Super effective and fast acting techniques for anger management
How many times have you lost control of yourself when you're angry? Have you ever done or said something when angry that you regretted over time?
I guess we all have. We are just human after all. Anger is natural. It's an normal human emotion and usually an indicator of when we feel we're being disrespected or perhaps our boundaries has been crossed. But there are different ways of processing anger and moving past it.
Read on to learn some helpful techniques you can use next time you get upset to avoid getting too angry and doing something you'll regret.
Anger is a healthy normal emotion but it's how you handle it that matters
What's not ok is losing your shit, saying or doing hurtful things to others, doing impulsive things that sabotage yourself or derail professional situations.
Every one of us is capable of losing control when we're angry. The main difference between people is that some people are able to control their anger or deal with it in a positive way instead of letting it take over. Also, I don't mean stuffing it away then exploding later.
"The longer I live, the more I observe that carrying around anger is the most debilitating to the person who bears it."— Katharine Graham
As everyone knows, living in a society comes with certain responsibilities. We all know that we can't get away with losing control, yelling at our boss, saying something hurtful to our partner, throwing something, or damaging something (whether it's our property or not). Sure, most of us know on a rational level that these actions are not ok and can come with massive consequences for our personal, social, and professional lives.
When it comes to anger management, there are a ton of effective methods and abilities for controlling your rage. The need to teach anger management techniques that are effective for all age groups is clear given that anger issues affect people from childhood to adulthood. Learning coping mechanisms for anger issues is crucial for everyone who struggles with anger issues on a regular basis.
Try out these 5 simple steps when you're angry to calm down.
Step 1 : Identify what's making you upset
Start with identifying what's upsetting you in the situation.
Are you stuck in traffic and late for work? Are your kids screaming while you're trying to watch a movie? Is it too hot and you're uncomfortable? When you can name exactly what it is you can ask yourself if you have any control over the situation.
When other people are involved, it's important to understand as well that our emotions get triggered by our perceptions of the situation, whether or not it's real. This is how we can actually lose our shit over a complete misunderstanding because of the way that we misread things. When we make assumptions about the world and people in thinking that everyone is out to get us or everyone hates us, we are also more likely to project this onto people and situations and then we might approach a situation with an attitude before the person has even done anything offensive to us.
"Your perception of me is a reflection of you; my reaction to you in an awareness of me" - Coach Bobbi
If possible, try pull yourself aside from everything you are doing or the anger situation you are in, then take a deep breathe to try to ground yourself first.
Where are the feelings or emotions in your body?
Label your emotions and where you feel them in your body. According to healthline, admit to yourself you’re anxious or angry:
"Allow yourself to say that you’re anxious or angry. When you label how you’re feeling and allow yourself to express it, the anxiety and anger you’re experiencing may decrease," Healthline.
Step 2 : See the situation as a stop sign to RESPOND instead REACT
When you are done with Step 1, you're probably more clear on what made you angry and what's going on. You might not have the complete clear idea of it, but that's OK. At least you have "some"ideas to work with.
Ask yourself: "What is really going on in this situation?" Is there anything contributing to the situation that could be making me so upset:
Am I just tired? Am I just super stressed right now and that's making me way more sensitive? Am I mad at myself for putting something off and now I'm stressed and getting upset with my computer? Has someone done something that makes me feel disresrespected?
"An action committed in anger is an action doomed to failure" Genghis Khan
Use these as stop signs for your anger. Clarify the situation. Also, what are the consequences of getting more angry and more upset?
IF you're like most people, those will be:
saying things you don't mean
doing things you don't mean
doing and saying things you wouldn't do if you weren't angry
doing and saying things you regret
You can then feel disappointed with the situation but not enraged at the things or people who are creating it. ..
Step 3: Ask yourself what you need to regain control
We can counteract our upsetting thoughts with reframing the mind and recognizing that sometimes the only thing we have control over is our reaction. We need to take a moment and see that when we lose all control because of a situation or person, we're giving away all our power. Therefore, we need to ask ourselves what we need in order to regain control of ourselves and therefore the situation.
"Anger and frustration are rarely caused by other people’s actions. They’re caused by how you interpret their actions. To change your reactions, question your explanations. You know what they did, but not why. New interpretations pave the way to new emotions," Adam Grant
We have to know ourselves well enough to understand our limits are and that when we're angry, we're not acting from a rational place. But this feeling of anger is only temporary and we can regain control.
