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How to Control Anger Before it Controls You

If uncontrolled anger is taking its toll on your health and your overall quality of life, then now is the time that you should learn how to control anger.

What is anger?

Anger is a normal reaction to circumstances that are not in favor of your expectations. There are many causes that trigger anger, like when a person is feeling threatened or attacked. Sometimes the cause of anger includes memories of traumatic events. 

Everyone experiences anger at some point in time or another. It is a normal and healthy human response. Anger provides a warning sign to your brain that something not good is about to happen. Thus, it supplies your body with energy or adrenaline to deal with and correct the situation. It motivates you to take protective action in overcoming obstacles and achieving your goal.

Anger has a negative effect when you deny, restrain, or express it inappropriately. When anger gets out of control, it can lead to various physiological, psychological, and behavioral problems. As a result, it affects your professional and personal relationships with people and the overall quality of your life. 

Why should you control your anger?

Controlling your anger has tons of benefits not only yourself, but also the people around you. Anger destroys relationships. When you can’t control your anger, you tend to say hurtful words or become physically abusive. 

It also has a huge effect on your health. A person who is always angry has a higher risk of stroke, high blood pressure, or heart attack. Other common health effects on anger include depression, sleep problems, headaches, and digestive problems. 

You also lose focus at work and will affect your performance and ruin relationships with your colleagues. Or worse, you could lose your job. You will also lose time for your family as you tend to focus on your anger. This may cause them to draw away from you. 

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How to control anger?

Are you ready to take control of your anger? Here are five simple, yet effective anger management tips.

1. Recognize anger signs

Preventing the bursting of anger is the first step to manage your emotions or expression of anger. These warning signs are the things you feel, think, say, and do when you are about to get angry. These warning signs that you are experiencing can also be physical, emotional, and behavioral. Some signs may include:

Physical

  • clenching your jaws or grinding your teeth
  • muscle tension
  • face turns red
  • headache
  • increased blood pressure
  • increased heart rate
  • sweating, especially your palms
  • shaking or trembling

Emotional

  • rage
  • stress
  • frustration
  • irritated
  • anxiety
  • like to strike out verbally or physically
  • feeling overwhelmed
  • like you want to get away from the situation

Behavioral

  • Screaming, raising of voice or yelling
  • Becoming argumentative 
  • Sarcasm
  • Becoming abusive
  • Throw things

You may also ask yourself these questions to recognize early signs of anger and suppress this emotion. 

  • What are the things/events/people/places that make me angry?
  • How do I react when I’m angry?
  • How does the person/people around me deal with my anger?
  • What was I doing before I started feeling angry?
  • Do I want to fight or immediately withdraw when I am angry?

Recognizing anger signs and answering these questions will help you identify several signs of anger and make you aware of those, which will help you control or avoid the causes of your anger.

2. Take a breather

When you are angry, your breathing becomes shallower, your heart beats faster, and your muscles become tense. Taking slow, deep breaths into your nose out of your mouth helps you relax and is the best way to lower your body’s stress levels.  

Yoga and meditation are proven stress relievers for many. Both practices use breathing or breathe control that calms the mind and body. Other benefits of these two practices include:

  • Reducing symptoms of stress and anxiety.
  • Help you develop a greater understanding of yourself.
  • Enables you to manage your emotions.
  • Release the constriction in your muscles, which contains emotional toxicity.
  • Can naturally help you relieve pain.
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3. Use humor (appropriately)

Humor can lighten your mood by letting you laugh away your anger. Laughing away your anger gives you power over your negative emotions, instead of your negative emotions having power over you. 

Not everyone has a funny bone, and we all have a different taste when it comes to the things that can make us laugh. You can develop your sense of humor by doing the following:

  • Do something that you enjoy.
  • Practice laughing and smiling.
  • Surround yourself with things that make you laugh.
  • Spend time with people that make you smile and laugh.

So when you start recognizing the signs of anger, use humor to put your feelings back into perspective.

4. Exercise

Physical activities can help reduce the stress that causes you to become angry. Muscle tension is a sign of stress in your body. It is an indication that a person feels angry. Stretching is a workout that you can do to ease the muscle tension and stiffness. It also enhances blood circulation, calms your mind and soul, and alleviates or manages stress. 

There are numerous studies confirming that exercise can reduce anger. Fortunately, there are simple exercises that you can do at home, so you don’t have to go out if you don’t feel like it or if you don’t have the chance. If you think that your anger is escalating, you can do dancing, jumping jacks, or just spend time and energy doing other enjoyable physical activities that you can do at home. 

5. Don’t hold a grudge

Holding a grudge over a prolonged period has negative health effects. Grudge, as defined in dictinonary.com, is the feeling of ill will or resentment. 

For some, it is not easy to forgive and forget. This is because grudge is like replaying an event in your mind long after it has passed. You are keeping an emotional experience that has ended, and that does not need to be around anymore. 

Learning how to forgive to let go of a grudge allows room for peace and happiness. Forgiveness will also strengthen your relationship with people. Forgiving may not be an easy thing to do, especially when a person or an event caused you a lot of pain. However, it is the only way to truly let go of the grudge and find inner peace.

To help you control anger and live more peacefully, taking the Anger Management Shortcuts online course will help you learn the strategies to manage your anger. By the end of the course, you will able to:

  • Understand anger and why you get angry.
  • Spot your anger patterns quickly.
  • Maintain composure when dealing with anger.
  • Avoid anger.

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