How often we feel angry when we see things not turning out the way we want them to or expected them to be? Most of us have those moments when we just feel like kicking the hell out of someone who has annoyed us or tearing apart a servicing bill when we haven’t received any service even after a month of complaining. Anger is actually a psychological response to situations that have either annoyed us in some way or made us feel low or worried. It is sometimes people’s way of dealing with stressful situations. When faced with some problem people sometimes tend to vent their anger on people rather than the problem, and instead of finding a solution, find excuses.
Mark Twain once said, “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.” Anger is a negative and drawing emotion but if one carefully handles frustration one can efficiently use it to bring the best in him, but its negative consequences are more common. I recently read an article about a 19 year old girl who was convicted of murdering her father and trying to kill her mother in a knife attack. She was angry at her parents because they took away her cell phone and stopped her from talking to her boyfriend. She later said that she regrets her decision and blames her temper for it. That girl just because of her anger ruined her whole life and now there is nothing she could do about it. Most people agree that they regret saying things when they are angry. What to do to calm your inner raging bull? Here are the top 10 things that you can do when you feel angry.
10. Acknowledge the anger
You should not try to suppress anger by trying to think that you are not angry because it will resolve the situation for only some time and you will pent up the negative feelings in your mind just to unleash them later on someone innocent. You must acknowledge the fact that you are angry e.g. that you are not liking some unknown person criticizing your dream project. Sit with the emotion and feel the anger surging in your body, your heartbeats rising, your fists curling, etc. Make a decision that you will not say or do anything unless you feel normal again. Try to regain your composure.
9. Spell it out
Writing your feelings down is a great way to deal with anger. Take a writing pad and a pen and write whatever you are feeling. Don’t think about what you are writing just put it all down in paper. If you by nature are quite short tempered then you can write daily about what you think your issues are or about your stresses how you feel about them. Keeping a diary can help you a lot in dealing with your anger, without having to hurt any other person because of it.
8. Explore your anger
After acknowledging that you are angry, you should try to understand the reason behind you feeling angry. Why is it that you are livid and once you understand what it is, you must think as to why that thing is bothering you so much? There may be some childhood issues behind your short temper. Or there might be some situations that trigger your antagonism. You may have some preconceived notions about a person or a thing that may have altered your judgement of the situation you are in and led you to react in a negative way.
When you feel very angry, try to relax yourself. The best way to relax is to meditate. Take deep breaths and focus your complete attention on your breathing only. This will take your mind off the topic and will let you relax. Drink a glass of water and cool off. If you are suffering from a long time anger management issue then you may find yoga helpful in channelizing the excess energy generated by anger, towards the betterment of you and your society. You can also relax yourselves by doing something you love like painting or singing or anything that takes your mind off your anger causing situation.
6. Call up your buddies
Each one of us has that one person, friend or family, with whom we can share any of our secrets, our problems, sufferings. He is our “go to” guy who can never let us down. So whenever you are in a situation when you are numb with rage or feeling frustrated on how your life has turned up to be, call up that best buddy and talk to him. May be he knows what might be the solution to your problem. Even if he is not able to give an instant solution to your problem, he will definitely be able to relax you until you yourself found the way to get out of the stressful situation.
5. Listen to music
I personally feel music is the best way to calm yourself when you are feeling heated up. Music lets your mind relax and is helpful in managing strong emotions like anger. Music therapy is one of the methods used as an anger management technique. In this the client is asked to pick up song relating to his or her situation. Music helps in recognizing the feelings behind the anger and presents techniques to vent and calm them.
4. Go for a walk
There may be situations when you feel such rage that you can’t control then the best way to deal with such situation is to immediately leave the surrounding. Go for a walk and ponder on your feelings and the factors leading to your anger. You can engage in any other recreational activity that might help you in calming yourself down. If you need an outlet for your pent up anger then go to the gym or go for a run. Find ways to release your anger on activities beneficial to you. But remember not to do anything that may lead to a different outcome than expected e.g. activities like driving which need you to concentrate on what you are doing.
You remember the movie Munnabhai MBBS in which how the doctor, Dr. Hasthana laughs to calm himself whenever he is annoyed at Munna, as part of his anger management technique. Laughing makes us feel energized and refreshed and fills positive energy in your life. Engage in “silly humour” when you feel angry and laugh it off. Laughter therapy is also used by many therapists as way to relieve anger and stress. Therapeutic laughter can help you relax and get control of yourself in anger causing situations.
2. Focus on creating a solution
When we are angry we usually don’t think while speaking and later regret our words and actions. In the words of Ambose Bierce “Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret.” How true these words are. We can sometimes ruin our whole life by one stupid decision taken during the moment of anger as we can see in the case of the teenage girl who killed her parents. When you are angry at something and you know why it is making you angry, you must concentrate on how to get out of the situation, how to get a solution to the problem and facing them rather than making petty excuses and later blaming your temper for how things turned out.
One must understand that getting angry is a normal response towards a negative situation where we tend to retaliate and is a part of life. It is all right to feel angry sometimes, just not OK to be out of control. It is possible that your anger is associated with some mental health condition and it might be something for which you need to consult a doctor. Counselling and psychotherapy can help you deal with your present problems and your past resentments. You can join some anger management programs which usually involve a group of people who are going through the same situation as you. These programs have sessions where you can talk about your problems and struggles and gain help. Talking to your therapist is fundamental in the success of such programs and in helping you regain control of your life rather than letting your anger control it for you.