Anger is a feeling that we all experience. But how do you stop anger from taking over your life? Where does it come from? And why do we get angry in the first place?
It’s important to understand what causes anger before you can control it. Anger may be triggered by situations outside of your control, like getting cut off on the highway or someone breaking into your car; or it may stem from something inside you, like frustration at not achieving a goal or disappointment in yourself.
Regardless of the source, learning to control anger will help you feel better and communicate more effectively. Here are some ways to start controlling your anger today!
“The greatest remedy for anger is delay.”
Take a Breather.
Your breathing becomes shallower and speeds up as you grow angry. Reverse that trend (and your anger) by taking slow, deep breaths from your nose and exhaling out of your mouth for several moments.
Here is a breathing exercise from the free app Stew. Which recommends to pause and focus on your breathing.
Download Stew: Anger & Emotions Journal For iOS
Download Stew: Anger & Emotions Journal for Android / Google Play
Although incredibly easy to say, it’s best to just stop talking. There will always be a point we feel we must get across, but that point could cause more harm than good, and no one wants that.
Pretend your lips are glued shut. This gives you time to think your thoughts through and to allow you to focus on breathing to calm the nerves.
Write In Your Journal.
Reassessing the situation on paper can have amazing benefits. Write down your triggers, the thoughts that crossed your mind, talk about the consequences, or maybe your reactions. Compile your thoughts for the next time on how to respond.
Our free Stew: Anger & Emotions Journal app is insightful questions that help us understand anger.
Go Outside For A Walk.
Getting fresh air provides amazing benefits, it also helps us cool down. It’s also good for collecting our thoughts, thinking clearer.
Research has shown that walking promotes the release of brain chemicals called endorphins that stimulate relaxation and improve our mood. Walking does not have to be done at a fast pace to have stress-relieving benefits. Even a stroll at a comfortable pace promotes relaxation, studies indicate.
If everything is going wrong for you in the moment, then the opposite thing to think about is what’s going good for you and to be thankful for those things. Not only will this help change your way of thinking, it will also help start to calm the nerves and be able to not get so upset.
Have A Power Word.
One way to stop going down the rabbit hole with negative thoughts, would be to have a power word only you can listen to with 100% discipline. This power word can be anything from “enough”, “stop”, “that’s it”, anything that works for you. It can be a phrase like “Ok that’s enough, now I need to start thinking clearer”.
It will take a lot of practice to catch yourself from going down the rabbit hole with negative thinking. The more you’re aware of your reactions, the more you’ll learn about yourself. Then when negative things happen in the future, we’ll be mindfully prepared with a lesser angered reaction.