10 Anger Management Techniques To Rein In Your Temper
While anger is a normal emotion that can help us become assertive, explosive anger is a toxic emotion that can ruin relationships and negatively impact your physical, emotional well-being. Tools such as journaling, deep breathing, yoga, meditation, relaxing imagery, self-talk can not only help soothe angry feelings, but express them in a non-confrontational manner too.
In the fast-paced, high-stress lives we lead today, many of us are prone to losing our temper. Everyday frustrations like relationship troubles, kiddie tantrums, office drama, health issues, unexpected events, or even minor things like being interrupted or someone cutting you off in traffic can build up over time to make us short-tempered.
Anger is a healthy and cathartic emotion, and totally normal. It becomes problematic, however, when your anger become toxic or destructive, causing you to be cruel to others and bitter and unhappy with yourself.
How Anger Impacts Your Life And Your Health
Physically, anger can increase your heart rate and blood pressure, cause headaches, indigestion, and sleep issues, and make it difficult for you to focus.1 Chronic anger also has emotional manifestations that range from mild irritability, passive aggressive behavior, cynicism, and being hypercritical of others to aggressive or violent behavior and even uncontrollable rage.2 No matter how you look at it, toxic anger can affect your mental and physical health and your relationships with other people.
Is It Always Bad To Get Angry
No. It is very normal to get angry. When you feel angry, it is essentially a signal from your brain that you are becoming annoyed and upset, which is meant to help you better understand what is making you angry. Regulated anger can also act as a motivator and energizer and can make you become more assertive with other people.3
What Causes Anger?
Although we think we are driven to anger by external factors, the emotion itself is really a function of our own interpretation of an event or situation. For example, a bad driver who cuts you off in busy traffic isn’t the cause of your anger; how you choose to react to the driver is what determines whether you get angry or not. For this reason, researchers argue that angry feelings occur due to angry thoughts.4 It is therefore up to you to choose how you process external stimuli that can trigger angry thoughts which lead to angry feelings.
This is where anger management techniques can help. Using specific strategies, you can better predict and understand your own anger. So let’s take a look at 10 proven techniques that can help you manage your anger in a positive manner.
1. Count Back From 100
2. Use “I” Statements
3. Leave The Scene For A Short Stroll
4. Take A Deep Breath (Or 10)
5. Use Relaxing Imagery And Self-Talk
6. Use Stress Relievers And/Or Distractions
7. Exercise, Meditate, And Practice Yoga
It goes without saying that not all of these techniques are going to work for everyone. Each person is different, with different triggers for their anger, so some of these strategies might be more effective than others. Remember that the point is never to eliminate anger, but to manage it in a manner that minimizes your frustration and unhappiness