Control your anger

It is important to identify we have anger management issues before it hijacks our lives

ANGER is often associated with fire. In most cases, the fire consumes and destroys, because it seems uncontrollable. But can we agree that fire can be extinguished, and it can be used for a variety of things other than destruction?

For many with anger issues or those without anger management, this volatile emotion is completely damaging; it damages their relationships, job, property, hurts others physically and/or psychologically, and causes a host of other problems.

Most recently, we saw a certain Hollywood actor be consumed with anger enough to publicly attack another actor on live television, in front of thousands of peers and millions globally.

Could the incident have been avoided if the actor was’t quick to anger over a joke?

Will Smith will never see this article, but here are some tips on anger detection and management:

Identify the root cause

Exploration of oneself is never a bad idea, so look inwards, for what lies behind the anger.

Anger often arises when it is used to mask “smaller” negative feelings. These include anxiety, guilt and shame.

Being able to recognise the cause of one’s own anger is the first step.

Blinking warning signs

The next step would be at the onset of anger, as in, the moments leading up to the outburst.

These signs include a racing heartbeat, sweating, voice raise, becoming unnecessarily defensive, and the feeling of being argumentative, among many others.

Aspects that trigger

A third important part in the first stages of anger control is finding – unless the person already knows – what are the triggers that would lead to the two points above.

These could be “hiccups” in a daily routine, to specific people, places, or situations that are capable of incurring anger.

Personally, for this writer, it’s other road users who switch lanes without using their turn indicators. For other’s, it could be anything, from something as small as the change in weather to actual situations that get aggressive.

Managing thinking processes

When it comes to managing anger, it helps to “detach” from the moment. Think of it like an “out of body” experience.

By looking at yourself from the outside of your body in the moment that is spurring your anger, you should form questions such as “Is this leading anywhere nice?”, “What is the outcome if I let anger consume me?” and so on.

Cultivating empathy

This, unfortunately, is easier said than done. Unlike sympathy – where one person sympathises for another – empathy has to already exist at some level and requires a person to be able to relate to another person by putting his or herself in their shoes.

For example, you may be angered by another’s actions or behaviours, thinking that they actively wanted to anger you.

In most cases, it is unintended and has nothing to do with you.

Empathy in this situation is the the ability to ask yourself: “What does this situation feel like for him/her?”

Releasing pent up anger

More often than not, anger is inevitable, and when it comes to this point, it’s best to employ rationality when it comes to purging the emotion in a non-destructive, non-harmful way, for you and others around you.

Look for ways to release the pent up emotions. Go for a drive in a relatively deserted area. Go to the gym. Go for a run. Play videogames. Talk to a therapist.

Ultimately, find healthy avenues to blow off the steam gradually.

Turn to therapy

There is no shame in talking to a therapist, as these are professionals who can aid in anger management. can be an excellent way for you to learn more about anger management and healthy coping skills.

This is also another form of proactive, preemptive approach that will help you gain more control over unruly emotions.

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