Everyone gets angry. When your mood gets out of control, you will need coping skills to deal with anger and regain peace.
Anger can be a searing hate underneath the surface, or it can be a blasting volcano. Anger can also be an irritation tapping at the base of your skull. Either way, anger can be intense. Anger isn’t wrong, by no means.
What’s wrong is when you lose control of your temper and cause other problems. This does happen more than we like to admit. That’s why certain coping skills are such great tactics for fighting this anger and loss of control.
Finding ways to remain calm
When you’ve lost your temper and thus, lost control of your thoughts and actions, you can possibly do great harm. Anger, while normal, becomes abnormal when we can’t seem to regain composure after an altercation or disagreement.
When this happens, we desperately need coping skills for anger in order to calm our emotions. There are a few ways we can do this.
1. Take deep breaths
If you can think straight when angry, try taking deep breaths. Inhale as far as you can, just as you would when utilizing yoga breathing exercises.
When I took yoga classes, I was instructed to take a deep breath and pull it in as far as I could, almost as if my spine was reeling in my belly button on the other side. Then when you’ve reached your inhalation limit, then let all the air go in the same manner. This allows you to regain calmness when angry.
Yes, this really does work. The reason why counting works when you’re angry is that it takes concentration away from what you’re angry about and projects it toward counting in the right order.
You can count to 10 or 20 and then count backward as well. When you’ve done this a while, you may even have a clearer mind about the given situation.
3. Get active
Exercise has an amazing way of improving health, both physically and mentally. So, it just makes sense that physical activity can alter your thought patterns.
When angry, take a walk and get your head together. As you walk for a little while, you can focus your energies on making a logical and sound reaction to the problem, not a harsh and quick reaction that you might regret later.
4. Recognize and avoid triggers
Although you cannot avoid everything, you can avoid some of the triggers which make you lose your temper.
For instance, if a certain person seems to bring out the angry side of you more often than not, it could be time to stay away from them. If shopping at certain times of the day overwhelms you and makes you angry, then shop at a time when there are fewer people around.
Just adjust things accordingly to reduce the instances of angry outbursts.
5. Recognize your changes in emotion
Just like it’s smart to recognize the things that make you angry, it’s also smart to recognize when you’re getting irritated long before you’ve lost your temper.
If you can see the warning signs, you can remove yourself from the situation until you’ve had a chance to think things through. You can also learn techniques to use even if you cannot leave the situation, such as the techniques above, like counting.
Many people also have developed unhealthy habits to help them cope, but I will not advocate those. Finding healthy habits, like counting, produces no side effects when used.
6. Utilize humor
Sometimes one of the best coping skills for anger is laughter. Maybe you can tell a joke in the heat of the moment which will lower your body temperature and make things more comfortable for everyone. Maybe you can tell a joke which somehow relays an important message to the one who is making you angry.
If a problem can be made less serious, it can sometimes produce understanding. If no, at least you’ve made yourself laugh and laughing produces chemicals to alleviate anger.
7. Try writing
Sometimes writing down your emotions can assuage your anger. Keep a journal for this purpose or maybe even a blog. Not only does it help you transfer concentration to something beneficial, but it can also distract you from angry thoughts simultaneously.
Know when to seek help
The above coping skills work well in most circumstances when you are affected by anger. However, there comes a time when support is the only way to curb angry emotions. When your anger starts to cause pain for others or damage relationships, it’s time to get help. Seeking professional help may also be the key.
How do you handle your angry emotions? If you feel out of control, don’t hesitate to share how you feel with a friend or loved one. You might be surprised by the suggestions they offer for help.
In the meantime, don’t condemn yourself for your shortcomings. After all, anger isn’t wrong. It’s just how you react when angry. Always remember this.
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