10/14/2008

Control Anger...Before It Controls You

Nice tag, huh? Sometimes we can't help but feel steamed when things don't go the way we want them to, whether it was something we couldn't avoid, or something that just messed up. Either way, everyone has felt anger before, but for some people, this emotion gets the better of them & they respond inappropriately. As the tag goes, we should control our anger before it controls us. But how?

Anger
Anger is a natural healthy emotion that range from mild irriation to intense rage. Anything can set off anger; bad Internet connection, insulting people, even the humid weather can tick people off. Anger can be cause by external & internal problems: external problems are from the surrounding environment & the people in it; internal problems are worries from within. 

Response
When we are angry, we experience increasing heart rate & blood pressure, plus a surge in energy hormones like adrenaline & noradrenaline. The common response is to react aggressively, which is perfectly natural; however this doesn't mean one has the right to bash people with a stick when their Internet connection is down (which is how I feel sometimes hehe). This is where control is necessary so that our anger doesn't inflict damage on other people. 

Anger Management
The good news is anger can be suppressed & redirected through other channels. The best action to take is to stop thinking about the anger & channel it into something constructive. Feeling pissed off? Get a punching bag & beat the hell out of it. That's a simple example. This will help to express your anger without hurting anyone/anything else. It's not wise/healthy to ignore the anger; the anger may turn inward & affect you. Inhibiting it is never correct; always aim to channel it into something positive.

Relaxation
Here are some simple steps to calm down the next time you have an impeding tantrum:
  • Breathe deeply from your diaphragm, not your chest. Imagine breathing from your gut.
  • Repeat a mantra, like "relax" or "breathe".
  • Imagine you're in a relaxing scenario, like in a cooling waterfall etc.
  • Do nonstrenuous, slow yoga-like exercises to relax your muscles & help you calm down.

Psyching yourself
Remember that you can control your anger & it comes from your mind:
  • Avoid negative thoughts: don't tell yourself "this is horrible, I'm doomed"; instead remind yourself that "it's not the end of the world & we can find the solution to this issue".
  • Never justify your anger: saying that "this thing is never gonna work" will not help to cease your anger.
  • Remind yourself that anger will not fix anything, instead it will delay progress.
  • Slap yourself with cold hard logic: being angry will make us irrational & anger will lose in the face of logic. Remind yourself that "we've to face bumps in our daily lives & this is no different."
  • Use humor to lighten the situation. Laughter is the best medicine.
Prevention
Evaluate what makes you angry. It's good to know so that you can avoid anger & potentially messy scenes. If you know that driving out in the rain is annoying, avoid it unless it's absolutely necessary. Plus do not give in to anger readily; always assess if you should be angry about the matter. Good communication is essential so that you won't get the wrong message & blow up for no reason. If you're feeling stressed, take a break to reduce agitation.

Conclusion
Anger is a healthy normal emotion that we all experience at one time or the other. It's important that we know how to manage our anger & how to avoid getting angry to reduce stress on ourselves as well as to prevent "ugly" scenes from happening. With several simple steps, we can learn how to put this volatile emotion to rest & feel more happiness in our lives :)

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