By: Noel Chorachor, Ultimate Spark! Guest Contributor
Is anger management your Achilles heel? Do you often find yourself raged with just a small coffee spill?
If so, keep calm and keep reading because you’re in for a treat. What we’re gonna go over with are not some kind of dark magic or voodoo incantations –none of that. Instead, these are practical methods backed by science and proven effective to control destructive emotions by countless people –people with feelings susceptible to anger, just like you and I.
So, if that sounds interesting, let’s get to it.
According to psychology, anger is an emotion characterized by antagonism toward someone or something .And just like any human emotion, when left unchecked and uncontrolled, could cause problems, serious problems.
These include actions often if not always irreversible like saying mean things and hurting people’s feelings, yelling at your kids or loved ones, breaking expensive stuff (good luck if it’s not yours), wasting time overthinking, and...you know the rest. And we’re all guilty of a thing or two. Yes, even the holiest person you know got angry at some point.
Now, anger is not necessarily evil by itself. And there’s always two sides to a coin. It could either be a catalyst for motivation and positive change, orignition for violence and destruction.If it’s the former then bless you. But if it’s the latter, then we have a problem–something we need to address and that’s what this article is for.
How should you go about it?
While it’s impossible to never get angry (we’re mortals, not God after all), anger management and being in control instead of being controlled (blindly) is definitely possible. And though it’s easier said than done, with discipline and strong will to change, you may never have to live with avoidable remorse ever again.
So,without further ado, here are 5 simple ways to managing anger you can start with.
1. Maintain Physical Peak State
It all starts with you, physiologically. You can’t expect to handle your emotions properly if you can’t even control your physical health and energy.
Hence, start with a healthy lifestyle. Lose weight if you need to. Science has proven that the more fat (bad cholesterol) you have, the harder it is for oxygen to reach your brain (the database of your emotions). Consequently, you’ll think more irrational, you’ll be more prone to stress, and easier for you to blackout –that’s when your fuse gets shorter.
Exercise is proven to improve mood and wanes negative thoughts by producing endorphins(the hero behind good feelings and pleasure). Thus, have more of these by working out, running or jogging, or just simply adding more movement to your day like using stairs instead of elevators.
On top of that, sleep well and enough. You wanna recharge your body and have ample energy to face whatever the day throws your way.
2. Prevention is Better Than Cure
"Anger is one letter short of danger." —Eleanor Roosevelt
Anger is a natural human response. Thus, knowing how to control it is silver but knowing how to prevent it (unnecessary anger) is gold.
Take a moment to introspect. Know what causes you to be angry for only then can you overcome it beforehand. And once you have the major triggers noted, take responsibility for it without blaming anybody.
Is it the long queue? Then arrive earlier or set an appointment in advance.
Demanding boss with unrealistic expectations? Let them know directly or look for different work (tough but you’ll thank yourself later).
Of course, these are all just examples and guides to get you into thinking about what’s best for you and the people around you.
Remember, the surest way to win a fight is to avoid one.
3. Count Your Oxygen
“When angry, count four. When very angry, swear.” ― Mark Twain
As mentioned earlier, your brain needs sufficient oxygen to function properly especially when dealing with high-stress situations. And no better way to ensure so than to breathe, deeply.
Here’s a trivia for you. Did you know that those badass Navy SEALs rely on breathing technique to calm and control their thoughts under extreme pressure?
That’s right. Just imagine all the wars they go through. And they were kind enough to share the technique with us. That is:
✓Deeply inhale for 4 seconds
✓Hold your lungs full for 4 seconds
✓Exhale for 4 seconds
✓Hold your lungs empty for 4 seconds.
Simple yet effective. So, whenever you feel triggered or about to be triggered, go for this breathing exercise–you’ll be thankful later.
4. Loose Lips Sink Ships
"Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret." —Ambrose Bierce
Didn’t mean to twist your tongue there but simply put, think before you speak.
In heated moments, we often get carried away by our emotions that we start acting emotional rather than rational. Bazillion sharp words meant to pierce the heart blast off. Until sooner or later, when the smoke of anger has settled, will we realize that we messed up big time (damage is done).
And nobody wants to live haunted by regret just because of a rush, unthoughtful call. So, save yourself from such and instead, take time to contemplate and assess the situation.
Before you even open your mouth, ask yourself the following:
-“What’s the best way to react or, do I even need to get involved in the first place?”
-“Is it worth it and will it even matter days or years from now?”
5. Finally, Move On and Change the Channel
"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
Just like watching TV wherein,you’re free to switch to another channel if you don’t like the show, don’t get stuck in a crappy situation. If you don’t like where you are then move –you’re not a tree.
Pondering about what or who triggered you over and over again is stressful and will only fuel more anger. It’s like reminiscing a nightmare if you will. Ergo, shift your focus onto something different (positive and uplifting thoughts and activities). Change your environment even. And don’t just tell yourself, do it!
Do something fun, challenging, or even humorous. Channel your energy into something beneficial. Workout, treat yourself, watch a comedy, have fun with friends and family, etc. Whatever it is, it should be something that will let off the steam and make you forget about the crappy channel.
Anger management doesn’t have to be complicated or even expensive (unless nothing seems to work and you need professional help). And by incorporating these simple yet proven methods, you’ll find that life is much better living on the bright side.
“Don’t waste your time in anger, regrets, worries, and grudges. Life is too short to be unhappy.” ―Roy T. Bennett
~ Published By: Sahana Golla