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Managing Your Anger

Anger is an emotional response that tends to occur when someone or something frustrates you. When angry, you may experience an elevated heart rate and blood pressure. Mismanaged anger can be very unhealthy and counterproductive.
When anger occurs and is irrational, directed at someone undeserving and over the top it can be very damaging to relationships within your life. It can negatively affect your ability to make decisions during the aggression and can even affect your health.
Here are some tips to assist you in controlling your anger in situations that may frustrate and irritate you.

1. Take a break
When you feel yourself becoming angry, take yourself away from the situation. Removing yourself can give you the opportunity to calm down and rationally think about what happened and how things could have been done better.

2. Breathe deeply
Breathing slowly and deeply can help greatly in relieving you from the physiological symptoms of anger. It can slow down your heart beat and other body reactions by counting to three as you inhale, hold the breath for three more seconds and then exhale for three seconds. Whilst breathing, it works best to concentrate on the number and counting of your breaths while also trying not to think about what triggered your anger.

3. Try to figure out what commonly triggers aggression
Making note of some of the things that make you angry can assist in allowing you to prepare for these situations beforehand. You could then plan out the conversation or situation to give you other options rather than anger if stuck in a situation that may trigger it.

4. Relaxing imagery
Try to imagine a scene that makes you happy and calm. While imagining that scene try to picture every detail including smells, sounds, what you see and what you feel. Doing this can calm you down physically and also distract you from your anger enough to be able to calm down and approach the situation differently.

5. Exercise
By exercising, you can have a physical outlet for your anger. Going for a run or doing some training in a sport you enjoy can give you something positive to focus on can also be a great outlet. It also releases endorphins that can assist in calming down.

6. Use logic
After you have taken yourself away, the best way to calm down is to use logic. Many people become quite irrational when angry, so taking the time to think logically and rationally about what made you angry could then give you the opportunity to decide whether it is something worth being upset about or if it is something you have become slightly irrational about.

7. Sleep Well
A good night’s sleep can help combat physical and emotional problems that people have. Having roughly 7 hours sleep per night allows your brain and body to fully rest and recuperate. Without this sleep, people become irritable and aggressive. Therefore having a full night’s sleep can assist to less aggressive behaviour.

8. Express yourself (after calming)
If someone has said something previously that may have left you feeling angry and unhappy, after calming down, it is good to talk to the person about how you felt and why you felt that way. Expressing yourself can allow you to let go of the anger you previously held onto and to better move on from the upsetting situation.

9. Try to find potential solutions other than anger
Having other solutions prepared could assist in managing situations which cause anger as you are then prepared for if something arises that makes you feel uncomfortable and aggressive. You can then resort to these other routes rather than anger.

10. Write down your feelings
If you do not feel comfortable speaking to someone about your anger or what triggers it, it can help to write your feelings down. It can relive the stress and pressures that can result in a conflict. Being able to break down your feelings about a matter and taking the time to think about it properly can allow you to approach things better in similar situations.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. We hope you have gained some insight into managing angry feelings. As a gesture of our gratitude, we would like to offer you a complimentary chat with our Principal Psychologist, to assist you in exploring some more options in managing anger and stress.

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