Anger is something we feel in response to a threat we perceive. It’s a completely normal emotion like others; as long as it doesn’t affect your personal and professional life. When it gets out of hand it can be destructive, and it can lead to problems and also affect your overall quality of life. An emotional state that varies between mild irritation and fury is something that you might feel when you are angry.
Often, aggression stems from anger which can help you at times. Aggression will work as a catalyst when you need motivation. When out of control, it can also bring physiological changes. Your heart rate and blood pressure go up, as do the energy levels and adrenaline. Memories of traumatic events can also trigger anger.
Yes, it is a natural adaptive response to threats, it inspires powerful thoughts which allow us to defend ourselves. But we do not want it affecting us beyond this. Let us not let anger affect our personal lives. Here is a small self-help guide for you to control your emotions. Remember, there is no shame if you reach out to professionals for help.
Control your breathing
One of the things that you can work on while you are in a moment of anger is controlling your breathing. It is understandable that you get worked up and you need a release. Remember, what you are feeling is not facts. Give it some time and then express yourself. One of the ways to do that is to start counting backwards from 10-1. Excuse yourself from the person you are having a conversation with and ask them if you can come back to this issue later. It’s okay to take space to calm down and revisit the conversation again. What is important is to not let the emotion get out of hand and ruin things for you. Take control of yourself first.
Relax your muscles
Take deep breaths. Take 2-3 minutes to take deep breaths. Imagine you are inhaling cool air and exhaling all the anger outside. Try to loosen your shoulders and unclench your fists. Make a conscious effort to loosen those muscles and try smiling a little bit. Breathe while you focus on your muscles and try to loosen up as much as possible.
Get it out
It’s important that you get the issue out of your system. Write it down or speak with someone about it. Write down what made you angry, so you can come back to the thought once you’re calmer. Once you get it out, it is only then that you can start making sense or start finding context. So, make that call. If you have a therapist, drop them a text and let them know when and what made you angry. Speak with a friend and tell them how you are feeling. Get it out of your system without any judgements or justifications. You can think or evaluate them later when you are in a better headspace.
This is when you try to understand the issue rationally, instead of doing it emotionally. This will allow you to process your anger without letting it take over your life. Try to understand the issue. What gave rise to the occasion that you had a rise in your temper? What can you do now in order to resolve the issue? Do you think you could have handled the situation in a better way?
You have all the answers to these questions.
Anger, like other emotions, doesn’t need to be negative. Often, it can be a motivational factor in your life. The moment it spills into your personal life, hurting others or your professional life where the experience becomes negative, it’s time for you to look into this. Remember, there is no harm in reaching out for help and it’s never too late.