Uncontrollable outbursts of anger can happen to anyone from time to time; it’s human nature, and given the range of violence and injustice raging throughout the world, sadly we are more susceptible to this emotional state than ever before. However, when it becomes out of control and unstoppable, anger becomes a destructive behavior, one that damages and destroys, relationships, health and even our earth.
Anger can show up and invite herself anywhere she likes. Stress and frustration are her closest allies but she also watches you as you, irritably fail to open a can of soup, feel incompetent in the face of your uncompleted project, and when someone points out the faults in your character. Anger always stays for dessert, she licks her spoon as you don’t feel good enough.
Does Anger dine with you? Do you frequently get furious? Are you involved in fights and arguments? Are angry thoughts constantly in your mind? Is there something that happened in the past that causes you to lash out in the present? Yes? Then you could have an anger problem that could negatively affect your life and it is time to deal with it!
Some people ‘need’ to be in a constant state of anger and all that comes with it or else they don’t feel they are functioning properly. By contrast, denying angry feelings leads to suffering and self pity which when left to fester, becomes hatred and rage. This in turn can manifest as depression, a lack of enthusiasm in life and a reluctance to meet people, which in turn affects self esteem and can head down a destructive path of addiction and increased aggression that can manifest in violence and threatening behavior or wanting to hurt or damage things.
So, staying angry and repressing anger both have the potential for emotions to snowball out of control. That’s why identifying the root cause of your anger is fundamentally important, doing this will help you to overcome it and avoid the related problems that can escalate. Knowing the root cause will enable you to manage your emotions in a more mature manner and to express anger in a healthy balanced way rather than a destructive way.
How to cool your hot temper
Anger is usually a direct result of situations and people around you, who press your fresh bruises – they mirror in your face your insecurities and they dissect your weaknesses. No doubt snapping back is tempting, especially when the underlying reason behind the anger may be something you aren’t even aware of.
However, to heal it is more effective to ask yourself, what is the hurt behind anger? For example: is it some experience you had as a child, is it work pressure or is it linked to a wounded self esteem?
There are many ways to answer these questions, such as enrolling in anger management classes or asking someone you respect and trust to help you or simply listen. In the meantime, here are seven techniques to prevent anger from controlling your life:
Communicate your feelings openly with honesty instead of savoring anger until it poisons you. Remind yourself that getting angry will intensify the drama without resolving it. To find common ground, aim for forgiveness which will prevent resentment from building up and focus on a solution to resolve the situation, rather than concentrating on what upset you.
Without giving it much thought, it’s easy to say something you’ll later regret, so pause and take a minute to gather your thoughts before saying anything. This also allows the other party in the argument to have time to reflect.
Once you calm down, explain your point of view, worries and needs in an assertive and peaceful tone while adding a bit of humour into your dialogue. This positive attitude prevents you from hurting others feelings and improves how your message will land, since you won’t come across as controlling or impulsive.
2. Get physical
Pent up anger can be released and even prevented through exercise and playing and wandering around isn’t just for children, it’s a healthy way to let off steam. Remember the the mind and body are connected. If you are not into exercising, taking a walk is good enough to help you decrease the adrenaline that causes you to lash out.
3. Time out
When anger begins to erupt, retreat and take a deep breath, then take a moment to sit silently to listen to your thoughts and become aware of your emotions. A couple of minutes of quiet calm will make you feel better and less irritated so that you are ready to handle the coming discussion and conflict without aggravating it. Dedicating some time every day to nurture and enrich your mind with yoga and meditation practices can help to manage anger while cultivating self-love, peace and harmony.
4. Self analysis
Uncontrollable anger outbursts hurt and this discomfort won’t go away unless you deal with your emotions. Ask yourself self reflective questions: Am I at fault? Will this solve anything? Am I improving the situation? Should I be helping her/him? Am I uncomfortable? Can I make a joke of this? Is it really something worth getting angry over? Why am I being triggered?
Writing down your experience and associated feelings can help overcome a lack of self awareness. If you’re angry at yourself because you think you’ve made a mistake don’t feel stupid, but learn from it, see those mistakes as lessons.
Laugh at yourself rather than expressing your frustration or embarrassment with an angry response.
5. Reduce the stress
Become more active. If you are feeling tense or uptight, take a walk or go cycling. Learn deep breathing exercises for the calming effect. Try meditation for your self development. It’s a great way to tune out the stress and irritants of the day. If your issues with stress result in sudden uncontrollable anger outbursts for no apparent reason, your problem may be serious and should be dealt with by a mental health care professional.
6. Unload grudges
Letting go of resentment brings stress relief. Learn to forgive others and even yourself and move on, don’t take the dark side of life to heart. You are not alone on this ride, behind our armour many of us are afraid, like a group of babies starved from the attention of their mothers, crying and screaming at each other because we have not yet learned how to care for one another.
If someone offends you, try to overcome the need to retaliate aggressively. There is a psychological motive behind each of our actions and reactions. These are to be understood or at least acknowledged. Offer to solve your differences using a mix of compassion, friendliness and logic. If no resolution is found, move on and seek a resolution from within. At all times, take it easy because love cannot grow out of anger and hatred.
7. Watch your ego
An over inflated ego makes you more sensitive to remarks, which in turn makes you vulnerable to being offended and angry. Therefore, it is necessary to keep your ego in check. Your ego shouldn’t be suppressed but nor should it be mistaken for confidence. It serves well to know the difference between being a positive person with a high self esteem, and an egotistical maniac who believes themselves to be superior to others.
It’s wise to express your gratefulness for all the good graces of the universe that you have received as enjoyment in your life. To use your gifts and possessions in humility is the best way to thank earth for your blessing, and to give back to another, through love, is the best way to show off who you are.
“Usually when people are sad, they don’t do anything. They just cry over their condition. But when they get angry, they bring about a change.” Malcolm X
Sometimes life doesn’t flow as smoothly as you desire. As if destiny and circumstances conspire to upset your dreams. But do not worry about things beyond your control, take life as it comes and face difficulties with love and faith.
Anger is a normal and healthy emotion and as such, so shouldn’t be viewed as completely negative but cultivating a patient and tolerant attitude towards others is a triumph over your anger and creates balance. In order to preserve your pride and dignity, discover new ways to calm yourself down, take back the control over your angry nature and use your anger as motivation toward doing something constructive with your passion!