Taming Your Anger
Anger is a normal, natural, and healthy emotion. It is a powerful feeling that occurs when you are hurt, disappointed, frustrated, or annoyed. It is also a response to threats, so some anger is required for survival. However, it can be a problem if you are unable to control it and it gets out of proportion and is easily triggered. The emotion can even delay your decision-making process, destroy relationships, and cause harm both to your physical and emotional health. People who find it difficult to control their anger or experience anger out of a normal emotional range can have different types of anger issues. Some of the most common forms of anger are:
- Passive anger can sometimes be difficult to identify. Some people who experience this type of anger may not even know that they are angry. The emotions are usually displayed as meanness, apathy, or sarcasm. You may “express” passive anger by alienating friends and family, skipping work or school, as well as performing poorly in numerous situations. Although you might not realize or you can’t explain your actions, these are self-defeating behaviors that can impact your life negatively.
- Judgmental anger usually comes with feelings of bitterness. People who have judgmental anger express it by putting people down or make others feel small in public because they are trying to make themselves look better by comparison. This type of anger is strongly linked to low self-esteem.
- Chronic anger can dominate someone’s way of thinking and behavior. It is long-term and can lead to health issues, including heart problems, headaches, skin disorders, high blood pressure, and digestive problems. It can also impact your immune system and result in other mental disorders.
- Self-inflicted anger is directed toward oneself. People who experience self-inflicted anger punish themselves for things they think they have done wrong. They may overeat, starve themselves, or even cut themselves because they believe that they need to be punished for their wrongdoing.
- Volatile anger can be excessive or extremely violent. It can come without warning and is unpredictable. Volatile anger also does not need a reason to happen.
Anger is caused by numerous factors, mainly a person’s environment. Financial issues, poor social situations, stress, abuse, or family problems can contribute to the development of anger. People who were raised by parents with anger issues are usually more prevalent in this disorder. It is also said that genetics, as well as a person’s body ability to deal with certain hormones and chemicals, play a role in how the person deals with anger. For example, if your brain can’t react normally to serotonin, it might be especially hard for you to manage your emotions.
Anger control is important to help you avoid doing or saying something you may regret. There are numerous ways you can get your anger under control before your anger escalates or you experience anger outbursts. Here are some steps you can take to deal with your anger:
- Know your anger signs. Notice the signs when you are getting angry, for example, your heart beats faster, you breathe quickly, and you feel the tension in your shoulders. When you notice these signs, get out of the situation.
- Count to 10 and breath slowly. Counting down to 10 will give you time to calm down. When you are counting, your heart rate will slow down and your anger will subside. If you are really angry, you can count more.
- Think before you speak. Before you say anything, take a few moments to think, and make sure that you are thinking clearly. When you are angry, it is easy to say something you will regret.
- Express your anger only when you are calm. Contrary to popular beliefs, anger needs to be expressed. Make sure you are already calmed down and you can think clearly. Express your frustration in a non-confrontational way. Tell others your concerns and needs in a calm way, without hurting others.
- Get some possible solutions. Do not focus on what made you angry, instead work on solutions to resolve the issue. Focusing on anger can only make things worse instead of fixing anything.
- Do not hold a grudge. Forgive the person who angered you and learn from the situation.
- Seek help. For many people, controlling anger is a huge challenge. If your anger is difficult to control and causes you to do things that harm yourself or those around you, seek professional help.