How to control your anger
Before reading further, go back and read last week's post if you haven't (linked above). It's important to be aware of the body signals that suggest you are angry. Take a moment and think about your body's reactions to anger, what thoughts come to mind when angry, and how anger impacts how you relate to others. Without that knowledge it will be even more difficult to manage your anger.
Anger management tips
Take a step back. When overwhelmed with anger, your decision-making skills are compromised. Remove yourself from the environment and regroup.
Relaxation techniques. This is a funny one as everyone knows they should relax. The problem is many people go through the techniques in a hurried manner. So counting to 10 won't be effective if it is a 5 second process. Same with deep breathing. Slow down the process. Count slowly, breathe slowly, move slowly. The slowness will calm your mind and body.
Make healthy choices. If something or someone makes you angry and you can avoid it, then avoid it. What's it say about you if you keep putting yourself in negative situations when you don't have to?
Maintain healthy boundaries. It seems like a common conversation topic for many is complaining about others. Maintain healthy boundaries with individuals that tend to be the root of your anger. If you limit your availability, you'll limit anger.
Think solutions. A component of anger is feeling helpless to change the situation. Be thoughtful. Is there something you can do to correct the problem? For example, if you are late for work every morning, try completing some of your morning tasks before you go to bed.
Humor. If you know me, you know this is one of my favorites. This doesn't mean make fun of others or to be sarcastic, but if you can inject humor into an angry moment, it can really lighten the mood. Research has found that laughter reduces the release of stress hormones and increases the release of endorphins (feel-good hormones).
Let go and forgive. Ask yourself, what purpose is my anger serving? It certainly can be a way to communicate your disapproval or hurt, but at some point the anger has more of an impact on you than the other person. Letting go and forgiving doesn't mean you are weak or submissive, it means you value your well-being.
Get the anger out. Talk to a friend, write in a journal, exercise. Find activities that you enjoy and that are stress relievers. Do NOT punch a pillow. Research shows that punching a pillow actually increases rumination and aggression. Not what you want.
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