Mastering the Art of Anger Management
Do you often feel like the human version of Hulk? While it is healthy to not bottle up your feelings and go into the “smash” mode, it is vital to know that the anger that we show, that makes us go “Puny God” and thrash Loki around, affects us and the people around us adversely. For the sake of your mental state and health and the ones you love, it is important to control your anger.
“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.”- Buddha
Often people think that anger is bad. It is not true. It is neither good nor bad. It is just an emotion that conveys the message that something is unjust or unfair or not right or threatening. The key is to convey this message clearly, calmly and healthily. The chance of your message getting across is hugely diminished if you lose control and start spewing like a volcano.
Here is where anger management becomes crucial. It is important to get the facts straight first- why do you feel angry, what are your triggers, how is it affecting you and others? Anger management is not bottling your feelings and gulping down the bitter pill, but it is to realise what you are truly feeling and expressing it in a healthy, controlled way.
You have to remember that intimidation and bullying do not earn you respect. It's a lifestyle choice how you express your emotions without being physically or verbally abusive. With time and practice, you will be better adept at managing conflicts and hence it would improve your overall well being.
As in all situations, there are some pros and cons to anger. In order to make yourself understand why you need to manage your anger, first understand the advantages and disadvantages of the same.
- The intensity and energy generated by anger may help you to achieve your goal if used correctly.
- You can get work done from others by showing the right degree of anger.
- Anger helps us develop discipline at home or at work.
- Anger decreases our frustration and stress.
- Our 100% focus on a particular event or an individual when we are angry can give us a new perspective and unveil a new information or idea.
- Anger brings a plethora of diseases with it. The more angry you become, the more your body becomes susceptible to diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, insomnia, heart diseases and weakened immune system. Your mind gets adversely affected too. You forget how to see the joy and happiness around you and focus on the unnecessary vexing stuff. Stress, anxiety and depression become part of your life.
- For those of you to whom your looks matter, remember that constant anger causes fast aging. Greying of hair and wrinkles on your face are just the starters.
- Aside from yourself, untethered anger wreaks havoc on your relationships. You end up causing pain and grief to your loved ones. Faced with constant yelling and abuse, your family starts feeling as if they are living under some threat and it becomes hard for others to feel comfortable or speak honestly in front of you. You lose their trust, love and respect.
- Anger can even cost others’ lives if you are driving under its influence and unintentionally cause an accident.
- It also has the power to ruin your career as you lose the capability to think clearly when angry and tend to make the wrong decisions. It often causes you to lose out on opportunities.
- It ruins your image. No one likes Mr. Grumpy Grumperson who will blast their ears off at every drop of the hat. People starts ignoring or avoiding you. Our personality is spoiled due to our anger.
- At any workplace, feedback is the key to a good working environment. But instead of constructive criticism, if you are prone to lash out, you will only end up alienating your colleagues and peers and even lose clients. In a nutshell, you lose your peace of mind.
Why Are You Angry?
Do a root cause analysis as to why you tend to blow your lid off so frequently and so violently. Many people see that the only way to expressing anger is by shouting or by physical abuse as children. And that is what they carry on in life. For some people, it may not be manly enough to show their emotions and thus they vent out frustration aggressively. Your anger may be also triggering from depression or stress that you are not acknowledging.
Recognize these causes and work on setting them right.
1. Identify Your Trigger And Warning Signs
There are a number of signs that you can see before you lose it: turning red, clenched fists/ jaws, trembling, heavy breathing or sweating are a few of them. Figure out which of these are your triggers and use the below-mentioned techniques to manage your anger before it boils over.
2. How To Keep Your Cool
Once you understand what is triggering you to lose control, you are more capable of managing your emotions. Do things that ease the pressure building up within you.
Physical activity is an effective way to diffuse your anger. So, hit the gym, walk briskly for 15 minutes, hit the swimming pool or dance to your latest favourite tune. It helps you to lower your blood pressure and get your cool back as it distances you from the aggravating situation and helps you get a fresh perspective. Focusing on the rhythm of your breathing also helps you to relax.
Keep your stress levels low by hanging out with your family and friends regularly, practicing meditation and keeping your mind and body healthy by getting proper sleep and nutrition. Do what feels good to your soul. Being over-stressed makes you vulnerable to every small trigger and you tend to lose control of our emotions.
Taking deep breaths, counting to 10, massaging the tensed areas of your body are few handy ways to regain control of your temper.
3. Get Help
Talk and vent out your feelings in front of the mirror. A family member or friend can help you get a neutral perspective of the situation and can help in coming up with a possible solution for the same.
If you are unable to control your anger no matter how hard you try or it has led to physical violence or caused you to become a recluse, do not feel embarrassed to seek professional help. Everyone has their demons. The sooner we get rid of them, the better.
“Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured. “ – Mark Twain