Anger is an emotion we have all experienced at one point or another. Perhaps you got cut off while in traffic, got stood up by your date, or found out a loved one lied to you. Anger is a completely normal and healthy reaction to situations like these. But what happens when you feel out of control and destructive when you are angry? When our anger and rage control us, it can become unhealthy and cause many problems in our lives, whether it be with our relationships, our reputation, or our overall quality of life. Luckily, there are a few tried and true methods that have helped many people control their anger and rage. We are here to help you learn these methods.
Anger is a feeling of hostility toward a situation or person that you feel has done you wrong.”
What is Anger?
Anger is a feeling of hostility toward a situation or person that you feel has done you wrong. There are plenty of different things that can cause us to feel angry, both external and internal. Anger is not necessarily a bad emotion to experience. It can be a healthy and productive outlet to express our negative emotions and activate our problem solving skills.
Anger is an emotion that is often accompanied by physical changes within our bodies such as an increased heart rate, raised blood pressure, and higher levels of certain hormones and adrenaline.
Our first instinct when experiencing feelings of anger are often to act aggressively. This instinct to act aggressively when feeling angry is an instinct intended to increase our chances of survival and is meant to provide us with the ability to fight off attacks.
Now, we cannot just go off acting aggressively every time we experience feelings of anger. This would cause a lot of issues in our lives. This does not mean that you have to suppress your anger, though. There are many methods to expressing our anger in a healthy and productive manner.
Healthy Ways to Control Your Anger
Anger is a completely normal and healthy emotion to experience. It is an emotion that humans have developed in order to increase their chances of survival. There are productive and healthy ways one can express their anger. A few ways to do so include:
When we are feeling angry, our emotions are not the only trait experiencing changes. Our body reacts to our anger, which riles our emotions up even more. Finding ways to calm our body's reactions to our emotion is a great method to controlling our anger. A few relaxation techniques include:
Breathing. Techniques in which you focus on breathing slower and deeper help relax your body's reactions to your anger. As you practice your breath work, try to ensure that you are breathing from your diaphragm, as this is the most effective way to relax.
Exercise. Whether you prefer yoga, walking, lifting, or some other way of moving your body, exercise is a great method for controlling your anger. Slower exercises such as yoga and walking can also help your body feel relaxed.
Visualization. When you find yourself feeling angry, pause to imagine a situation that helps you feel relaxed and at peace. This image can include you viewing a beautiful mountaintop, grazing a pasture, or laying in a flower field. Whatever imagery brings you peace is the imagery that will help you relax.
Improve Communication Methods
Oftentimes, our anger can be a direct cause of miscommunication and assumptions. Working to improve your communication skills can help you prevent unnecessary fights and feelings of anger. There are a few ways you can improve your communication skills, such as:
Thinking before you speak. Sometimes, when we speak without thinking, our message can get lost in translation. If you are speaking out of anger, your message will likely become even more unclear. Work to think about the best way to communicate your message before speaking, as this will help prevent misunderstandings.
Listen. When we are angry, it is easy to get so caught up in what is making us upset that we ignore the other person's perspective. Try to hear them out. This will help you come up with a solution to your problem.
Allowing yourself to take a lighthearted approach to the situation at hand can help ease the intensity of your anger. Sometimes, our anger can lead us to unreasonable thoughts such as the belief that we are perfectly moral and never wrong. Humor can help you realize the irrational parts of your anger, which can help you gain control of your emotions. Humor comes in all different shapes and sizes. You might find yourself finding humor in the realization that your problem may not be as big as you imagined. You might find humor in imagining the person you are in conflict with in a silly situation. Whatever reason you can find humor in your situation can be very helpful when dealing with anger.
Find the Things that Bring You Joy
Perhaps you love to paint. Maybe playing with puppies brings happiness to your day. Even sneaking in a bit of baking can bring some of us peace and joy. Try to sneak little moments of joy and delight throughout your days. This can help you develop a more positive mindset that may be helpful in dealing with feelings of anger as they arise.
When it Feels Like Your Anger is in Control
Do you feel as though you have tried everything, but still lose control every time you feel angry? When your anger feels as though it is in control and is beginning to take a toll on your quality of life, you may benefit from seeing a therapist. Therapy is an excellent resource for learning methods to control your anger. In therapy, you can find underlying causes for your anger and develop a treatment plan to get that anger under control.