When was the last time that you really lost it? Was it when your child crossed the road and nearly missed being run down or when you were rejected for a job you thought you deserved? Anger is a powerful emotion and releasing the pressure that builds inside you is often essential. But if anger is not dealt with in a healthy way it can significantly affect your daily life, relationships, achievements and mental wellbeing. Let us look at a few pointers in managing your anger

Managing outbursts

  1. Look out for warning signs – recognizing signs gives you a chance to think about how you want to react to a situation. The earlier you notice how you are feeling the easier it can be to choose how to manage your anger.

Before you recognize the emotion you’re feeling you might notice:

  • your heart is beating faster
  • your breathing is quicker
  • your body is becoming tense
  • your feet are tapping
  • you’re clenching your jaw or fists.
  1. Buy yourself time to think

Sometimes when you are feeling angry, you just need to walk away from the situation for a while. This can give you time to work out what you are thinking about the situation, decide how you want to react to it and feel more in control.

  • Counting to 10 before you react.
  • Going for a short walk – even if it is just around your neighborhood
  • Talking to a trusted friend who is not connected to the situation; Expressing your thoughts out loud can help you understand why you’re angry and help calm you down.
  • Try some calming techniques

Ø  Breathe slowly and focus on each breath as you take it.

3.  Redirect your energy safely

This can help relieve some of your angry feelings in a way that doesn’t hurt yourself or others. For example, you could try tearing up a newspaper, hitting a pillow, smashing ice cubes in a sink.

4. Do something to distract yourself.

Anything that completely changes your situation, thoughts or patterns can help stop your anger escalating. For example, you could try:

Ø  Putting on upbeat music and dancing

Ø  Taking a cold shower.

Long-term management

  1. Learn your triggers – Develop strategies to cope and think about how to react before the situation happens. You could record:
  • What were the circumstances?
  • Did someone say or do something to trigger your anger?
  • How did you feel?
  • How did you behave?
  • How did you feel afterwards?

If you do this for a while, you might start to see patterns emerging.

2. Examine your thought patterns

Things are rarely so black and white; reflect more calmly on your situation and find new ways through conflicts.

3. Develop your communication skills

If you are able to express your anger by talking in an assertive, respectful way about what has made you angry, then you are more likely to be understood by others.

4. Look at your lifestyle

Looking after your wellbeing more generally could help you feel calmer and more in control when things happen that make you feel angry;

  • Avoid drugs and alcohol. Although you might feel this could help you cope in the short term, alcohol and drugs can both affect your ability to control your emotions and actions, and can be a factor in violence.
  • Be more active. Being active can help let out any tension you’re feeling, and benefit your self-esteem. Even gentle exercise like going for a walk can make a difference.
  • Get good sleep. Not sleeping well can have a huge impact on how we’re feeling and how well we cope with things that happen to us.

5. Get HelpIf your anger means you are acting in an abusive or violent way it is important to get professional help.

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