Anger: Early Warning Signs and Your Triggers, Commit To Change And Manage Anger, Taking Time Out
Commit to Change and Manage Anger. If you are angry and you know it, raise your hand. Anger is not all bad; it is how one expresses it that spells the difference. Managing anger is important especially if one has the tendency to lose control over situations big or small.
The following are basic tips and advice to help you be comfortable with your anger, and being able to express it in a manner that is not hurtful towards others or yourself.
Know what you are angry at
First things first, how would you manage the anger that seems to broil deep down inside you when you have no clear idea as to the situations, matters that trigger them in the first place?
It is important therefore that you identify any attitudes that you have which predispose you to a host of reactions.
Do you not like it when the waiter takes about ten minutes to give you your regular order? Or what would your reaction be if the cashier in your local 7-11 store punches the wrong keys and you end up short changed.
Do you vent? Do you rave? Do you feel you want to punch someone or at least scream at their face?
Fortunately or unfortunately, you are not alone. If it is these triggers that set you off, then you have at least made that significant first step of becoming aware of your feelings and your reactions.
Knowing and having identified what makes you angry make it a lot easier to deal with when they erupt. You also could get to see how your past reactions were in order to gauge or determine how your current reaction would be, now that you know a bit better.
Past is past, let them go
Most of us carry a litany of conditioned responses and go through life using those to deal with every blow that comes our way. Usually, these responses were those left over from childhood.
Remember when you were crying and a grown-up caregiver – your parents, aunts or relatives – told you it is bad to be angry? And so you kept it all inside you until you grew up. As an adult, this then gets manifested as denial and fear of truly expressing what you feel.
Being aware of such past conditioned behavior actually frees you from its clutches. By bringing the feelings to the fore of your attention, you then get to deal with them and eventually use them to not be impediments to your personal growth.
Anger needs to be acknowledged as it is there. Anger that is suppressed is not healthy and if it is not appropriately dealt with could lead to it exploding unnecessarily later on.
Respond not react
Believe it or not, you and you alone have the ultimate choice on how to respond to a situation.
There are various ways to express your anger besides the more traditional ways such as throwing a tantrum, throwing a chair, or hailing invectives.
These non-traditional ways of expressing anger are also legitimate, as long as the pathway towards expressing one’s emotions is cleared.
Responding to our own feelings towards an anger-provoking situation helps expose built-in and buried emotions that you may have concealed from yourself. Observe how self-anger could lead to feeling depressed or anxious.
The solution to this is managing our own reaction to situations, not burying it with alcohol, drugs or any addiction provoking habit.
Forgive and try to forget,
if you can’t, then just forgive for now
It is not easy to forget a deed that may have caused a lot of anger inside you. If there are any wounds from an emotionally charged relationship or interaction that you are still carrying and heavily weighing you down, then why are you still carrying it?
There is a natural reaction to mope. Usually, going through this stage helps in ultimately letting go of the resentment. Forgiving others usually starts from forgiving the self. Try this one for a change.
All in all, anger is a difficult emotion to deal with especially if you are exerting the effort to not deal with it. Acknowledging you are angry and finding positive ways to deal with your feelings are the steps to letting it go.
Early Warning Signs and Your Triggers
Know when you are about to get angry
Contrary to popular belief, anger is normal, natural and healthy because it is a human emotion.
Anger actually is a good sign to help people know that there is something that should be resolved or corrected somewhere, somehow. Anger is usually motivated by something that was brought about by an action that is quite uncomfortable and it being uncomfortable means that it is such, for a reason.
Anger, if properly managed, can help right a possible wrong.
It could also help solve a particular problem and even find a probable solution. However, anger is also a double-edged sword wherein – if used in a negative manner – could also be a force enough to destroy people, relationships or even your own health.
Usually, there are warning signs prior to anger exploding on an uncontrollable level. It is best that you are aware of these triggers as it could help you prepare on how to respond or how to be in command of this very powerful emotion.
Recognizing these signs early on could help you avoid feeling regret later because of an incident that got out of control or those words that you wished you never said but are now just too late to take back.
How tense are you
Usual signs of pre-explosive anger are tense muscles. Observe how and what you feel in your neck. Are the muscles in your neck taut? If so, prepare to relax and get hold of yourself. Inhaling and exhaling slowly helps relax all those tensions.
Teeth gritting is gritty
Usually when gritting your teeth happens, the jaws become tight. How much do you do this? If usually and always, prepare to psyche yourself to relax. Anger cannot be quenched by more anger. Slowly but surely, try to acknowledge the feeling until you think you could let it go without much fanfare or unnecessary drama.
