How to control anger?
In my other article on how to handle stress at workplace, I wrote that stress is part of our day to day life. Similarly, anger is part of daily life too. It triggers our body’s fight or flight mechanism which is our body’s natural response to perceived threat or danger. If anger gets out of proportion, it can be destructive and can destroy our relationships at the workplace and with our loved ones. Long term anger can be harmful to our health too. In most of the cases, anger emerges from stress. Stress causes anger and anger causes stress, it is like a circle. So, how to control anger?
A person who gets angry from time to needs to check stress level and work on handling the stress. Your anger will burst depending upon how much amount of stress you have in your life.
Frustrations and irritations are generated from stress, which develops more anger. When we are stressed, we get angry and when we get angry we get more stressed. If not handled properly, anger can be life-threatening.
Inner weak belief system develops anger
When anything happens against our desire and we are not ready to accept that, we get angry. Basically it is a thought process that doesn’t allow us to accept anything which is against our wish. Rigid thinking shapes a person’s inner belief system very weak, causing emotions to become fragile. When the inner belief system is weak, it brings strong negative reactions inside and people do not accept anything else than what their irrational thoughts have believed what is correct. Ultimately person rejects any other opinion and burst out in anger.
There is big difference between strong in words, action and showing anger. When anger erupts, our actions and decisions weaken. In contradictory, when a belief system is strong, we are ready to accept other’s opinions. Our anger is under control and our ability to take strong actions develop.
Feelings generate anger
Anger is a feeling, just like other feelings. For example, anxiety, sadness, joy. In all cases, it is our perspective of a situation that generates the feeling the way we feel. Similarly, our perspective of ourselves or other people is the cause of our angry feelings.
Every person is unique, their thought process is unique. So their ability to tolerate people and situations is different than others, and their skills to manage their anger are exclusive to themselves.
Cost of out of control anger on our health
When a person is angry, the body releases stress hormones, such as adrenaline, noradrenaline, and cortisol.
If recurrence of anger not handled properly, it can develop,
- High Blood Pressure
- Stomach related problems
- Heart-related diseases.
- And it may contribute to many other physical and mental symptoms.
Anger is biggest cause of Blood Pressure and Diabetes-related problems. It puts a person at a high risk of cardiovascular diseases.
According to National Diabetes Statistics Report, 2017, in The United States alone 30.3 million people had diabetes in 2015, which was 9.4% of the U.S. population at that time.
Key facts published by the World Health Organization (Who), on 30 October 2018, illustrates the following data
- The number of people with diabetes has risen from 108 million in 1980 to 422 million in 2014.
- The global prevalence of diabetes* among adults over 18 years of age has risen from 4.7% in 1980 to 8.5% in 2014 (1).
- Diabetes prevalence has been rising more rapidly in middle- and low-income countries.
- Diabetes is a major cause of blindness, kidney failure, heart attacks, stroke, and lower limb amputation.
- In 2016, an estimated 1.6 million deaths were directly caused by diabetes. Another 2.2 million deaths were attributable to high blood glucose in 2012
We are responsible for our anger
Not accepting other person’s opinions is a common cause of generating anger. Generally, we say, “You made me angry”, this is nothing but throwing our responsibility to handle our emotions on other people or events.
Remember, nobody can make you angry but your own thoughts.
When you say like
- My boss made me angry today.
- My party was spoiled by that idiot when he said…
- He forced me to show anger.
- I shouted at him because of his……..
All of the above and many more such talks are based on the situation, where you lose control. You become a victim of thoughts that suggest someone else or the events are controlling your emotions.
Remember, you and only you have the ability to control all your emotions, you just need to take control of your thoughts.
After all, it’s not people or events who can decide your emotions, it’s you and your reactions to the event.
Now take a look at the below scenarios on the same
- My boss did not like my report, he doesn’t understand how much effort I had put in order to bring this data. So I got angry and because of that, I had bad mood in the office the whole day.
- I was enjoying the party, but that idiot raised some unhappy events from the past, which spoiled my mood. So I could not enjoy the party.
- I was doing my job suddenly he came to interrupt me and I lost my focus. He doesn’t know how important task I was working on, so I raised my voice at him.
Anger is an emotional response of our day to day fight with stress. Irritation, annoyance, and resentment are a form of anger.
When we get angry, we become a salve of our own emotions. Our ability to think the consequence of the reaction is ceased. In such circumstances, we show irritable behavior and try to do actions that may be harmful to self or others.
How to control anger
Let us have al ook on some of the techniques which help to reduce our anger and bring our emotions in our control.
