How to Control Anger: 5 Tips to Help You Stay Calm
Failure to control anger can be very unpleasant. It can result in various issues e.g. saying regretful things out loud, frequent shouting at others, frequent threats to loved ones, careless emails with flaming language, and aggression. There are different forms of aggression – direct and indirect. Direct aggression is yelling, calling names, and breaking things whereas indirect aggression is seen in social exclusion and rigidity. Long-term mismanagement of anger leads to several health issues such as an increase in blood pressure, deteriorated heart health, and frequent headaches. Additionally, it is associated with skin-related problems and digestion issues.
Fortunately, several hacks can help an individual control their anger in an efficient way. For instance, taking a pause before speaking, being assertive, indulging in some physical activity, taking mini-breaks throughout the day, using humor, and forgiving frequently.
Why Anger Management is Important?
Anger management is important to stay healthy physically, mentally, and emotionally. Moreover, it enhances the quality of relationships with others and oneself. It is also critical for effective conflict resolution and upgrading one’s problem-solving skills in any setting (workplace, school, or at home). Does anger management mean that a person will never get angry or feel anger? Of course not because anger management is a skill and it takes time to develop. Patience and regular practice are important factors in managing anger. Furthermore, taking responsibility for one’s actions also becomes imperative. What does it mean? It means that if in any situation one loses control over themselves and hurts somebody, they should own the behavior and not make unnecessary excuses.
Pause Before Speaking
When emotions are high, it is very easy to blurt out hurtful words. Therefore, it is crucial to take some moments to collect and compose oneself. Thinking before speaking also models good behavior to other people. It can encourage them to practice it next time.
Is There Any Power in Pausing Before Speaking?
It helps in creating a comfortable environment during a one-to-one discussion or conversation. According to attachment theory literature, one does not flourish well if there is a lack of meaningful connection and safety. Furthermore, in any relationship, one wants deep care and meaningful conversations. If these basic factors are not present, it becomes highly difficult to move forward in the relationship.
Within a workplace setting, pausing while speaking signals thoughtfulness and care for others. When coworkers see these qualities in a peer, they feel motivated to engage with the coworker and want to work with the individual more. During a presentation, pauses make the listener more engaged. No doubt, it is one of the best strategies to tackle angry outbursts.
Being assertive is about avoiding finding faults and blaming others. Furthermore, it means to express oneself without violating the rights of others. Usually, it is suggested to express oneself using statements starting with “I”. For example saying, “I felt annoyed when you did not validate my feelings”. It is a common belief among psychology experts that those who are assertive do not keep anger inside.
Do Some Physical Activity
Engaging in some physical activity like a brisk walk calms the mind and reduces cortisol levels in the body. Other benefits include:
- Good for the heart
- Improves metabolism
- Upgrades memory
- Supports in weight loss
- Shapes the whole body
Other light physical activities that can be helpful are: ironing the clothes, grocery shopping, washing dishes, and dusting the house.
Take Mini Breaks
Taking mini-breaks during the day helps with focus and energy management. Often, it is the case that a cloudy mind and exhaustion result in an angry outburst. So, a 5-10 minute break after an hour of focus (and work) can help with the issue.
According to the research published in SSRN, breaks can help with boosting employee morale. It leads to more satisfaction at work, higher emotional health, and more motivation to progress in the career.
Taking a light approach to circumstances of life can help tackle anger efficiently. It helps deal with one’s unrealistic expectations. To apply this strategy properly, one should avoid sarcastic humor because it can hurt and exacerbate the situation. Other benefits of humor include:
- Improvement in heart health
- Reduction in body pain
- Increase in sleep quality
- Boost the healing process
- Decrease in stress
Humor also opens one to forgive oneself and others. Bianca L. Rodriguez (a psychotherapist) said that there is a scary aspect to humor. It means that if one can laugh at oneself and forgive themselves, it becomes easier to extend forgiveness to others. Furthermore, laughter has been known to increase tolerance for pain. The interesting point is that it has a positive influence regardless of a person’s current mood. So, even if someone is feeling down, they can benefit from it.
Meditation- An Extra Hack
Engaging in meditation practices can highly improve one’s anger management skills. It is widely known that meditation helps with emotional management and self-awareness. It happens because meditation exercises influence the user to be in the present moment by tackling distractions. It also requires a person to observe their thoughts and feelings with an open mind. There are many ways an individual can practice meditation e.g. mindfulness, guided, mantra, chakra, and yoga. An individual can pick and choose any form that suits them. A key point to benefit the most from these exercises is a regular practice. Hence, meditation exercises are one of the best ways to reduce anger.
It is a widely known belief that each minute a person stays angry, they lose their inner peace and contentment. It can be concluded that the angry person stays under the misperception that they are invincible against the influence of anger. But in reality, they do double damage to oneself and others. Several practical ways by which anger can be controlled are thinking before speaking, taking mini-breaks, using humor, meditation, being assertive, and some exercise. Is there anything else that is required? Yes, courage, a sense of responsibility, and daily practice are pivotal factors for long-term and desirable change.