Anger is defined as an emotional state that can range from light irritability to intense fury and rage. You know that your anger is a problem. Anger can bottle up inside of us until we simply explode; hurting the ones around us. Stress from many different factors circulates our head until we just can’t take it anymore. Your anger feels impossible to manage, you wonder how to control your anger.
As humans, we experience a lot of emotions throughout the day. Feeling content, anxious, distressed, or joy. We may get stuck on the stressors in our lives, therefore feeling agitable, irritated, or frustrated. When anger strikes, it’s not always pretty. You may feel anger from internal events, like negative thoughts, or external events which are out of your control.
Although anger is a normal emotion, it’s important to deal with it in a positive way. You may not be proud of how you show your anger. Frequent outbursts of anger are counterproductive and cause problems in your relationships.
You may be left feeling like you’re at a dead end with nowhere to run. Anger continues to manifest inside of you until you cannot contain it anymore. When we allow negative emotions to build up inside of us, there are no good outcomes. It will always end poorly. It’s important to develop coping mechanisms for when you feel anger coming on to avoid expressing it in the wrong ways.
Simi Valley Therapist to work on anger management in Simi Valley, Ca, helps you work through your anger problems without judgment.
Although we may feel the best way to deal with anger is to show it, that is false. We can actually end up making ourselves even more angry. Research shows that the more you get angry, the angrier you get. Making it harder to manage and control it.
How to Control Your Anger: Identify solutions to the problem
There is always a way out of your anger. It can feel impossible to take a step back and analyze the situation in the moment. However, you have the power to take control of your anger. It will take practice and dedication, but you can do this.
Whatever the circumstances, you can find a way to resolve the problem. Let’s say you are angry due to your child leaving the room a mess. Rather than become furious, what’s a resolution to that? You could close the door and walk away. You could request your child to clean up the mess before dinner time.
Maybe you are angry due to congested traffic. A solution to this problem is to acknowledge it’s happening. Accept you are in an undesirable situation. It won’t help to honk your horn or express road rage. Finally, maybe someone close to you has made you mad or jealous. In this case, it’s not healthy to release all your anger out on them. Make a plan to talk about what happened when you are in a calm state of mind, able to keep your composure.
Anger is not the right solution to your problems, and can only make things worse for you.
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How to Control Your Anger: Practice gratitude on a regular basis
We can feel so overwhelmed and stressed that we do not acknowledge what we already have. Maybe we are angry at having a lack of something in our lives. Therefore, we hyper focus on what we are lacking, and feel rageful because of that.
It’s important to practice gratitude on a regular basis. Keeping in mind things that keep us happy and keep us going. What are you grateful for? Are you grateful for your friends? Family? Relationship? Animals? Plants? Yourself?
Find reasons to be grateful for the life you live. In moments of anger, take a moment to focus on what’s right rather than what’s wrong. Hold those thoughts for moments you feel anger coming on. Realizing how many good things you have in your life can help you de-escalate anger.
How to Control Your Anger: Take a time out
Rather than view it as a child time out, see it as an adult version. For children, taking a time out is meant to calm them down and have them think about their actions. For you, a time out can look like walking away from a situation that’s angering you.
Maybe you are out at a bar and someone is bugging you. Rather than engage and get angry, it’s best to just turn the other way and take a walk. Cool yourself down and get your body moving. Simply separate yourself from what’s making you angry until you feel calmer.
Taking a time out doesn’t have to be at the start of anger rising, it can be anytime. Maybe you can plan 10 minute slots throughout your day to just stop what you’re doing and breathe. Taking a break to think, breathe, and settle your mind will do a lot for you.
Do not return to the scene or conversation until you feel more calm. You don’t want to say or do anything that you know you will regret. Take a moment to yourself and focus solely on calming yourself down.
It can feel hard to not give into the anger. You may feel so furious that you could punch something. But remember – responding with anger with more anger will never be a good idea. It will always backfire in the long run.
Practice taking slow, deep breaths. Close your eyes, and just focus solely on your breathing. Do a few breaths to calm yourself down. Validate your emotions in the moment, “I know I am right to feel angry about this, but this isn’t the right way to show it”.
Walking away gives you the power and control over your anger response. Rather than responding with anger, you give yourself the chance to decide. You can respond more composed, or decide to not respond at all.
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How to Control Your Anger: Use “I” Statements
“I” statements are used to describe exactly how you are feeling without blaming anyone else. As you may know, when you are angry, people may not fully understand you. And show you anger in return. It’s important to communicate efficiently so that everyone understands how you are feeling.
An example of this could be, “I’m feeling so angry that they aren’t serving that dish tonight. It’s the only reason I came here.” And a solution to that could be “Well, I wouldn’t have known, and if I did know, I wouldn’t have come. I’m sure I’ll eat that dish another time. For now, I can try something new”.
When you are feeling very upset with someone, keep your tone in check as well. Speak in a slow, calm voice – maybe even slower than normal. Let’s say your significant other or friend made you feel angry. You can say, “I feel very left out that I wasn’t invited right away” or “I feel very uncomfortable that you let that guy buy you a drink”.
We all experience anger, and it’s perfectly normal to! When you communicate your anger more effectively, others can understand it more. Rather than be upset, they may respond back in the manner that you modeled: calm and collected. You will be better able to talk things out.
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How to Control Your Anger: Practice Self Care
At the end of the day, anger can be a tough emotion to manage. You may feel powerless to it when it comes up. You may black out in rage, not fully understand what you did or what you said. But the damage is already done.
Expressing anger in unhealthy ways is counterproductive and hurts relationships. You may pose a threat to yourself or others. When we let all our little stressors build up during the day without self care, they just explode on us. And in return, we explode on others.
What does self care look like? It is whatever makes you feel cool, calm, and collected. You can practice self care when anger strikes or throughout the day to prevent it.
A big part about self care is validating yourself and taking care of yourself. You know that you are angry for a reason, and you may not be proud of it. Well, take some time to look deeper into yourself. What’s really going on, that’s causing so much anger?
Could it be jealousy, insecurity? Maybe you are such a bully to yourself that you feel anger all the time. Learn how to become the boss over your anxiety and manage your negative self talk. Learn how to love yourself; including your flaws.
Take some time to genuinely understand yourself and your emotional triggers. Practice coping mechanisms like grounding yourself to stay present in the moment. Once you are more in tune with yourself, you will understand yourself better.
Part of self care also includes holding yourself accountable. Make sure you are watching for signs of anger rising – labored breathing, furrowed brows, racing thoughts. You can take care of yourself by being proactive and stopping anger in its tracks. With practice and patience comes results.
You don’t need to struggle through managing your anger alone. Help is available for you today at Simi Psychological Group.
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At our therapy practice in Simi Valley, Ca we offer Child therapy and family counseling, Teen therapy, Anxiety Treatment, Depression Therapy, Marriage Counseling, and Neuropsychological Testing.