11 Techniques To Manage Your Anger!
Anger is an emotion we all experience. Anger can be a symptom of depression, and others include intense and chronic sadness, anxiety, a change in sleeping patterns, and changes in appetite. “If you find you're very short-tempered, irritable, grouchy, or your fuse is short, it could be related to depression," says Carol A. Bernstein, MD, associate professor of psychiatry at NYU Langone School of Medicine in New York City.
Rules Of The Game
1. Count to 10 or 100
Count to 10 or 100, and as Thomas Jefferson famously said, "When angry, count 10, before you speak; if very angry, 100." An article from Health.com explains that, "Angry people are highly aroused and when people get aroused, they do and say things they later regret," says Brad Bushman, PhD, professor of communication and psychology at The Ohio State University in Columbus. Counting slowly actually helps regulate your breathing as well as gives you time to gather your thoughts. It can also decrease your blood pressure. Bushman also adds, "As time passes, arousal diminishes." Health.com explains that, “Even if you don't ultimately forget the incident, forgiving a person who has provoked you is an excellent way to subdue anger, says Bushman. Forgiveness can help you stop ruminating, which is when negative thoughts play over and over in your head like some horrible movie scene.”
When you are angry you may ruminate about what is making you angry. This causes anger to continue. It can also escalate to other life areas.
2. Distract yourself
Distract yourself by doing something fun or something that will get you busy. Cleaning your house may not be your favorite chore, but it will keep you distracted on something besides what is making you angry. Cooking, reading a book, or taking a walk can help. Do something you enjoy or something that will change your focus. Healthline explains that, “Another way to dial it down is with distraction. Katherine Kueny, PhD, director of behavioral medicine in the department of internal medicine at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, tells people to place themselves on an emotional scale of 1-to-10 with 10 being the most angry. “
Taking a deep breath Breathing slows down your heart rate, blood pressure and regulates breathing. The American Psychological Association recommends taking deep breaths from the diaphragm, not shallow ones from the chest. But listening to calming music and muscle relaxation exercises may also help, says Bushman. Yoga and meditation can also be beneficial.
3. Acknowledge the feeling (Don't block it out)
Don't deny that you're angry. Acknowledging your anger is important, and when you try to push away or deny your feelings, this often leads to intense outbursts sometimes in the form of aggression (verbal or physical), which can compound the already painful emotions. According to Rick Pond's study, which was published in 2011 in the journal Emotion. "People who are better at categorizing their emotions into specific categories are more in tune with their emotions . . . They think more deeply about their emotional experiences and are more sensitive to the causes and potential consequences of their emotions. Thus, when angry, they are quicker to cope effectively with negative emotions and distract themselves less with inefficient coping strategies, such as venting, binge drinking, substance abuse."
Journaling is an excellent tool to help express your emotions in a healthy way. Writing helps to clear the mind as well as help to identify possible solutions. Writing helps serves as a stress relief tool, and it also helps to alleviate the continued rumination in your mind. Putting it into words helps to move it out of your mind for safe keeping.
5. Walk Away - Play it Cool
Yelling, screaming, banging doors or storming away is not productive. Walking away and calming down is more productive and demonstrates self-control to others, but when you lost that control when you allow explosive behavior to dominate your behavior. Taking the time to walk away and calm down will help you to manage your anger and maintain the respect of those around you.
6. Physical Exercise
Healthline explains that when you are angery "You experience the same physiological sensations as when you're angry—adrenaline pumping, sweating, breathing heavily—but at least you have an outlet for it and it's a way of labeling those bodily sensations in a way that's not tied to anger,” says Pauline Wallin, PhD, a psychologist in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania and author of How To Tame Your Inner Brat. Exercise can increase endorphins. They are the positive chemicals in your brain that make you feel good.
7. Practice Compassion
Practice compassion by doing something positive and beneficial for someone else - Allow the only reward to be in knowing that you have contributed to that person's life. Compassion is incompatible with anger and aggression, so doing something compassionate for someone else can help to promote positive self esteem and decrease anger, anxiety and even depression.
Dr. Bushman explains that "It's hard to feel angry and compassionate at the same time", so it's OK to do something nice for someone who's making you mad. Research indicates that compassion may also dissipate the other person's anger.
8. Don't "Press SEND"!!!
Don’t send emails when you’re angry! A good rule of thumb is not to send email, text, or use social media to communicate information when you are upset. You may say things that you will regret or can never take back., so if you still feel the need to say something in permanent text form, wait 24 hours. If the feelings are still there after 24 hours, try to be constructive with your wording. OR Do it in person!
9. Practice Gratitude
Practice experiencing feelings of gratitude. Healthline explains that, “A body of research is emerging to show that the simple act of being grateful can make us happy and happy, of course, is about as far as you can get from angry.” When you can be grateful, it decreases anger. This concept is similar to being compassionate. You don't necessarily have to be grateful to the person who wronged you, but you could be grateful for other things in your life, big and small.
10. Listen First, Speak Second
It has been said that human beings were born with two ears and one mouth. Therefore, one should learn how to practice listening and understanding others twice as much as they speak - Especially when an emotionally challenging situation arises. If you are angry, practice the first 9 principles first, and once you have cooled off, strive for a better understanding of the other person.
11. Consider Spiritual Practices
Prayer or religion may not be your thing, but if it is, prayer can be very helpful for creating a sense of hope and goodness within your heart and mind. Praying can help you to express your feelings in a safe and non judgemental manner. If prayer is not your thing, spend a few minutes thinking about the target of your anger and see if you can give them the benefit of the doubt.
- Kim B.
Dos and Don'ts for Dealing with Anger. (n.d.). Retrieved January 19, 2015, from http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20581256,00.html
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