How to Manage Anger
Everyone experiences anger at some point in their lives. It is normal and part of being human. When managed appropriately, anger can even be considered to be a healthy way to respond to difficulties. Counselling Psychologist, Bernadett, looks at how to manage anger.
Anger can stem from a number of difficult contexts and from how we perceive and respond to each context. Anger often functions as a defence mechanism, protecting underlying feelings. In most instances, people are angered when they feel frustration and especially when they feel they have no control over specific situations.
Anger may be triggered by:
Other’s behaviour, when one feels hurt, ignored, disrespected, humiliated, embarrassed, criticised, abandoned or unjust treatment;
Poor health, chronic illness, pain;
Personal problems, deceptions, disappointments, infidelity;
Traffic, deadlines, bad service;
Fear, sadness, uncertainty, failure.
Anger can be manifested verbally, non-verbally and may result in physical rage. Developing skills to manage anger should be considered, when anger affects your marriage, friendships, parent child relationships, work interactions or, when it results in loss of money.
On the other hand, some may say they don’t ever feel angry, when in reality their anger is brewing inside. These people experience great stress, resulting in:
Poor sleep or over sleeping;
Overeating or not eating;
Headaches, stomach aches, dizziness and other physical ailments;
Lack of pleasure;
10 Ways to Manage Anger:
1. Listen and keep calm
Listen carefully to what the other person is saying, focus on your breathing and keep calm. Count to five and then address the situation in respectful manner, don’t fight back.
2. Be direct, clear and assertive
Express your frustration and anger in a direct, clear and assertive way, avoiding confrontation and not wanting to exert control over the other person.
3. Don’t feel threatened, don’t respond and excuse yourself
Understand and accept that no matter how kind and respectful you may be, the other person may not react in the same way, in such instances, breath and then politely excuse yourself.
4. Look for solutions
Try to identify solutions to the causes of your anger:
Someone was cruel to you? Try to understand that the problem is within them and not you, every person has their battles, which often we don’t know anything about.
You’re losing your patience while sitting in traffic? Put on your favourite music track or tune into your favourite radio station.
Your children are throwing tantrums? Listen, talk to them, and be assertive so they don’t get their way. Give your children, 5 minutes of your time, often, that is why they threw the tantrum in the first place.
5. Take time for yourself
Take time for yourself, to do things that you enjoy. To watch a movie, read a book, have a cup of tea/coffee in silence or take that warm bath you have been longing for. Relax!
Exercise, take a walk, run, ride a bicycle, attend a gym or yoga class. Physical activity aids in releasing tension and stress, it also contributes to a healthier body and therefore a healthier more relaxed mind.
7. Is it worth your time and energy?
Ask yourself; will this matter in a month’s time? Is this anger worth your time and energy?
8. Don’t hold grudges
Holding grudges will do more harm to you, than to the other person. It makes one bitter and ruthless. Learn to forgive, forgiveness results in great release of tension, do it for yourself!
9. Be humble and move on
Be humble, learn from your experience of anger and move on. Moving on, yields psychological and physical benefits. It reduces stress, anxiety and depression.