Everybody gets angry from time to time; even the most optimistic individuals experience occasional bursts of rage.
Some people, however, have serious issues when it comes to controlling anger. For these individuals, combating their temper can seem almost impossible.
Sound like you? Fear you may have an anger problem?
Check out the described symptoms to determine if what you’re dealing with is a serious issue. Regardless of what you may discover, use the following tips to better control your fuse.
Two Types of Anger
There are two different types of anger, distinguished by the way they are felt and expressed.
First, there’s passive anger. This is a more latent form of anger, one reflected in behaviors like sarcasm, rudeness or even meanness. Individuals suffering from passive anger may not even realize they’re angry, but rather appear apathetic or destructive.
Then there’s the more stereotypical form of anger: aggressive anger. These people know they’re angry. Tantrums, violence and evident rage are expressions of aggressive anger. Trouble controlling these behaviors, often struggling or even failing to suppress them, may be a sign of an anger problem.
Not only is the existence of outbursts a sign of an issue, but also the frequency of outbursts can be a clue there is a greater problem. If anger, irritability or anxiety seems to be taking over your life, contact a health professional for assistance and practice the following calming methods.
Leave the Situation
It’s easy to become overcome by your emotions and begin ranting on the spot. This can leave you saying and doing things you may regret. Instead, force yourself to leave the situation before spouting off in an angry craze. Changing your surroundings and removing yourself from the source of emotion will allow you to stop, reflect and cool off before dealing with the issue at hand.
Get Your Heart Pumping
Exercise is an excellent stress reliever. When you’re feeling overwhelmed with negative emotions, target your energy toward something positive. Hit the gym, go for a walk or jump up and down in place — just get your heart beating. Get the endorphins, or happy hormones triggered by exercise, flowing freely.
Sit Down and Breathe Deeply
Rather than physically leave the situation, you can sit down, breathe deeply and mentally escape. Actively try to calm yourself. Breathing clear, deep breaths sends a message to the brain to cool down, which will help you to approach the situation calmly and maturely.
Reach Out to a Loved One
Anger often accompanies some sort of discomfort; you feel wronged in some way. In these situations, it’s helpful to reach out to a friend or family member — someone who makes you feel comfortable. They can assist you as you rebuild your composure and self-assurance. Plus, it’s beneficial to blow off steam, and what better way than to vent?
Reason With Yourself
Get a grip by putting your situation into perspective. Specifically, ask yourself some questions or make some declarative statements (courtesy of WebMD):
- “I can’t accomplish anything by blaming other people, even if they are responsible for the problem. I’ll try another angle.”
- “Will this matter five years from now? (Five hours? Five minutes?)”
- “If I’m still angry about this tomorrow, I’ll deal with it then. But for now, I’m just going to cool off.”
- “Acting angry is not the same as showing that I care.”
Having practiced the above calming methods, you should be able to combat your anger with greater ease. If you continue to struggle with outbursts of rage, contact a certified anger management professional.
Photo by Avel Chuklanov