TAME YOUR TEMPER AND STAY IN CONTROL.
In a survey by the Mental Health Foundation, 32% of people said they had a close friend or family member who had trouble controlling their anger and 28% of people said they worry about how angry they sometimes feel. Oftentimes people don't realise that their anger is a problem for themselves and for others, rather they see external factors as the problem instead.
Anger is actually a healthy and normal emotional to feel but when it gets out of control and turns destructive, it can lead to problems; problems at work, in your personal relationships, and in the overall quality of your life. Whilst I never felt the need to attend anger management classes, I always knew I had a fair few "buttons" people could push to trigger that rage inside... and that rage is not pretty! I've noticed that my outbursts have reduced significantly over the years (thanks to growth and maturity) yet there are still moments where I can feel my blood pressure rising — admittedly, it's normally over quite miniscule things — for example, if I've made a courteous gesture and I don't hear a "thank you", people who cough without covering their mouths or people who walk then suddenly stop in the middle of the pavement! Argh! I used to get into some heated arguments in my past relationships which would almost always turn physical. The release of tension during that moment brought me a sense of stress relief, I was determined to "win" the battle and come out on top but after the rounds of yelling, swearing, throwing of items, and slamming of doors... the only thing I gained were bruises, tears, feeling stupid and further frustration. The fact of the matter is, if we don't get a hold of our emotions, it WILL control us... ultimately taking a toll on our mental and physical health.
WHERE DOES ANGER STEM FROM?
Anger varies from person to person as we all interpret and react to situations differently, something that could trigger Person A won't necessarily bother Person B. There are many factors in our lives that will impact the way we respond including: childhood upbringing, past experiences, and current circumstances. Common things that cause us to lose our temper include situations in which we feel:
Threatened or attacked
Invalidated or treated unfairly
Powerless and frustrated
Controlling our outbursts will help us feel more in control and able to deal with situations effectively. Yes, it's extremely difficult to override the habits and behaviours you've been used to for so long but with practice you'll notice major improvements in your relationships such as less fighting and better communication. In terms of your physical health, you'll have fewer symptoms associated with anger, for example, less anxiety, better sleep, and less stress.
TAME YOUR TEMPER
There are countless books and articles out there which offer amazing guidance on how to manage our emotions so instead of repeating the same content I've chosen to share some things worth considering next time you get into a state of anger. CHANGE THE STORY Rumination is a style of thinking where we go over and over something bad that's happened. This usually takes the form of re-playing stories of how other people have wronged us and why we need to seek "revenge". Consequently we end up fuelling the flames of our anger, so the more we go over the events in our head, the bigger our anger grows and the more consumed by it we become. It's going to be tough but anytime you find yourself unable to shake off the anger, try and tell a different story — for example, if your partner made a hurtful comment and now you can't stop thinking about the times they were rude and insensitive, then attempt to override those thoughts by thinking about your to-do list for the week or your 5 favourite recipes — choose something completely off topic and unrelated to the current situation. There's a saying that goes: "How we habitually think determines how we habitually feel." So changing the story will more likely help you remain calm and regain your composure, enabling you to deal with your anger effectively. GET A PEN AND PAPER When we're in a highly emotional state, situations can escalate quickly. I always tell my loved ones that it's ridiculously hard to calm down in the heat of the moment and get a grip. Truthfully all I want to do is yell obscenities! But the way I've dealt with my frustrations over the last couple of years is to completely remove myself away from the situation/environment/person, then find somewhere relaxing to sit with a pen, paper and my thoughts (even if I'm in tears!) Taking a timeout to jot down your thoughts: what's happening and how you're feeling is a way of mitigating your high emotional state. When we write out and decipher our feelings, we're tapping into the right hemisphere of our brain (the "thinking" side) which uses logic, allowing us to see the "bigger picture". LET GO OF THE NEED TO BE RIGHT Our egos can play a huge part when it come down to our angry bursts. We can sound quite self-righteous as we rant on about our frustrations but if we can put aside our pride and ego and become more accepting of people's imperfections then there might be less chance of blowing up at others. Loosing our temper all the time can be depleting, the "need to be right" keeps us holding on to old hurts rather than moving forward and making the best of things. Anger can become problematic if it leads to aggression or physical altercations. It's really important to work towards staying in control so that you can avoid saying or doing something you may regret. And if this post or other related content doesn't help then please consider talking to mental health specialist or therapist, they can help you work through any underlying factors that may contribute to unhealthy behaviour or emotional issues.