From the moment you woke up this morning to this very second, think of all the instances that made you angry. Then consider this: with a rational train of thought, were those moments really worth the emotional roller coaster ride?
While there are times that may push you over the edge, the truth is that our anger sometimes exaggerates the impact of those instances that aren’t that extreme to begin with.
An empty coffee pot, a taxi you couldn’t get to in time, a car horn blaring at just the wrong second—all of these are instances that annoy. However, if they make you angry enough to actually ruin your mood, you may have a problem.
Identifying Your Angers
Understand that anger is a healthy emotion. In fact, it’s quite normal to feel angry, but the problem arises when your anger begins to take control of you instead of the other way around.
Our anger triggers our survival instinct and makes us respond to events in a very primal way. It clouds our judgment and, for a few seconds, makes us believe that we are being attacked and thus should defend ourselves. It is those few seconds that make all the difference.
Taking Back Control of Your Anger
It’s easier said than done, but it’s not impossible.
Recognizing the First Signs of Anger
When you get angry, your heart beats faster and your breath becomes quicker as it prepares you for a fight or flight response. If you feel those signs in your body, get out of that situation as soon as possible. If you cannot verbally stop the situation, just get up and leave. Staying in a bad place when you’re angry only prompts your temper.
As soon as you step out, breathe in deeply and unclench those fists. Flex your fingers and straighten your spine. Release the tension from your body before relaxing your mind.
Managing Your Temper on a Long-Term Basis
It’s the small steps that help make a difference.
First, when you feel your temper flare up, ask yourself if the case really warrants anger. As someone who isn’t aware of their temper, you may find that simple annoyances will not push you as far if you recognize their meager impact in your life.
Second, care for your health. Factors such as sleep deprivation or hunger can impact your anger in addition to any alcohol or drug intake. If you’re satiated, rested and in control of your inhibitions, you’ll have a greater chance of controlling your anger.
Third, seek help when needed. Rant with a friend or loved one and tell them everything that you wanted to say in the heat of the moment. Do not bottle up your feelings.
Find a source of inspiration that guides you to a better mental plane. Many inspirational speakers such as Scott Burrows offer their guidance on overcoming adversity through perseverance. Use their words to let go of any and all negative feelings. You’ll feel a lot better knowing you have someone to help you through this troubled time.
Take action against your own anger before you move toward a resolution. Be thoughtful and proactive in seeking an answer for any issues you have. You’ll find that this peace of mind was exactly what you needed all along.