Besides getting our way, we may unconsciously use anger to blame others for our own shortcomings, to justify oppressing others, to boost our own egos, to conceal other feelings and to handle other emotions.
It's a primal human instinct to become aggressive when we’re afraid. Any potential trigger for anger that stems from frustrating situations can be amplified when we think someone else is to blame.
Anger is a dangerous emotion that can have a wide range of side effects. That's why knowing the signs and patterns is important in dealing with it before it becomes an inbuilt response that gets out of hand or rules your life.
Consist anger that is not dealt with can lead to violence, crime, spouse and child abuse, divorce, toxic relationships, health issues, and much more.
What seems like just an emotion can actually have wide reaching consequences, and not just for yourself. Dealing with your angry emotions is part of becoming emotionally mature, but, since anger can affect your physical and mental health, it’s also a crucial component of your overall health.
These 12 steps to dealing with your angry emotions will help you to learn to process anger in a healthy way and find other ways of releasing it, so that you can learn to become less volatile with your emotions and a happier, healthier person.
1. Monitor Cynical Thoughts
Monitor your cynical thoughts by maintaining a “hostility log.” This will teach you about the frequency and kinds of situations that provoke you. This log can be as simple as including a date and time, describing what made you angry, how you responded, and whether the anger was ultimately justified.
This will help you track your anger levels over time, form patterns, and reflect on situations that might not have justified your anger, so that you can learn not to react the next time a similar situation occurs.
2. Acknowledge Coping Mechanisms
Acknowledge the tools you use to in cope with anger. Some people resort to drugs, violence of alcohol.
Others use food or certain activities as a coping mechanism. Not all these mechanisms are necessarily bad, though it is good to recognise the patterns that trigger your behaviours, particularly when those behaviours do little to serve you and your cycles of negative emotions.
Realise too that when you turn to "things" rather than people in times of emotional crises, there is a tendency to alienate yourself from friends and family. Acknowledging these issues will help you get a step closer to overcoming your anger.
Learn more in Stress Management Without Harmful Addictions.
3. Seek Support
Seek the support of important people in your life in coping with your feelings and in changing your behaviour patterns. Simply talking about what’s making you angry can go a long way towards calming you down. It can also help to enlist a friend or loved one to point out when you’re becoming unjustifiably angry, to help you recognise your behaviour.
4. Use Techniques to Interrupt Anger Cycle
By consciously identifying the triggers that make you angry, you can begin to work on ways to avoid those triggers.
The only definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again - or reacting the same way to the same old things - and expecting a different result.
By doing this, you’ll soon be able to realise the root causes of your aggressive thoughts. This way, when you find yourself in these situations you can use techniques like deep breathing, positive self-talk, or thought stopping. These techniques can actually help you interrupt the anger cycle, so that your anger doesn’t have a chance to spiral out of control and you’re able to calm yourself down.
Learn more in 5 Ways to Heal With the Power of the Mind.
5. Strive for Empathy
Whenever you feel anger towards something or some one, try to put yourself in the other person’s shoes. People don't usually intentionally do things to make you angry.
Often if something does, it's more likely a function of their own circumstances or insecurities. This will help you gain a different perspective. Keep in mind that we are all humans, and subject to making mistakes. Recognising this in the moment that you’re angry can make a huge difference in your anger levels.
6. Look for the Humour
Learn how to laugh at yourself and see humour in difficult times. Often in difficult or challenging circumstances, you can completely shift your state by just laughing about the situation. It's about not taking life too seriously and always looking on the bright side, finding humour in every moment that tests you. This is a great way to reduce tension and calm yourself effectively. Laughter truly is the best medicine!
7. Learn to Relax
Learn how to relax and breathe. If you're used to carrying tension in your body, it's probably not something that you do consciously with intention.
Although you may have heard that expressing anger is better than keeping it in, remember that frequent outbursts of anger are often counterproductive and may alienate others.
Relaxation techniques like meditation, detox baths, concentrated diaphragmatic breathing, brisk walking and more, can instantly calm you and help the anger dissipate.
Try the doTERRA line of essential oils for powerful scents that can help with a wide range of symptoms and feelings. The Forgive Essential Oil Blend is especially effective at counteracting anger and promoting feelings of peace and contentment.
Learn more in 6 Effective Types of Meditation & How to Practise Them.
8. Trust Others
A lack of trust in others can evoke emotional tension and anger - particularly if you're always looking for what's "wrong" in others rather than what's "right".
One of the best skills you can develop is to trust in others who you put your faith in - friends, family, team mates, work and business colleagues.
Trust is a natural leadership attribute that manifests itself the more that you do it. The more people can feel your trust in them, the more they are likely to do the right thing by you and give you the outcomes you want.
Always remember, that it’s easier to be angry than to trust. Trusting someone is a positive emotion, but definitely not an easy one. It's a learned skill that you need consciously work on until it becomes subconscious, but it's worth it and can give you significant emotional freedom.
9. Work on Listening Skills
Good listening skills improve communication and can facilitate trusting feelings between people. This trust can help you deal with potentially hostile emotions, reducing and possibly eliminating them.
To improve your listening skills, small tweaks can help: maintain eye contact, focus on remembering the conversation as though you had to summarise for someone else later, put down your phone, try not to interrupt or ask questions until they’re done speaking, and keep in mind that listening to someone is ultimately beneficial for you, not just them.
Learn more in How to Heal Toxic Relationships Before They Break.
10. Be Assertive
Learn how to assert yourself. This is a constructive alternative to aggression. When you find yourself angry at another person, try to explain to them what is bothering you about their behaviour and why. It takes more words and work to be assertive than it does to let your anger show, but the rewards are worth it and it’s crucial for dealing with your angry emotions.
11. Put it Into Perspective
If you live each day as if it were your last, you will realise that life is too short to get angry over everything. This is a helpful, calming thought to remember when your anger feels like it’s getting the best of you. Putting the situation into the bigger picture can immediately reduce its hold over you.
12. Practice Forgiveness
Start forgiving those who have angered you. By letting go of the resentment and relinquishing the goal of retribution, you’ll find the weight of anger lifted from your shoulders. Learning to forgive is easier said than done, but it can be incredible how much freer you feel when you simply let go of a transgression.
Learn more in Why Emotional Health Matters.
These 12 steps to dealing with your angry emotions can be life-changing for those who struggle with anger. Becoming less angry isn’t a simple or clear-cut process, so having steps in place that help walk you through learning to deal with anger can be hugely beneficial.
If you’re feeling emotionally bogged down, try a juice fast or cleanse. This can be a great way to reset, refocus, and load up your body with health-boosting minerals, vitamins and antioxidants. This 7-day plan (use RAW juice powders if you’re short on time or don’t have a juicer!) is a great way to detox completely, including your negative emotions.
Whether your anger is directed inward or outward, it’s not healthy and it could be causing you undue emotional and physical stress that can affect your overall quality of life.
Tolman Self Care.