When angry, the face becomes flushed
This is easily perceptible as the blood circulates more than normal, brought about by the intense emotion due to anger. If this happens, the best way to deal with this situation is to relax and keep your cool. Imagine how much energy you could save by responding in a non-traditional manner. Put your effort to where your power should be – use it instead to be productive.
When angry, hands are clenched
See how in the movies, men who are about to punch someone first clench their fists and then deliver that blow? This emotional process also works the same way in real life. When anger comes to the forefront of vulnerable emotion, the whole body actually becomes tight. And it is the hand that is usually the more obvious expression of it.
When angry, the voice becomes loud
Intentionally or not, this raising of the voice is one of the more common and traditional ways to know one is angry. The opposite of this is cold stony silence. Both are meant to intimidate. All are unhealthy, both for the one raising the voice and the one giving the silence, as well as the recipients.
The best thing about these triggers is that they are all, believe it or not, controllable. It depends on how much you want to be controlled by the triggers. When you are really angry, calm yourself down. But if you have crossed the threshold and it is a bit too late to turn back, deep breathing would help you a lot. This relaxes your body. Remember how children are advised to count to ten when angry, this method actually works. But if counting to ten does not work, try counting to twenty.
Talking to yourself also helps. Try to tell yourself to be calm, think, do not lose it, what are the consequences of my actions?
These positive talks can help take the focus from the anger-inducing event and on the questions that really matter. It also has the tendency to make you less angry.
All in all, anger only gets to you when you let it. So do not let it. It is your choice after all.
Taking Time Out
Take time out to relax and unwind from anger
It is important to know that anger is not an enemy. Anger is not an emotion that needs to be repressed. First and foremost, it is a valid feeling that needs to be acknowledged and accepted for what it is.
Adults and children are both prone to bouts of anger because it is a natural feeling that everyone has. What is necessary though is the management of anger because when it gets out of control it has the tendency to have negative effects on people as well as on one’s self.
The following are activities that could be done in order to do away with persistent feelings of anger and replace them with more productive outlets to express this emotion in a manner that is more appropriate and less destructive.
Wash it all off
Everyone, be it kids or adults, would find the effect of taking a warm bath soothing to the senses. This method is even good for all females as well as males who have had a rough day at work and would want to unwind from a busy, hectic, not to mention, an angry day from co-workers, bosses and the like.
All you have to do is lie down in water that is a bit warm. It would also be a good idea to light a few candles, the kind that are scented. Then watch as you slip slowly away to a relaxing world that is away from all the hustle and bustle of a dreary and busy world.
Walk and walk and walk
Kids or adults could very easily do this to help ward off any intense feelings of anger. The good thing about this method is that it usually works. Try it on for size. As much as possible, fifteen to twenty minutes a day of brisk walking would do the trick of dissolving and releasing any edginess you feel or any anxiousness you may have.
Another good thing when one engages in walking is the effect it brings to one’s physical health. Believe it or not, walking helps improve circulation by releasing hormones called endorphins. These are also called the “feel-good” hormones. Realize how walking – even in short distances – could help you feel more refreshed and relaxed after.
Get a massage, and get a good one
Adults would benefit much from this activity as their weary bodies seem more vulnerable to stresses and negativity. Contrary to popular belief, this does not have to be expensive. Try to get the voluntary services of your significant other. However, if this is unavailable, there are always a slew of massage parlors around who would more than readily provide you with a very good and soothing massage at your own liking.
Determine the cause
Anger is caused by a variety of reasons. The best way to manage anger is by first determining what it is you are angry at. Getting to know the triggers that set you off helps you either avoid those triggers or manage your feelings towards those triggers in case your anger starts to erupt.
Being aware of what sets you off is a significant step toward making your feelings known to yourself thereby making it easier to manage any abrupt changes in your emotions.
Going, going gone – Let it go
Anger is not necessarily helped by remembering any past incidents that made you angry and may still have bitter feelings towards. Though difficult, it is always for your own best interests to let go of past sad and angry memories.
Unfortunately, this effort is easier said than done as everyone carries a bunch of conditioned responses and goes through life using those to deal with every blow that comes their way. Usually, these responses were those left off from childhood and onwards.
Believe it or not, having awareness of such past conditioned behavior actually frees you from its clutches. By bringing them to the fore of your attention, you then get to deal with them and eventually use them to not be impediments to your personal growth.
All in all, anger – when left to fester and rot in one’s psyche – will cause more harm than good. It would do well for everyone to deal with the causes of anger and work on those issues as well as having efforts to deal with anger before, during and after it erupts.