Overcome Anger with These Anger Management Tips
Feeling anger is a very natural part of the human experience. Anger is just one way our body and mind tell us that we do not like something around us. In this way, anger is an “alert response.” It identifies for us when there is danger or an area of concern. Recognizing this means we should look to understand what the threat is. What is our body reacting to? Some times it is a true threat to our safety. More often it is an issue that is emotionally meaningful for us but not a threat to our well being. Having perspective takes time and guidance, but it can dramatically change your life.
Anger is always a secondary emotion. Meaning it is always caused by another emotion such as physical or emotional pain, fear, stress, inadequacy, humiliation, etc. A wide variety of emotions lead to anger. Anger essentially makes it possible for us to defend ourselves. This is a very old instinct built into human beings. But we are sophisticated beings and we can have enough self awareness to see passed the anger and ask ourselves what truly is the problem. When you feel humiliated by your mother, explaining the situation to her is more effective than lashing out. If you explain that what she said or did humiliated you, she will feel badly and might try to act differently going forward. If you simply get angry, she will lose sight of what she did to trigger you and focus only on your over reaction.
One example of how anger is a secondary emotion could be that you ask a coworker to keep the noise down because you are doing something important and the distraction is slowing you down. The noise continues. You ultimately get angry but not before you feel disrespected by the disregard for your request. Your mind will associate the disrespect and distraction with a threat. While we are no longer cave people our instinctual brain takes every threat seriously. From this point forward you might take many of this coworker’s actions to be a sign of disrespect to you. This threat will always drive you to anger and you will find creative ways to defend yourself.
The key to a long-term solution to an anger problems is to understand the emotions that drive your anger. Feeling stress over an issue for long periods of time can cause even the smallest things to overwhelm us. Unresolved issues or traumatic experiences from our past can cause anger problems throughout a person’s life or even begin suddenly without warning. Professional counseling, an anger management class or a skilled coach is recommended for anyone that has problems with anger. Controlling anger for short periods of time will not resolve the issue.
Although short term anger management methods will not cure your problem they are very necessary to keeping peace especially while a person is still developing a strong understanding of anger and how to overcome it. You must establish safe limits of what you can handle and what you cannot. By inhaling deeply and quieting your mind, you can regain your sense of calm and prepare to deal with a situation. You can practice this method with regular meditation. If you must, get away from the situation for a moment. When you’re ready, express your feelings about the situation in a calm manner. Often times a calm expression of your feeling is all that’s needed to resolve an issue. Identify any people or situations that potentially make you angry, if possible avoid them. If it’s impossible to avoid them, then approach them with caution. Perhaps most importantly, your frame of mind is critical to anger management. If you perceive the world negatively or as a place of conflict, you are likely to encounter conflict in many areas of life. Take a positive perspective that makes it easier for you to have compassion for the people around you. It is harder to be angry at someone for whom you have respect and understanding. Visualize yourself as a person who is solid and grounded in their sense of happiness and calm though any trial or situation. Seek out things to aid you like positive music, comedy skits on YouTube.com, etc. If there are no outside sources to aid you, your imagination can work wonders.
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