Have you noticed yourself being more snappy than normal, getting irritated at the drop of a hat at even the smallest things?
The emotional strain of the current COVID-19 pandemic is affecting people on levels they have not encountered before and coping with the increased tension is reflecting as increased anger in our society.
You might think that venting your anger is healthy, that the people around you are too sensitive, that your anger is justified, or that you need to show your fury to get respect.
But the truth is that anger is much more likely to have a negative impact on the way people see you, impair your judgment, and get in the way of success.
Effects of anger
Chronic anger that flares up all the time or spirals out of control can have serious consequences for your:
Physical health. Constantly operating at high levels of stress and anger makes you more susceptible to heart disease, diabetes, a weakened immune system, insomnia, and high blood pressure.
Mental health. Chronic anger consumes huge amounts of mental energy, and clouds your thinking, making it harder to concentrate or enjoy life. It can also lead to stress, depression, and other mental health problems.
Career. Constructive criticism, creative differences, and heated debate can be healthy. But lashing out only alienates your colleagues, supervisors, or clients and erodes their respect.
Relationships. Anger can cause lasting scars in the people you love most and get in the way of friendships and work relationships. Explosive anger makes it hard for others to trust you, speak honestly, or feel comfortable – and is especially damaging to children.
Keeping your temper in check can be challenging no doubt but taking steps to tame the beast will allow you to express your emotions without hurting others and keep your temper from hijacking your life.
Ready to get your anger under control?
TRY THESE 10 ANGER MANAGEMENT TIPS:
Think before you speak
In the heat of the moment, it’s easy to say something you’ll later regret. Take a few moments to collect your thoughts before saying anything – and allow others involved in the situation to do the same.
Once you’re calm, express your anger
As soon as you’re thinking clearly, express your frustration in an assertive but nonconfrontational way. State your concerns and needs clearly and directly, without hurting others or trying to control them.
Get some exercise
Physical activity can help reduce the stress that can cause you to become angry. If you feel your anger escalating, go for a brisk walk or run, or spend some time doing other enjoyable physical activities.
Take a timeout
Timeouts aren’t just for kids. Give yourself short breaks during times of the day that tend to be stressful. A few moments of quiet time might help you feel better prepared to handle what’s ahead without getting irritated or angry.
Identify possible solutions
Instead of focusing on what made you mad, work on resolving the issue at hand. Does your child’s messy room drive you crazy? Close the door. Is your partner late for dinner every night? Schedule meals later in the evening – or agree to eat on your own a few times a week. Remind yourself that anger won’t fix anything and might only make it worse.
6. Stick with ‘I’ statements
To avoid criticizing or placing blame – which might only increase tension – use “I” statements to describe the problem. Be respectful and specific. For example, say, “I’m upset that you left the table without offering to help with the dishes,” instead of, “You never help with any housework.”
7. Don’t hold a grudge
Forgiveness is a powerful tool. If you allow anger and other negative feelings to crowd out positive feelings, you might find yourself swallowed up by your own bitterness or sense of injustice. But if you can forgive someone who angered you, you might both learn from the situation. It’s unrealistic to expect everyone to behave exactly as you want at all times.
8. Use humour to release tension
Lightening up can help diffuse tension. Use humour to help you face what’s making you angry and, possibly, any unrealistic expectations you have for how things should go. Avoid sarcasm, though – it can hurt feelings and make things worse.
9. Practice relaxation skills
When your temper flares, put relaxation skills to work. Practice deep-breathing exercises, imagine a relaxing scene, or repeat a calming word or phrase, such as, “Take it easy“, or “You’ve got this.” You might also listen to music, write in a gratitude journal, or do a few yoga poses – whatever it takes to encourage relaxation.
10. Know when to seek help
Learning to control anger is a challenge for everyone at times. Consider seeking help for anger issues if your anger seems out of control, causes you to do things you regret, or hurts those around you.
Anger management classes allow you to meet others coping with the same struggles and learn tips and techniques for managing your anger.
Counselling, either group or individual, can be a great way to explore the reasons behind your anger and identify triggers. Therapy can also provide a safe place to practice new skills for expressing anger.
Alternatively, you can call helplines such as:
**If you’ve got this far – thank you for reading and I look forward to bringing you more information in the future.
Now, enjoy 2 yoga workouts for when you’re feeling angry and wish to release any anxiety/stress to help bring about some much-needed calmness …