Anger is such a common emotion that we often don’t have to define it. We get angry for different reasons and at varying intensities. While being angry from time to time is a good emotional outlet, unmanaged anger is detrimental to us. Not only does it cause unnecessary stress, but it could also severe precious social connections. As we don’t want this to happen, it’s important to be equipped with effective tips on how to manage anger.
What is anger?
Before we discuss the tips on how to manage anger, let’s first define it. Anger, as mentioned, is an emotion. According to APA or the American Psychological Association, anger is characterized by antagonism.
This antagonism stems from the feeling that you have been deliberately wronged. Hence, you can feel anger towards someone or something – an object, a situation, or even a memory.
Additionally, anger is also the body’s response to a perceived threat. This means that even though nothing bad has happened yet, you can still feel angry.
Physically, your heart rate increases, your blood pressure rises, and you release adrenaline – the “fight or flight” hormone, which is our body’s natural response to stress.
Finally, when you’re angry, your muscles tighten and your senses become more acute.
What Happens When You Have Anger Problems?
Having anger issues vary from person to person. According to APA, there are various psychological tests to ascertain the following:
- The intensity of your anger
- How prone you are to being angry
- How well you are managing your anger
However, they also mentioned that if you have anger issues, chances are, you already know about it. For instance, when you’re angry, you can get aggressive and might do the following:
- Ignore people
- Start fights
- Break things
Mentally, it can cloud your mind, cause stress, and can even lead to depression. Unmanaged anger can also scar people emotionally and ruin deeply affect the course of one’s life.
Practicing the exercises and tips on how to manage anger will help you ensure that your anger remains at a manageable level. And that’s important because being angry is also good for you.
Why Well-Managed Anger is Essential for Us
It’s hard to think of anger in a positive light, since a lot of negativity are attached to this emotion. Still, being angry can be a good thing. Below are some of the positive effects of well-managed anger:
- Anger serves as a good motivator to solve problems and reach goals. Because things are not the way they are supposed to be, we get angry. When we feel this emotion, we will find ways to solve the problem.
- It urges us to see when an injustice is happening. Maybe we were treated unfairly or were insulted. Anger tells us that somehow, we have been wronged. If we don’t get angry, then there’s a chance that the injustice will continue.
- Getting angry gets others to cooperate. When people are not listening and cooperating even after various encouragements and coaxing, being angry might help. However, being too angry for too long will not help the situation. That’s why you need to practice effective tips on how to manage anger.
- Anger calms us. Of course, expressing your anger gives a sense of relief. It’ll feel like a huge weight has been lifted off of your shoulders.
Exercises and Tips to Manage Anger
Now that you know the negative effects of uncontrolled anger and the advantages of a well-managed one, we can now proceed to the tips on how to manage anger.
These tips on how to manage anger are divided into two. The first is when the anger is already there, bubbling up. The second is about the exercises you can do to better manage your anger in the long run.
Things You Can Do When You’re Angry
- Remember that while you can get angry anytime, you don’t have to react immediately. You can take a step back to reorganize your thoughts by counting 1 to 10.
- You can also excuse yourself from the scene and think first before doing or saying anything that you might regret later.
- When you have the time, think: what am I really angry about? It’s one of the most important tips on how to manage anger because knowing this gives you control over the issue.
- Since you already know the root of your anger, you can now think of strategies to rectify the situation. You can now express your anger.
- In expressing your anger, remember to be specific and to stick to the “I” statements. This is one of the best tips on how to manage anger because it doesn’t put the blame or criticize others. For instance, instead of saying “You never accomplish the tasks assigned to you,” you can say, “I’m angry because you didn’t submit the report.”
Additional Things You Can Do to Better Manage Anger
You can practice these tips on how to manage anger daily:
- Exercise. Physical workouts are linked to stress reduction. Understand that stress, too, can make you angry. Simple workouts such as walking and running will do.
- Take breaks. When your hands are full, you can get irritated easily. To avoid this, be sure to take breaks in between tasks.
- Forgive. Forgive the person who angered you. In holding grudges, you might find yourself “swallowed” up by different negative feelings.
- Practice relaxation exercises. Deep breathing is one good example of a relaxation technique. Another one is imagining a relaxing scene or repeating a calming mantra. For instance, you can repeatedly say, “Take it easy…” or “Calm down…”
The most ideal way to handle anger is to express it. However, there are different intensities to expressing anger. You can go from mild, which is rational and reasonable, to violent, aggressive outbursts.
You can achieve constructive expression by practicing the tips on how to manage anger. This involves the things you can do in and out of an anger-provoking situation. When angry, remember that you are in control. You are not required to act right away. Calm down and find a strategy to respond constructively.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.