5 Tips to Manage Your Anger.
The feeling of being guilty because you say something insensitive or rude just in a fit of rage, but later regret it. The inability to justify or apologize because you feel ashamed for the anger outburst. The next few hours being spent alone, with tension in the air. Sounds familiar?
The moments after the fight when you have no one around and you cannot stop playing the entire incident on loop in your mind? Does it sound like a frequent occurrence? This is your sign to stop and think about your reaction to people and circumstances, and how is it damaging you.
Try to imagine how much mental and physical energy goes into this entire occurrence, starting from the argument to the next 2-3 hours of feeling guilty and questioning everything around. Do you realize this is always avoidable? This post will give you a few tips to manage that anger but before that you should know that 99 percent of times, your and only your reaction can influence how much damage you are going to cause to yourself, your relationships, and others.
Read ahead with the belief that you, alone can prevent the effects of anger outbursts on yourself and others.
Stop to think.
The moment you start feeling angry, force yourself to stop. Stop all the noise and thoughts. Pause and think to yourself – Is this necessary? Is my reaction going to solve the problem? Will others feel hurt with what I am about to say? As soon as you get your answers, you will feel calmer and in control of your body. You will no longer feel the urge to let out your anger in an undesired way.
Start breathing deeply.
Cliché but always works. While you are pondering over your response, breathe deep to calm the body. Try and understand that anger causes your body to enter a situation of emergency. There is an adrenaline rush (the stress response) when you are about to have an anger outburst. Breathing will help the body to feel safe and stop the stress response.
The 5-4-3-2-1 Grounding Technique.
Anger and anxiety have almost the same stress response from the body. This grounding technique helps in reducing its effect. Take a mental note of 5 things you see, 4 things you are touching now, 3 things you hear, 2 favourite smells, and 1 good thought about yourself. This helps you feel your senses and break the chain of negative thoughts.
Express your anger at the right time.
While you are in the middle of an upsetting situation, try not to react or say something which you might regret. Sometimes, you need to understand that when two or more people who are angry and at the same place, at the same time, one of them needs to break the chain to prevent an argument. Think it through and try not to say anything at all and talk it out only when you and others are ready to have a civil conversation.
Internalise the fact that your reaction will not make the situation any better.
Try and accept the fact that anger is never the solution. In case of a conflict, try to calmly express your concerns and be open to the fact that the other person might never agree with you. Your reaction might sabotage your relationships and cause psychological harm to both the people. You only must learn to put yourselves first and not cause any damage to yourself, just to make things go your way.
Ultimately, anger is a reaction, and it can only be controlled by you. Rationalise your argument before reacting. Learn to respect yourself, and personal boundaries of others too. You are not doing this for others, rather it is a step towards self-growth. When you try to find solutions to a problem, without being angry or hasty, you will realise that your ability to take sound decisions gets better.
So, try to develop a healthy habit of channelising your anger when it gets out of control, without spoiling your mental peace and notice how your life changes for the better!