Just like any other emotion, anger coveys a message. There are different ways in which we express our anger: in the way we speak, the way we take action, and in the way we behave in general.
While it’s a natural response to certain situations, it may get out of hand, and sometimes it becomes a serious issue. It can result in hurting ourselves and the ones around us. When our reactions are out of control, we say and do things that later result in guilt and regret.
Apart from guilt and regret, anger issues can also cause the following:
- Interference in our daily life
- Problems in relationships
- Risks of heart problems and high blood pressure
- Headaches and Insomnia
- Depression and anxiety
- Skin and digestive issues
In order to express our anger the right way, we need to find ways to calm ourselves to avoid outbursts.
Anger management is when we manage our anger and express our anger successfully. It is not a one-time thing; managing our anger should be practiced daily for us to turn it into a natural response.
Here are some ways you can express your anger during an argument and how to control it in general:
1. Think before you speak
Usually, when we argue, we tend to find ways to hurt people rather than trying to solve the issue. We do so through offensive statements, bringing back the past, aiming at insecurities and getting physical.
This is the result of not thinking before speaking or taking action. We did not stop to question what we were going to say nor take a moment to analyze the situation.
When placed in such situations, ask yourself the following:
- “Will saying/doing this help solve the issue?”
- “What can I say to calm the situation?”
- “Is what I’m about to say offensive to the other person?”
- “How can I solve the problem and put an end to this argument?”.
- “Is the problem really worth us arguing?”
This will help you get closer to the solution while also giving you time to think and calm yourself. You are no longer thinking of an offensive comeback, but an appropriate response that will benefit both of you.
You can also ask the person the same question:
- “How can we solve this?”
- “How about we think this over and come up with a solution?”
- “Would you prefer if we didn’t fight about this and talked instead?”
2. Is it worth arguing?
- Is it worth arguing about?
- Is it worth all the stress and angerit’s causing you?
- Is it worth the damage?
It’s important to analyze the situation before deciding on what to do next. You need to figure out whether what you are doing right now would be worth the trouble and damage.
At times we feel like we are about to explode and yell out things we might regret. This feeling is quite literal; your heart rate goes up, you are breathing heavily, you get a headache, and you are ready to pour it all out.
The problem is that only after an outburst, will you then realize the things you said/did, and regret takes hold of you.
When you are angry, oxygen is drained from your brain. This results in that familiar tight feeling you get in your chest, which can sometimes lead to a stroke. By taking deep breaths, you allow oxygen to re-enter the body, resulting in relaxation.
- Take at least 10 deep breaths: breathe in through the nose and hold it for a few seconds before exhaling.
- Drink a cup of water.
- Count to 10 while taking deep breaths.
4. Walk away
There are times when no matter what you do or say, the other person just won’t back down, or you just can’t calm down. In these situations, you should walk away and return to the subject when you’re relaxed or had some time to think.
You need to let the person know that you are too tense to continue by saying:
- “I can’t continue right now.”
- “Let’s talk about it later.”
- “I think we’re both too tense right now.”
- “Let’s talk later when we are both relaxed.”
In the meantime, we need to distract ourselves by trying some of the following activities:
- Going out for a walk to get some fresh air
- Listening to music
- Taking a nap
- Talking to someone
- Trying herbal teas
5. Releasing the tension before-hand
Sometimes the main reason for an outburst is a buildup of stress and anxiety. Not relieving your stress, or not allowing yourself to express your emotions will leads to tension.
Releasing such tensions is crucial, but it has to be done in a healthy way; breaking things or hurting yourself may calm you down, but it also has its own negative effects.
You should always find ways to release your emotions and express them instead of ignoring them. Here are some ways you can do so:
- Talk to someone
- Listen to music
- Take a walk
- Allow yourself to scream or cry
6. Talk and write your feelings down
Talking to a friend or a professional can help you control and understand your emotions better. It makes you feel understood and not alone. Doing so will take some weight off your shoulders and make you feel less tense. You can also find listeners online; many websites and forums are created for this purpose.
Writing is another effective way recommended by professionals. Keeping a journal will help you work through your emotions, making it easier for you to analyze and think of a solution. A journal enables you to understand yourself better.
One of the hardest yet most important parts of our lives is knowing when to apologize and doing so. They teach us to apologize from a young age, yet most adults find it difficult to own up to their mistakes.
Sometimes by apologizing, we can save relationships and make our lives easier for ourselves. Apologizing can:
- Disarm someone who is angry
- Make us acknowledge the mistakes we have made
- Get us closer to the solution
- Help us put the argument in the past
- Makes both parties feel better
It may be hard to do, but once you apologize, you will instantly feel the burden lift off of you.
Anger management can make our lives much easier. Not only is it beneficial in certain situations, but it helps us make the right decisions in life and cope with the challenges we face every day. Apart from that, it is a key ingredient to good mental health.
About the Author
Hosna Kachooee: I am a freelance writer and photographer. I write of self-development and mental health using different methods, which also helped me get through my life. I aim to help others cope with daily issues and challenges. I am also a landscape and portrait photographer, traveling around the world to show every bit of its beauty.
- LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/hosna-kachooee
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