What is anger? Understanding is the first step to dealing with anger successfully.
Anger is a strong emotion which results from negative triggers. It involves being annoyed, upset, or displeased.
Anger is never a positive emotion, and never does it arise due to happy things. This powerful emotion can lead to disastrous consequences if left unchecked and not dealt with.
Anger is a natural feeling and there is nothing wrong with feeling it.
At some point in your life, you will become angry. First of all, life doesn’t always go according to plan.
Things will not always be smooth, people will let you down, and you will probably let yourself down.
You will be annoyed, disappointed, and frustrated because of situations or people that are out of your control. Still, dealing with anger in a healthy manner saves you a lot emotionally, socially, mentally, and even financially.
Anger has a Purpose
Anger is a powerful emotion that has a useful purpose. Your responsibility is to identify how you can make good use of all that energy that anger has given you.
Make sure that you target your anger to the right person and not the people who you think are weak and vulnerable, yet are not involved. Anger can be a source of motivation.
Anger can be the fire that burns you to achieve your ambition and success.
However, if misused, anger can also be the fire that burns down your ambitions, happiness, success, and life.
The problem arises when you let your anger get out of control.
Also, when you keep feeding this anger and direct it to the wrong people until it affects your daily normal functioning as a human being, then, your anger becomes problematic.
How do you know that you have an anger problem?
- People have complained about your anger
- You have physically hurt people out of anger
- You get irritated by small issues (and ask yourself later why such a petty thing made you angry)
- You act on your anger without thinking and regret it later
- You easily get worked up when things do not go your way
- You raise your voice and it is hard for people to calm you down
- People start to draw away from you
- You are angry at people who are angry
In short, if your anger is causing you to find it difficult to maintain a healthy social, occupational, and personal life, then you have an anger problem.
Anger can be dealt with. Anger can be controlled. Anger can be managed.
What do you choose to do about your anger? Keep on reading to get tips about dealing with anger.
How can you understand your anger?
As mentioned earlier, it is not wrong to be angry. It is necessary to be angry at times, as it can lead to the improvement of others or of a situation.
It is the actions you do when you are angry that could be wrong because they are harmful to you or others around you.
That’s why it is advisable to learn how to deal with your anger before it gets to the point where you regret your actions. It is necessary to tame your anger.
Remember that anger is a personal emotion. What triggers your anger might not trigger the same emotion as someone else.
The first step in dealing with anger is to understand your anger.
1. Rate your anger
Ask yourself “How angry am I?” and also ask yourself “How often am I angry?”
Whenever you are angry, pause and think about how angry you are at that time, and when was the last time that you were angry.
How angry are you right now? This sample scale could help.
Not very angry
2. Identify the reason behind your anger
What has made you angry? Is it a person, a situation, or yourself? It is important to know the cause of your anger and be truthful to yourself about it.
Knowing why you are angry can help you to direct it appropriately instead of misdirecting it to other parties.
What are some of the other things that usually make you angry? be aware of your triggers.
Think about the situations, behaviours, thoughts or any other issues which usually annoy you.
Maybe it is as small as people chewing gum and you are not a fan of gum chewing gum or as big as someone intentionally betraying your trust and causing you irreparable financial, physical, or psychological harm.
3. Understand the other co-occurring emotions
Chances that you are experiencing another feeling behind that anger.
Are you hurt, pained, disappointed, disillusioned, hopeless, powerless, or frustrated? What other negative feelings are accompanying your anger?
Knowing these feelings you have besides the anger that you experience will lead you toward the key issue that should be addressed.
4. Take note of your behavioural changes when angry
How do you usually behave when you are angry? Do you act irrationally? What do you often do when you are angry?
Note all your behavioural reactions to anger. How you speak, how you react, what you grip, clench or hit.
Imagine seeing yourself and how you behave when you are full of anger. If someone recorded you when you are angry and showed it through your behaviour, would you like what you see?
People have different ways of expressing anger depending on personality types, upbringing, or socialization.
Naturally, anger gives you an increased boost of energy and you may become aggressive physically with objects, people around you, or yourself.
Some lash out in form of words that they would not normally say out loud directed at others. some will feel physical manifestations of anger through gripping things, biting their lips, tooth grinding, clenching their fists, and crying.
Do not pretend that you are not angry (well, to yourself.) Feel the anger. Let yourself feel that anger. But, do not act on it immediately. Do not behave the way the anger wants you to behave.
5. Identify the thoughts behind your anger
Thoughts influence emotions. Some thoughts are like adding wood to the fire, while some thoughts will quench the fire.
What are the thoughts that have led you to feel the anger that you are feeling?
Now, think about the consequences of the anger if you were to follow through with expressing it without consideration. Think.
Check out these questions to help you examine your anger.
- Is this anger interfering with my progress in life?
- Will this anger help me to achieve my goals?
- Is this anger going to solve the main issue?
- Is my reaction to this anger going to solve the main problem?
- Is my reaction to anger worth it?
It is easier to be angry than to let go of it or control it. And, as humans, don’t we just always love easy things.
But, sometimes falling for the easy way is not usually the best way. You need to choose to be in control of your anger by considering where it will lead you.
For more about practical ways that you can calm down when angry instead of getting violent or abusive, read the next article.
Anger is a sure sign that you are alive.
Life is for living. Keep living. Don’t give up.