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Be in Control of Your Anger: Ways to Manage Rage and Tame That Temper

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Anger is a natural emotion that we all experience in the course of life. However, no amount of trying to make it go away will help this feeling completely fade away.

Researchers for a national survey on anger found that most of their participants experienced anger, such as temper outbursts or getting upset over little things. Out of the more than 34,000 adults surveyed, “overall prevalence of inappropriate, intense, or poorly controlled anger in the U.S. population was 7.8 percent.”

Their followup question, “did this ever trouble you or cause problems at work or school, or with your family or other people?” revealed a large number of cases where it really has been destructive.

But the good news is that there are ways to manage your anger and help turn it into something productive rather than destructive. To begin with, however irresistible getting angry might seem, especially when someone cuts you off while driving a car or makes us late for an important meeting, its just not worth it to lash out on the spur of the moment and then regret what you said or did.

Below are eight ways of managing your anger effectively rather than letting it get the best of you.

Illustration – Shutterstock | Africa Studio

1. Ask Yourself “Why?”

Anger takes us out of a rational space into an emotional one. If something has angered you, whether its a person or an object, what can you do about it? Chances are not much, because the triggering event happened in the past.

If you stop for a moment and ask yourself “Why am I so angry?” you will probably find that its because you werent in control. Remembering that you cant control other peoples behavior or the traffic or the weather and accepting the problem is the first step to managing your anger.

2. Take Responsibility

We often externalize anger by yelling or swearing, slamming a door, or in more extreme situations throwing things around. However, how much of what we are really upset about has to do with us? As the great Greek philosopher Plato wrote, “there are two things a person should never be angry at, what they can help, and what they cannot.”

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Say for example if youre late for work after getting stuck in traffic and your impulse would be to honk or shout at other drivers. However, take a minute to step back and ask yourself, “Is it really their fault, though?” What if you had left home a few minutes earlier to beat the rush hour?

3. Get Your Anger Out

When youre angry at a situation or a person, dumping all the negativity you feel on that particular person or problem you believe can be very tempting. However, start by managing it instead of losing your temper and embarrassing yourself in public. Try by taking yourself out of the office or the house.

Removing yourself from a stressful situation can be a practical solution. Try doing some exercises, which can help release the pent-up adrenaline. Go for a walk to get some perspective or find a constructive outlet for your anger, even if its not one you share with anyone else.

Illustration – The Epoch Times | Jeff Nenarella

A study at the University of Georgia, Athens, found that physical activity can improve our mood, especially for subjects with “high trait anger.” While the researchers found that while physical activity doesnt stop us from getting angry, “results indicate that acute exercise both 1) reduces angry mood and 2) mitigates angry mood induction.”

4. Find Better Ways to Express Yourself

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The causes of anger can be legitimate, such as a friend or spouse treating you thoughtlessly or your child misbehaving. But blowing your top isnt going to accomplish anything. In the words of the Buddha, “Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.”

The people you are angry at are much more likely to change their behavior if you can talk to them in a calm and rational way, explaining how you feel without making accusations. The first step to this could be by using phrases like, “I dont feel respected when…” or “This makes me feel unappreciated…” instead of statements like “you dont treat me well.” This way you give them the chance to see things your way.

5. Laugh at Yourself and With Others

The power of laughter to transform any mood can be immense. When youre in the midst of anger, everything seems incredibly serious to the point that you blow small actions out of all proportion. A drink spilled on the floor or a door left unlocked becomes grounds for a fight.

If you can find a way to laugh at the situation, you will also find the key to deactivating the ticking time bomb of your anger. Actor Robin Williams once mentioned about his work in an interview with Dotson Rader, a contributor for Parade magazine in 1998, stating: “maybe [comedy] comes from anger, because Im outraged by cruel absurdities, the hypocrisy that exists everywhere, even within yourself, where its hardest to see.”

6. Put Yourself in Others Shoes

Illustration – Unsplash | Kelly Sikkema

Empathy is the key to successful relationships. WheRead More – Source