Everyone gets angry at one point or another. Whether it’s because a car on the freeway cut you off or your five-year-old made a masterpiece out of your white couch, anger is a perfectly normal thing to feel. However, anger can become a problem.
When anger negatively affects others, hinders performance at school or work, negatively affects health or wellbeing or is just way too intense, it is time to address it. Like the beeping battery of a smoke detector that hasn’t been changed, anger can sit in the background of your thoughts until it feels larger than it originally was.
Managing anger can be difficult because it is such an intense, overwhelming feeling. However, using these coping mechanisms can help you lessen or even prevent explosive reactions that hinder the productivity of your communication.
Take a few deep breaths
As simple as it sounds, deep breathing exercises can help to ground you when you recognize your anger intensifying. This is a discreet tactic you can use easily, anywhere. Inhale through your nose for 4 seconds, hold the air in your lungs for 4 seconds, then exhale slowly through your mouth for 6 seconds. Repeat this for three to five minutes, until you feel your body calming down.
Go for a walk, read a book, ride your bike. Distracting your thoughts for at least 30 minutes can give you a better chance of dealing with your anger in a more healthy, productive way. As an added bonus, exercise can release endorphins and lend a hand towards making you happier.
Know your warning signs
Your body can give you clues that let you know when anger has the potential to become overwhelming. When you are able to recognize these signs, it is easier to handle your emotions with healthy coping mechanisms. For example, do you start to sweat? Do you raise your voice or clench your fists? Take a moment to think about how your body reacts in moments of intense anger.
Take a Time-Out
Anger can affect the way you treat the people you love. If you notice that you are stuck in anger-fueled communication and can’t seem to get past it, strategize on how to effectively call a time-out. When both individuals have a chance to walk away and reassess how they feel, it allows for you to calm down. In relationships, it can be beneficial to talk about how to use time-outs during arguments. If you use this tool, make sure that each person understands the parameters of a time-out. Discuss beforehand how long the time-out will last, plan your safe spaces in different rooms and make sure that you both understand that you will be returning to the conversation, not just avoiding the problem.
If you are having trouble dealing with anger, give Tx Harmony Counseling in The Woodlands contact us here.