- Mental Health
Control Bad Temper with Proven Tips to Manage and Cope with Anger
People who have a bad temper, get angry frequently, and they have a very short fuse. They express their anger up front and on center stage, under the flood lights, not holding anything back. It can be quite a performance!
Bad temper is a persistent angry mood or tendency to rage or extreme anger fully expressed physically. It can develop in early childhood and may be inherited. It can also develop later in life as stresses and unfortunate circumstances can bear down on people making them ill-tempered and anger prone.
Often people with a bad temper may shout and scream and get very angry and enraged for apparently minor reasons. For others what has triggered the rage in a friend may barely ripple the surface of their own emotions (an apparent storm in a teacup).
Bad tempered people often have a persecution or inferiority complex, which causes them to overreact to situations.
However, there may be very legitimate reasons why people are angry.
Everyone gets angry. It is the way people deal and copy with their feelings of anger that matters.
Ranting, shouting and raging has poor outcomes in terms of dealing with problems and circumstances that triggers the response.
This article provides a series of proven tips to control and manage your anger, rage and bad temper.
Learning to Understand Anger and How it Progresses
People need to understand their anger and how it can trigger and progress to bad temper reactions before they can hope to manage angry feelings.
Anger starts as an emotion, but can quickly progress and worsen through series of physical and chemical changes in the body.
The release of adrenaline, hormones and changes in blood pressure and heart rate transform the emotional feeling into physical expression of anger and rage such as yelling, screaming or even violence.
Once the anger has progressed beyond emotions it is very hard to stop anger progressing to rage and violence.
So effective control and management of anger means learning to 'nip it in the bud' at the emotional stage when the anger is embryonic.
Bottling up your anger, seething internally, biting your tongue, and having intense internal angry feelings without expressing them is a very risky strategy. Once the pressure builds internally it can be too hard to keep them bottled up and the damage to yourself has already occurred.
So anger management means learning to manage and cope with emotional anger in its infancy and stopping it progressing.
How to Manage Anger and Bad Temper
Start by identifying what triggers your bad temper episodes. Think back to what caused your last temper tirade? What were he circumstances? What was it about? Who was present? The last point may be the most relevant as quite often it is the person not the topic. Perhaps you wanted to get angry?
Below are some proven tips to manage and cope with feelings of anger
When you feel anger emotions starting to develop, break the sequence by taking time out. Get out of the environment, go for a walk, get a cup of coffee. Removing yourself from the situation and what's happening allow you to see things clearer with a wider perspective.
Try counting to ten. This sounds simplistic and silly but it does work. Reacting too quickly is part of having a bad temper - the quick fuse - make it much, much longer.
Keep exercising and keep healthy to stop the stress building up. Regular exercise helps keep your emotions in check. If you can feel anger starting to build up go for a run, swim, bike ride or walk.
Try taking deep breaths. Like counting to ten, this sounds simplistic. Inhale, count to ten then slowly exhale.
Try not to hold grudges and leave things unresolved. Tempers build when you are mindful of the string of things that has happened previously. You think: "Not again, this has happened before". Try to keep your stocks of hurts or revenge thoughts empty so they don't accumulate. Remember - 'Forgiveness is a powerful tool'. We are all human!
If you can, try using humor to deflate the situation and get everyone to see the funny side. Learn to laugh at yourself. This can be just as effective as a shouting match in getting your point heard and letting people know that you have been affected by what has happened.
Try to remove the stressors. Bad temper often develops because people are tired, stressed or feeling unable to cope. Relaxing and removing the other suit of stressors can diffuse your reactions and response.
Don't bottle up your anger - you can't ignore it and move on. Delay your response, calm down and when appropriate express your anger and your feelings. The trick is to delay the response and diffuse the chemical and physical steps that lead to an angry outburst.
Think before you speak - Delay responding. In the heat of the moment, you will react too quickly and say something you'll later regret. Once again this sounds obvious but over-reacting by responding too quickly is a classic symptom of a bad temper.
Identify a range of possible responses and solutions to the situations. Don't immediately assume that you have to shout out, get angry or lash out. There are always other options, some of which may be a lot smarter and better. Cracking a joke to see the funny side is one of these options.
Shift focus from what made you mad, to how to fix the situation, the solution and how to defuse it. If your partner is late for a meal, don't sit there seething, do something else that you really want to do. Flexibility is a key to diffusing difficult situations. Remind yourself getting angry won't fix anything. It creates something else that you have to deal with leaving the original cause unresolved.
Know when to seek help - If you have a bad temper and are continuously angry and on tender hooks it may be time to get help from professional counseling or anger management group sessions. Sometimes simply discussing it with a friend can help.
Improve your communication skills - Often people's reaction to you and your angry responses are cause by your inability to get people to understand you and to see things from your perspective. Improving your communication can help.
- Build empathy and two-way understanding
- Accept that you are not always right and you don't have to be shown to be right
- Learn to trust others
- Become a better Listener
- Be assertive, yes, but not aggressive or domineering.
- Let people know what you are feeling after things calm down
- Delay your communication, and don't do it when you' are still upset.
Release Your Anger - The anger that wells up inside you need to be release - not with explosive outbursts like violently popping a champagne cork, but gentle letting the pressure out. Don't leave it unresolved but calmly work through the issues after you calm down. It is natural to feel, express, and release anger. What matters is the way you deal with it and manage your reactions.
Finally Don't let your anger control you. Instead take control of your anger. Put yourself back in control.
© 2013 Dr. John Anderson