Take a moment to ask yourself:
What do I need in this moment?
Do I need to take a time out for some fresh air?
Do I need to talk about this later once I've calmed down?
Do I just need to take a 5 minute break (escape to the restroom for a few minutes to think about this if you can) to calm down a bit and come back?
Do I just need to pause a minute at my desk or and take some SLOW, DEEP breaths in and out to regain my composure?
Harvard business review has a great tip suggestion when you're in this space:
"Experts say that standing up and walking around helps to activate the thinking part of your brain. If you and your counterpart are seated at a table, you may be hesitant to suddenly stand up. Fair enough. Instead, you might say, “I feel like I need to stretch some. Mind if I walk around a bit?” If that still doesn’t feel comfortable, you can do small physical things like crossing two fingers or placing your feet firmly on the ground and noticing what the floor feels like on the bottom of your shoes. Mindfulness experts call this “anchoring.” It can work in all kinds of stressful situations,"
Put the brakes on your feelings. Tell yourself to slow down and take it easy. Go take a walk or go to the gym to get out some of the aggression, sit and take some deep breaths, scream into a pillow, rip up some paper. Do EFT Tapping (see below).
Step 4 : Take control of your emotions
EFT Tapping for Anger
I know I talk about EFT Tapping all the time and that it can be used for everything, but I'm serious. I've used EFT tapping to manage a wide variety of situations where I need to calm down ASAP because it's the fastest, most effective way to remove the emotional charge of the situation so you can regain control. Depending on how angry you are, you might need a few rounds before you feel good enough to either go back inside, have the conversation, etc.
When you use the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) to combat feelings of anger or rage, you'll be shocked at how it immediately lessens the intensity in only a few minutes. EFT helps a person acknowledge their emotions, articulate them clearly instead of pushing them away or stuffing them down so they explode later, and helps to immediately release them. By releasing these negative emotions and re-framing into a state that you would prefer to be in,you bring the brain's hemispheres back into balance. This anger management technique is incredibly helpful in assisting a person to letting go of their anger and relaxing.
Sometimes, getting it all out by typing or physically writing it out in a journal is super important and can be helpful not only as a distraction but as a way to vent exactly what you REALLY feel, what you REALLY want to say to that person, or maybe how angry you are at yourself. When you write about the events that hurt you or really upset you, it helps to clear your minds of the bad ideas and feelings instead of ruminating, spiraling out of control.
Step 5: How to Find Solutions
Ask yourself, what are the alternative solutions that I use to resolve this situation?"
Be specific as possible, and concrete.
"What can I do to change this situation?" "What power do I have right now?"
It's of course possible that the only power you have is how you DEAL with the situation and not much about the situation at all.
Make a mental list of the constructive options that you have:
- Can this be resolved? Are you in a situation where there is a hierarchy and the boss's say on this is final and you have to accept it?
-Am I calm enough to communicate my needs/feelings on this clearly and in a constructive manner? If not, maybe you need to remove yourself from
"The greatest remedy for anger is delay" Seneca
Long term considerations:
For many people, mindfulness techniques definitely help over time. Activities such as daily mediation, yoga, QI qong, tai chi help to create mental control and emotional resilience.
However, trying each of them at least once may be necessary to find the one that works. An individual must research anger management techniques in order to find a strategy or skill that suits them when trying to take charge and get rid of the bad emotions that typically rule their lives.
Do you find yourself getting easily angry, irritated? Sometimes, this can be a result of feelings of powerlessness, lack of emotional awareness or resilience, or lack of good boundaries. If you're interested in booking a free 15 minute discovery call with me to learn more!
ANDREA HUNT - Online Transformational Life Coach & EFT Tapping Practitioner based in Munich, Germany
I'm an accredited transformational life coach from Animas Centre for Coaching UK and a member of the International Coaching Federation. I'm also a Level 2 practitioner in EFT Tapping (Emotional Freedom Technique) and a member of AEFTP (Association of Emotional Freedom Technique Professionals).
If you're not sure where to start transforming your life, you can download my free ebook on How to Start Your Personal Growth Journey.
Are you ready to change your life, let go of old beliefs, empower yourself for a mindset shift to move forward? Mark Batterson says: You're always one decision away from a totally different life.
If you're interested in booking a free 15 minute discovery call for transformational life coaching, EFT Tapping or checking out my services page click here.
Header image: Sander Sammy
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