a good idea to take a timeout whenever you feel your temper rising. Remove yourself from the situation completely. Then take a few deep breaths and count slowly to 10. This process will calm you down, help you think rationally and solve the situation.
7. Keep it general :
When you feel angry in a situation do not go into specifics, keep it general. At a later stage once you have calmed down and feeling good you might go back and go into the details.
8. Use a journal :
Use a journal to keep track of what triggers your temper, also record what you did in that situation and how it turned out. If talking about certain subjects like religion or politics aggravates you, politely excuse yourself from those conversations.
9. Remove yourself from the situation :
Remove yourself from the situation that has aggravated you and take a walk, your body releases endorphins as you physically move your body. This gives you the chance to clear your mind and see the same situation in a different light.
10. Have a Role Model:
Have a role model in an individual who represents peace, calmness and tranquility to you. Visualise their face and imagine how they would behave in the given situation. Take a few deep breaths, while still visualizing, until you feel you have calm down and have control over your anger.
11. Try putting yourself in the other person’s shoes :
Try putting yourself in the other person’s shoes and looking at the issue from their perspective. Often you would realize that given the circumstance you’d have probably perceived the situation in a similar if not the same way.
12. Seek help if required :
If you have had trouble managing anger for a long period of time and finding it hard to tackle the issue on your own, do not hesitate to seek professional help. There are professionals who have spent years helping people manage anger issues so they are only a call away.
You do need to understand that you are not alone.