Unfortunately we’ve all had to contend with the ugly side of anger by either being on the receiving end of it or dishing it out ourselves. Anger is often characterized as an emotionally charged reaction to displeasure or disappointment, which if not controlled, can lead to hostility or severe lashing out at others. While becoming angry by itself is a normal reaction to a threat, the point where you allow it to consume you and get out of control is unhealthy and can lead to significant physical and mental health problems.
- Feeling hot and sweaty
- Hands are clenched
- Muscle tension
- Grinding your teeth or jaw becomes tight
- Increased heart rate
- Face becomes flushed
- Voice becomes loud
- Having obsessive thoughts
- Unable to focus or concentrate
Anger Management Tips:
- Recognize the warning signs and redirect. When you feel the symptoms described in the warning signs above, catch yourself and address them immediately. If you can catch yourself before it escalates, then you can prevent an inappropriate reaction to disappointment and refocus on something positive.
- Identify possible triggers. Know what your sensitivities are and what causes you to react in anger. This will help you steer clear of these situations and sometimes the mere fact of being aware of them makes it more manageable if they are unavoidable.
- Use your anger to address what’s bothering you. Listen to your body. Anger is your body telling you that there’s an issue you need to address. Don’t ignore it. Focus your energy on giving taking care of yourself and correcting the problem.
- Utilize S.T.O.P. – An acronym for: Stop whatever you’re doing (take a time out). Think about the situation and is it worth getting angry over? What Options available to you? Then Pick another approach, which will resolve and deescalate the problem.
- Use relaxation techniques customized to your needs. People use a variety of relaxation techniques depending on what works for them. Techniques can include listening to music, exercising, counting backwards from a hundred, deep breathing, and relaxation imagery.
- Let it go. Don’t blame yourself for having an angry reaction. It happened, it’s over, and now it’s time to move on. Learn from your experience and try to find something positive you can take away from it.
- Realize that you only have control over yourself. Take care of yourself (mentally and physically) and accept the fact that you cannot control outside factors whether it be people or the environment. This will save you a lot of time, energy, and unnecessary frustration. You have the choice to be happy, flexible, and to adapt to whatever life serves you. Realize that most things aren’t worth getting worked up about and reacting in anger never improves a situation.
- Know when to get professional help. Know your limitations and seek medical or mental health treatment if the problem persists to where you find yourself stressed or becoming increasingly irritable. Remember: If anger is not addressed properly, it can lead to a variety of medical problems including anxiety, sleep disorders, eating disorders, and high blood pressure.