Dealing with anger can be a harrowing task, but it’s actually very common to experience feelings of anger. I can’t tell you how many times I have felt like my anger was uncontrollable, and if I would’ve had the resources back then like we do now, then I would’ve learned to control it a lot sooner. I’ll be the first to tell you that having these emotions are completely normal, and it doesn’t have to be such a difficult thing to handle.
According to the Mayo Clinic, these 10 tips can help you control your anger or make it more manageable:
- Think before you speak.
- It’s another of those ‘easier said than done’ tips, but it’s still an effective piece of advice. Whenever you feel triggered, take a moment to organize a rational reaction. If you’ve experienced heavy anger or rage before, then you know how it escalates a situation unnecessarily. By taking a moment to process what happened before reacting, it allows time to make a better decision.
- Once you’re calm, express your anger.
- After you took a moment to think about a more rational reaction, express your concerns and needs. Explain how the action hurt you by expressing your feelings through ‘I’ statements.
- Get some exercise.
- Physical activity reduces stress. If you begin to stressed or angry, take a walk/run. If you aren’t able to do that, find an enjoyable physical activity. Do jumping jacks, crunches, push-ups, etc.
- Take a timeout.
- Giving yourself a break from any noise or interruptions can be very therapeutic. Take breaks throughout the day whenever you feel stressed or angry.
- Identify possible solutions.
- Instead of focusing on what makes you angry, look at ways that you can fix the problem. Remember that, sometimes, you can’t control the situation. But there’s always a way to go around it to make sure you aren’t triggered.
- Stick with “I” statements.
- Using statements like “I feel angry because…” or “I feel like…” can de-escalate a tense interaction because it opens the line of communication. Using these statements allow the angry person who communicate why they’re so angry while still being constructive in their own needs.
- Don’t hold grudges.
- Forgiveness can release of anger and resentment in a healthy way. By accepting that an action is already done and forgiving the offender can leave you feeling like you can put the past behind you so you can finally move forward into a healthier lifestyle.
- Use humor to release tension.
- Never underestimate the power of laughter. Sometimes by lightening the mood a bit by starting some laughs. Remember, it takes more muscles to frown than to smile.
- Practice relaxation skills.
- Using things like deep breathing, meditation, and positive self-talk can be extremely useful once you get the hang of it. Practice, practice, practice!
- Know when to seek help.
- If you start to feel like your anger is uncontrollable and you feel like you can’t trust yourself, seek professional help. Utilizing the resources page of this site is a good start!
If you’re still feeling a bit shaky about it, try attending one of the group sessions! Sometimes talking to peers about what you feel can give you some clarity.