Anger is a natural emotion that we all experience, whether we’re young or old, male or female, at home or at work.
However, while it may impact us all, it’s the way that we choose to deal with it that determines whether or not it has a positive or negative impact on our lives and those around us. Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits all to dealing with anger which, as common as it might be, is often widely misunderstood and misinterpreted.
Anger can be triggered at any time by anything, it’s knowing how to deal with it that makes all the difference in minimising the wider impact it can have on people and situations. For instance, if it’s mismanaged or not detected early enough in a public situation, such as a bar, then it can easily erupt into a scene involving multiple people and multiple anger levels that have spiralled out of control.
With National Anger Awareness Week taking place this month (December), here are our top three tips for effectively dealing with anger:
TIP 1: Acknowledge it
As we’ve just mentioned, anger is an emotion that’s felt by everybody and it’s ok to feel it. The main thing you need to be mindful of is, what do you do with that anger? Do you feel it every now and again or is it a common occurrence? Are you able to manage it in a positive way or does it often escalate to another level?
If it’s the latter, then you may want to consider what the trigger points are and what you can do to help minimise them. Common symptoms of anger, include feeling as though you have knots in your stomach or clammy or flushed, tensing your shoulders, having trouble concentrating, pacing around and breathing faster.
TIP 2: Don’t be swayed by it
When we’re angry, we can say things that we don’t mean and do things that we wouldn’t have done if we were thinking rationally.
However, reacting in the heat of the moment, can result in you saying and doing things that you may regret later down the line, which is why it’s best avoided. Instead, take a few moments to gather your thoughts before responding — and allow others to do the same too. Only respond when you are feeling calm rather than when you’re seeing red. If you need to walk away, then walk away.
TIP 3: Find a way to release it
Anger can be easily controlled, you just need to find the right outlet to help manage it. A lot of people find that exercise is a really great way to release their pent-up anger or just simply wind down after a particularly difficult and stressful day.
Martial arts, yoga, swimming, meditation and Pilates are all great examples of anger-alleviating activities, which also encourage you to practice mindfulness, as well as generally be more in tune with your feelings and emotions overall. Alternatively, you may just want to go for a brisk walk after tea or a jog before or after work, the main thing is that you’re processing and getting rid of any anger you might be feeling at the time.
If you’re more of a creative person rather than an active person, then activities such as writing, making music, dancing or painting can also release tension and reduce feelings of anger.
The main thing is, anger happens, so don’t ignore it. Where possible, be open with yourself about it – be prepared to incorporate new ways of thinking, as well as new activities into your life, to help keep it in check.
Got any questions or want some more pointers? We’re conflict management and physical intervention training specialists with more than 20 years’ experience of helping people effectively deal with difficult situations, which are often triggered by anger. Contact us today on 0845 576 0035 or firstname.lastname@example.org.