Eggs with drawn emotions, angry, sad

How to Control Your Anger Before It Controls You

Anger is one of the most destructive emotions of man, that’s why it is necessary to control it before it’s too late. Outbursts of anger often result in arguments, physical fights, physical abuse, assault, and self-harm. But aside from observable effects, anger can also lead to problems such as increased anxiety, high blood pressure, and headache, among others.

There is nothing wrong with anger, per se. It is common and a natural reaction. Well-managed anger can be a useful emotion that motivates you to make positive changes. Left unchecked, it may have destructive effects on you and those closest to you. 

I remember when growing up, I lashed out at my younger brother. It was unexpected on my part, but since I was too furious during one of our petty arguments, I hit him with a cooking pan. The impact deformed the pan and he was hurt. As expected, I was scolded; first for hitting my brother, and second for damaging our cooking pan. 

Looking back, we just laugh about that experience. But we cannot laugh at stories of road rage where angry drivers just kill because they were cut off while driving. We cannot laugh at heartbroken children who witnessed how their mother was physically abused by their often drunk, abusive, and angry father. We cannot laugh at employees who every day eat ridicule and emotional abuse from their boss with anger issues. 

While we cannot conduct anger management for others (and it calls for another blog to deal with anger issues of people), what we can do is to control our anger before it controls us. Here are some of the tips to do it. 

If you feel out of control, walk away from the situation temporarily, until you cool down.

If you can’t take the heat, leave before you get scorched. When people start to piss you off, try to excuse yourself from the person or the issue. I do not imply ignoring the issue at hand. It has to be dealt with, but at a much better time – when all parties involved are not at the height of emotions. Most of the time, we regret the words we say when we are angry. Our emotions overshadow our rationality. So cool down first before you engage. Walk away temporarily when you can no longer handle the heat. 

If you can't take the heat, leave before you get scorched. Click To Tweet

Try to pinpoint the exact reasons why you feel angry.

The next time you feel angry, identify what triggers it. There has to be a rational, identifiable reason. We cannot be angry for the sake of being angry. You will not only frustrate yourself, but you will frustrate others as well.

What makes you angry? While I agree that some people, even with just the mention of their name or just the very slight sight of their face get our blood boiling, it is not the person himself – but what he does or what he did in the past that triggers us. That is what we have to identify. 

Once you have identified the problem, consider coming up with different strategies for how to remedy the situation. If it is because the person is too loud, talkative, arrogant, or critical, what do you need to do not to be angry? Try to come up with a workable solution. You cannot allow yourself to be controlled by that emotion all the time.  

Talk to someone you trust about how you’re feeling.

It helps to have a listening ear around when we reach our boiling point. We call them a vent buddy. They help us steam off. But a word of caution, make sure that after you vent out to your friend, you have to do the same when the situation calls for it. We do not want to wear our friends out with our dramas and anger issues.

Make sure that after you vent out to your friend, you have to do the same when the situation calls for it. We do not want to wear our friends out with our dramas and anger issues. Click To Tweet

Some people harm themselves because they have no one to turn to when they get too emotional. Some people do foolish decisions when they aren’t guided by close friends who care for them. It is very helpful to talk to someone you trust when you think your anger is getting the best out of you. 

I have shared only three practical tips to consider when you feel angry. But I guess the first thing you need to do before any of these is to take deep breaths. Ask yourself: does this situation, or this person, merit me sacrificing my peace of mind? Should I allow my day to be ruined by this? 

Do you have anything to add to the list? How do you control your anger? Share in the comments below.

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