Anger is a natural emotion that happens as a result of experiencing something frustrating or unfair, but sometimes it can get to an uncontrollable point that might end up hurting you or others. Although anger is a necessary feeling, it’s important to learn to control it to avoid uncomfortable situations or physical altercations with others. Keep reading to find out the most effective anger management techniques.
1. Practice Conscious Breathing
Conscious breathing is known as the most alert mental state of a person. It involves deep inhaling and long, paused exhaling. Whenever you’re feeling like your anger is taking out the worst of you, stand up or sit down with your back fully straight and inhale deeply then exhaling slowly, while you mentally count to 2. Next you’ll inhale and exhale on the count of 4, next 8 and so on until you feel your anger fade away.
2. Countdown to 10 or 100
When you’re in the middle of an argument or something happens to you that makes you want to burst, it’s time to give yourself a few seconds to cool down. Close your eyes and slowly start counting backwards from 10 to 0 or 100 to 0, depending on how angry you feel. You can do this countdown mentally or out loud. The purpose of this countdown is to concentrate only on the numbers and let whatever’s making you angry fade away.
3. Take a Walk
Not only is fresh air always good to clear your thoughts, you could also benefit from taking a walk by seeing different backgrounds and scenarios, and reminding yourself that no situation can be bad enough or is worth your extreme anger. If you can, take a walk down the park or simply get out of your office for a while and pay a visit to the vending machines.
4. Take on a Mantra and Repeat it to Yourself
A mantra is a word or small phrase that has a deep meaning to you but more importantly that has the ability to make you stay calm and help you find your center during difficult times. Whenever you’re feeling particularly upset, repeat your mantra over and over until you feel better. Some useful words to take on as mantras are “relax” or “let go”.
5. Play Some Soothing Music
Music is perfect to wake up all sorts of positive feelings in people. Whenever you feel stressed out or annoyed to the point of extreme anger, just play your favorite tunes and let your mind wander. It doesn’t matter if it’s in your car at full volume or using your earbuds in the office, music also helps distract yourself.
6. Take Some Time Alone in an Empty Room
You know how little kids get sent to a different room whenever they’re throwing a tantrum? There’s a good reason behind that! When you’re upset or very angry, having some time to yourself can let you either gather your thoughts and stay calm or blow off the steam by channelling your anger without hurting anyone.
7. Write Your Thoughts Down
Some people feel more comfortable until they’ve somehow expressed whatever made them angry in the first place. This is a very healthy solution, but since sometimes you can’t express your thoughts to others or there’s no one to talk to, you can take a notepad and use it to write down whatever gets you upset.
8. Talk to a Close Friend to Distract Yourself
If you do have a chance to express your feelings with others, the best thing to do is call a close friend who you trust and knows about your temper and tell them whatever made you mad. A close friend will listen, understand and maybe even give you some valuable feedback on what you probably should’ve done.
9. Do Something That Makes You Laugh
What’s the opposite of anger? Happiness! If you feel very angry, upset and even a little down, the best therapy is to find something that makes you laugh even a little bit. This can vary greatly among people, while some enjoy being with their kids or playing with their pets, others like to watch comedy movies or podcasts.
10. Channel Your Anger Into a Hobby
Some people find it necessary to transform their negative feelings into something useful. If you’re feeling upset or very angry, you might want to channel it in a positive way by adopting a hobby. You could try an explosive sport like boxing or running, or you might prefer something more artistic like painting or playing an instrument.
11. Practice Forgiveness
The most important part of anger management is letting it go effectively so it doesn’t turn into resentment or an unnecessary grudge that can follow you for many years. When you’re feeling angry because someone hurt your feelings, you must learn to practice forgiveness in order to avoid anger coming back later on.
12. Practice and Meditate on Your Answers Before you Speak
One of the things people regret the most is saying certain things when they’re angry. If you’re in the middle of a discussion and it’s getting heated, you should be quiet for a couple of minutes to double think what you’re about to answer. This way not only will you be left without guilt, you’ll avoid getting yourself in trouble with others.
13. Picture Yourself in a Relaxing Scene
You’re in the middle of the day in your office, with a bunch of work to do and your boss keeps yelling at you. You feel like you’re about to burst and answer back or even worse, yell at your coworkers who did nothing to you. What should you do? Close your eyes for a few minutes and picture yourself on an island, with the sun on your skin and the waves flowing in front of you. This picture will instantly help you stay calm.
14. Step Out of Whatever Made you Angry
Sometimes what we need the most is to peacefully step away from a situation that is causing us damage and making us deeply upset. If you’re angry and you feel like you could hurt yourself or hurt others either physically or with your words, just take a deep breath and learn to identify that the best thing to do is to remove yourself from that scenario.
15. If Things Get out of Hand, Get Professional Help
No matter what we do, sometimes anger gets out of hand and you feel like this emotion is taking control of your whole decisions and thoughts. If this is happening to you, you might want to consider getting professional help like going to therapy or maybe even a support group for anger management.
Remember that anger is completely natural and even good for your feelings, but it should never take the worst out of you and make you hurt your beloved ones.