- Mental Health
Guide To Controlling Your Temper
Anger Is Normal
Anger is something that every person on this earth has experienced at least once in their lifetime. It is a basic human emotion that occurs when we are in a stressful situation or even when dealing with conflict. The true definition of anger is a strong feeling of annoyance, displeasure or hostility. Despite the fact that everyone experiences anger, some individuals do have trouble controlling their temper in the heat of the moment. Depending on the way you react to a situation, Letting out your anger can either help or hurt your health. I personally, have struggled with anger issues in my life. At points, I have expressed my anger in a negative manner which had a negative effect on not just me, but also my loved ones. I had to make a choice to change my behavior and be active in expressing my feelings in a positive way. I have worked on my anger and as a result, I have gained personal experience. With that and research, I have been able to gather some tips and tricks on how to control your anger in the moment, and also long term to help you maintain a healthy outlook on life.
In The Moment; Count To Ten
A typical and widely known method to control your anger in the moment is to slowly count to ten. Although this is a simple solution, it is also very effective. When you take a moment to think about the numbers your counting, it will also clear your mind of some of your negative energy. This will allow you to gain clarity and control over yourself and react in a rational manner. I have found it to allow me to calm my temper in the moment and remove myself from the situation, which saves me from further conflict and frustration. If at all possible, try to step away from to cause of your anger. This method is not effective for every time and not for everyone. However, it is definitely worth the try!
Take Deep Breaths
Taking deep breaths goes well with counting to ten. If you are able to slow your breathing, your heart rate will become stable and it will send more oxygen to your brain. Psychologist Carlos Coto at Pick The Brain suggests using a breathing technique such as the '4x4'. You start by breathing in for four seconds, holding your breath for four seconds, then exhaling for four seconds. If required, repeat these steps. When your heart rate and breathing start to return to normal, you will feel yourself becoming calm. I suggest that once you are starting to relax, think about the situation your are in or confronting. Try to think rationally, and think of ways to solve the issue without more anger.
Now, I know that not everyone likes to exercise, however studies have shown that physical activity can reduce stress. If you were to go on a run when you have had a stressful day, you will be able to express your frustration through the activity. This will allow you to not only clear out your negative energy but is also a healthy way of expressing your anger. If your anger is not expressed the right way, it can actually make you reaction worse which will only lead to more conflict and no resolution. Take that time to clear out your head and think positive thoughts for a better reaction.
Cognitive restructuring is the practice of changing your own thought patterns, or changing the way that you view situations. It requires you to attempt to think rationally and stop any exaggerated or dramatic thoughts from taking over. The best way to start to change your negative thought pattern into a positive one, is to try to think as logically as possible and not just react off of initial emotions. Just as we learned problem solving in elementary school, apply those lessons to your anger when it arises. Once you practice changing your thought pattern, you will start to react that way normally and you will not be so quick to anger. It will help you maintain an overall positive outlook when facing stressful or negative situations.
Consider Anger Management Counseling
Most of the tips that I have offered are good to do when you are angry or in stressful situations. However, if you find yourself still having problems with your temper in the long term, I would suggest considering anger management counseling. There is a stigma with those who attend these sessions but I would advise you to block out those opinions. Anger management is not something to be ashamed of. If you do decide to attend, know that you are making a sound decision to help make your life better. Anger Management Counseling is a form of psychotherapy that helps deal with negative thought patterns. If attended and completed, it will lead to better relationships, positive coping skills, allowing you to discover any triggers you may have, and will lead you to better health and a happier lifestyle.
The most important thing to remember is that you do have the power to control your anger and your reaction to what ever situation you may be in. If you feel your temper getting out of hand, try one of the methods above and see if they might work for you! I suggest staying positive and looking on the bright side of things. The more positive you are the healthier lifestyle you will lead!