Anger is and always will be, a part of life. We all encounter situations or people that make us feel angry. Yet there is a scale to anger – it ranges from a simple annoyance to overwhelming anger. Studies have shown that some people are more susceptible – this can be because of psychological, genetic or environmental factors. Some people get more irritable, whereas others simply get angry.
But when all it gets too much, we need to find ways to manage our anger and release it in a constructive way. So here are a number of ways to help you when these situations arise.
1. Take a step back
Although this seems so simple, it is often the most effective and rewarding. First off, you need to recognise that you are feeling angry. When you feel that it’s happening, take a step back, pause and take a number of deep breaths. Try to visualise something relaxing. Try to do this before you react negatively to something – you will thank yourself.
2. Cognitive rehabilitation
This is the art of replacing unhelpful, negative thoughts with more realistic, positive ones. For example, you could replace “I can’t even do this!” with “I’ll get through this in time. I might need to ask for some help.”
3. Write your thoughts down
A good way to release anger is through writing. It probably won’t be the first thing you think of when the feelings arise, but starting this habit of putting pen to paper when things have the potential to get out of hand can really help. This can also help you to get to the root of the problem by noticing a common theme in the range of situations.
4. Improve your communication
Try to verbalise what you really want to say. Listen to what people are saying to you and listen to yourself – what you actually want to express. Just try not to let anger take over your conversation (see step one). Even though you will want to be on the defensive, try to gain a better understanding of the situation before you speak. This can result in a happier and more peaceful result.