If you’re like most people, you probably experience anger from time to time. Maybe it’s because of something specific that happened. It could also be some residual anger from a past disagreement or argument.
Regardless of the cause, experiencing anger is natural when things don’t go our way. However, when your anger spirals out of control, it can have serious implications for your mental and physical health.
Fortunately, there are ways to manage anger.
In this article, we will explore the different causes of anger, its symptoms and consequences, as well as simple strategies that can help you manage your anger if it arises in the future.
What Is Anger?
Anger is a natural emotion. It helps us protect ourselves when we feel threatened.
We might feel angry if someone cuts us off in traffic or steals our lunch money when we’re in elementary school.
We might feel angry if we have bad grades, or if a loving partner cheats on us.
Anger could be the result of unkind or aggressive behavior towards us, or someone saying something we do not like.
There are many reasons and triggers that awaken anger.
Many people experience anger and don’t recognize it as a problem, because it helps them protect themselves from danger.
However, when anger becomes intense, chronic or prolonged, it can have dramatic consequences on your health. Intense anger can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke. It is also associated with a higher risk of depression, substance abuse and divorce.
It can cause confrontations, arguments and disagreements, and is some cases, even violence. That’s why one needs to learn how to control anger.
Recognize the Signs of Anger
If you experience anger, you may notice certain signs in yourself. For example:
- Excessive sweating – this may be due to an “attack” of high blood pressure, a condition that can result from uncontrolled anger.
- Muscle tension – this is also a sign of anxiety, as anger causes your muscles to tense up as you prepare for a fight or flight response.
- Strong feelings – these may include a strong sense of injustice and “rage”.
- Increased heart rate – this is a normal reaction to strong feelings, which can have health implications if the feelings are anger-related.
- Raising your voice and talking loudly.
- Reacting verbally or physically without thinking first.
There could be more signs, depending on the persons involved and the circumstances.
Learn to Exercise Self-Control
Research has found that people who are prone to anger are also more likely to engage in risky behavior.
The key to preventing risky behavior is to control your anger when it arises. How to control anger? When you feel anger coming on, stop, take a breath and try to identify the trigger.
For example, if you notice that you get irritated while driving, find a place to park your car and try to relax. Take a few deep breaths, drink water or take a short walk.
If you notice that you’re getting angry when you drink alcohol, you should try to keep a sober mindset. Anger causes people to do things that are dangerous.
Therefore, if you’re prone to anger, the next step is to recognize the signs of anger, and exercise self-control when it arises. This way, you can prevent dangerous, negative outcomes from anger.
How to Control Anger: Six Simple Strategies
Although anger can be harmful to your health and lead to risky behavior, it’s not impossible to effectively control. The following strategies can help you control your anger and prevent its harmful effects.
If you get angry once in a while, you will find the following tips helpful.
If you are quick to get angry these tips would help you too, but it is best to seek professional help.
Here are 6 Strategies for managing anger:
1. Identify and acknowledge your anger
When you feel anger coming on, stop and identify it. This will help you gain control of the situation and prevent a spiral into a dangerous state of anger.
2. Recognize the trigger
A trigger is something that sets off your anger, such as a specific event, person or situation.
Once you identify the trigger responsible for the anger, you can start to think of a less harmful way to deal with the situation.
3. Take a breath
When you feel the anger building, take a few slow, deep breaths. This can prevent you from losing control of the situation.
4. Acknowledge your feelings
Similar to the trigger, you can try to acknowledge your feelings as you’re trying to calm down. This can prevent you from spiraling into a negative, dangerous state of mind.
5. Focus on something positive
This can be anything, such as a mantra or picture. Focusing on something positive can help you to separate your feelings, thoughts and reactions from what is happening at that moment.
6. Leave Everything and Exercise or Go for a Walk
Exercising, engaging in some sport or walking can take away the anger out of your system.
How to Control Anger: Conclusion
Anger is a normal emotion that can become harmful when it is intense, chronic or prolonged. In this article we tried to point out the signs of anger and the causes of anger. We also provided some simple first aid tips for reducing anger and calming down.
We hope you will find useful these strategies for managing anger.
You can find more tips and advice on how to control anger in our book Let Go of Anger and Let in Tranquility.