Remember, as I wrote in this article above, every person is unique, their thought process is unique and so their technique to handle stress may vary from person to person.
Change the way you think
Change the way you think and you will change the way you live.
It is important to know that there is a real danger if we don’t handle our anger in a proper way. Anger is developed from a threat. When we feel there is a threat, it triggers our body’s fight or flight mechanism, which in return developed our emotions. Anger is one of the emotions which we use to show our frustration about the threats. We need to work on our thinking paradigm and keep thinking positive all the time. Look into dangers appearing, analyze its impact, and take control of emotions and work to handle such threats. Give yourself some time to think and control your reactions.
Remember, it’s almost impossible to deal in a productive way when we feel angry. Just delay your actions sometimes in order to bring your senses back in the moment.
Narrated Abu Huraira:
Prophet Muhammad (May peace be upon him) said, “The strong is not the one who overcomes the people by his strength, but the strong is the one who controls himself while in anger.”Sahih al-Bukhari 6114
Check your stress level
Track events in day to day life. Keep a journal of events when you get angry. Analyze the situation. If it is a type of irritation you feel upon every other situation, you need to work on stress levels.
Put yourself in another person’s shoes. When you realize the situation and know the other person’s view, your reaction may be different than what your reaction you would have opted at the time you were angry.
“Before you judge a man, walk a mile in his shoes. After that who cares? He’s a mile away and you’ve got his shoes.”Billy Connolly
Count till 10
Some suggest counting till 10 is a good technique, many others suggest to count until 100. It somehow gives us time to think about how to react. Our reaction after that becomes more sensible. When you give yourself some time to think, you bring a more positive approach to control the situation and you tend to handle the situation calmly.
“It’s not what happens to us, but our response to what happens to us that hurts us.”Stephen R. Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change
Don’t expect gratitude
When helping someone, help from the bottom of your heart. It is in human nature to forget what favor they have received from others over a period of time. Only a few people remember it lifelong. Don’t expect gratitude. Help others because you want to help, not because they will be grateful. Not necessary the person who you are showering your help will show gratitude toward you. Do for someone because you feel inner peace when you help others. If people thank in return, show your positive attitude toward them. If they don’t, remember this is human nature and your original aim was not to get gratitude in return but to achieve your inner peace.
Engage yourself in Mindful exercise
Mindful breathing helps reduce anger. Sit in a quiet place. Relax your entire body. Look at your forehead lines, try to bring them to ease. Bring your head to toe in a relaxed position. Slowly breath in for 10 seconds, hold your breath for 10 seconds and release it out in 10 seconds. Do it for 3 to 5 minutes whenever you feel anxious or during your break time. Don’t be in a hurry or take a quick or shallow breath, it may increase your anxious feeling. Relax and you will find that it maintains your blood pressure, promote feeling of calmness and helps in relieving stress. It discharges negative energy from your body and fills in a positive drive.
Anger is like a storm rising up from the bottom of your consciousness. When you feel it coming, turn your focus to your breath.Thich Nhat Hanh
Don’t blame other people
Blaming others will make the situation worse. Discuss the possible outcome of the situation with the people involved. Ask the reason for their particular actions or the thing that frustrates you about the situation. Respect their input. Take some time to analyze the opinion received from them. Keep your point of view which you think is causing your frustration level high. Examine which is the best opinion among both of you.
Remove the feeling of winning your way, rather think of a win-win situation. Don’t put your thoughts and feelings responsibility on others. Don’t discuss “Because you did so and so, I felt so and so. …
When you ask for another person’s opinion who is involved in the tasks, you actually bring communication on the table. Which in return gives you many other ideas to handle the situation and as a result, your relations with the person improves.
Engage yourself with daily Physical exercises
When you are angry, go for a long walk. It improves your mood and gives you a chance to think about the matter in a better way. Long walk improves your mood, your body strength. It maintains your blood pressure and also maintains the appropriate level of sugar in the blood.
Allocate sometimes for physical exercise daily. Remember, If your body is healthy, your mind becomes strong, which improves your ability to handle your emotions positively.
Therapy to handle anger
If you feel any of the following:
- You can’t handle your anger
- You have regular intense arguments with family, friends, or colleagues
- You start attacking opponent physically
- Breaking whatever thing comes in front of you
Consider searching for the best anger management therapy classes near you. Do not allow your anger to develop mental health issues. Ask for proper help. You need to see route cause and underlying issues in order to help reduce desperate feelings of anger.
This information is not intended to serve as medical advice. If you experience symptoms which cause you concern, please consult your physician.