Anger can arise in numerous different contexts, such as when we are mistreated or experience unjust treatments, hearing an unwanted criticism, facing obstacles that keep us from accomplishing personal goals, and not getting what we want. Anger can range from mild irritation, frustration, to boiling rage.
Anger can be a positive emotion because it helps you work through problems. You need anger to take a stand against injustice and unfairness. It tells you when something is not right, and motivates you to take action to correct the issue. However, anger can be destructive if it leads to outburst, physical altercations, or aggression. When someone expresses anger aggressively, it triggers others to become defensive and angry too. Your stress hormones flow and blood pressure increases. It can lead to violence and has a very important impact on your health and wellbeing.
Poorly controlled anger can impede your decision-making, cause harm, damage relationships, and impact your psychological well-being and quality of life. Uncontrollable anger increases your risk of early death and social isolation. What most people get wrong about anger management is holding the emotion in or avoiding associated feelings. The truth is, suppressing anger can also have a damaging impact. That’s why learning to properly manage anger is a good idea for everyone. Yes, managing your temper can be challenging. It involves a range of skills to help you positively handle triggers. Anger management requires you to identify anger at an early stage and to express it while remaining calm. You need to stop anger before it reaches full rage.
According to Mind, you can follow three main steps to manage your anger.
Look out for warning signs
Detecting anger early can be the key to managing the emotion. It releases a rush of adrenaline through your body. Knowing the signs can give you a chance to think about how you want to react. The physical reaction can have the following effects:
- Rapid heartbeat
- Faster breathing
- Tension all over your body
- Tapping feet
- Clenched jaw or fists
Give yourself time to think
When you’re angry, you tend to react in ways that can be destructive. You need to walk away from the situation for a while to work out how you’re feeling about the situation. Take a short walk, talk to a trusted person, take slow and deep breaths, relax your muscles, and count to 10 before reacting so you can feel calmer and you can cool down before doing anything you may regret. Taking a step back can help you defuse the situation so you can handle it better.
Try calming techniques
You may want to calm down and let go of your emotions, which can be done by applying management techniques. There are many different techniques depending on what suits you best. Different techniques also have different impacts on different people, so finding the one that works for you can help manage extreme anger. Some of the techniques are:
- Relax your body
- Be mindful
- Stay active by doing exercise
- Use up your energy in other ways
- Breath slowly
- Distract yourself mentally and physically
- Stop talking.
These techniques can help you prepare to plan how to express your anger and reduce the risk of misguided anger. When you are calm, you can focus on finding a solution instead of focusing on the emotion.
However, when these techniques do not work, or you always get involved in fights, assault, and breaking objects during an outburst, you may need professional help. Professional help can give you the anger management training you need, such as learning to identify triggers, respond constructively, handle triggers, redirect energy, and return to a calm state.