Dealing with anger isn’t a walk in the park for people, no matter how mentally tough they are.
Many people react to the slightest provocation impulsively. They get heated up at the slightest sign of unfairness or bare my fangs at rudeness. Therefore, being able to control one’s emotions is a sign of maturity. It’s a hallmark of mental resilience. So, how does a mentally resilient person go about dealing with anger?
Dealing with Anger: Why mentally tough people won’t get angry
Many of us feel justified in our anger. We feel shortchanged when people ignore us or are rude to us. Wouldn’t the world be a better place if we could run it according to our rules?
The truth is, the world doesn’t run according to any one person’s standards. It’s a chaotic mixture of individuals with different behaviors and values. Your sister may find a norm acceptable, but you may feel otherwise.
Mentally tough people understand that it’s hard to change the mindsets of others, especially if they are stubborn. People will continue to sing their tunes, in the way they want. Those who are rational know that becoming angry is pointless because it doesn’t deliver results. They know that they have the right to feel angry when someone nettles then, but blowing up doesn’t make him see reason. In fact, it makes him veer further away from it.
Dealing with Anger: The effects of anger
Pointlessness aside, chronic and repressed anger has the host of adverse health effects.
Everyone’s prone to outbursts. A mentally tough person knows that these episodes can leave them feeling drained.
- First of all, it puts us at risk of a heart attack. According to a study, repressed anger has close associations with heart disease.
- Anger also increases the possibility of strokes. A study found that a person has a higher chance of getting a stroke because of a blood clot in the brain when he or she has an outburst.
- Furthermore, it means the immune system. Researchers from Harvard University discovered that the levels of the antibody immunoglobulin A dropped when a person had an angry episode.
- Anger may worsen anxiety and depression. A 2012 study in the journal Cognitive Behavioral Therapy found that it increases instances of Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD).
- Moreover, angry feelings may destroy your lungs. Harvard University students researched 670 men over eight years and measured changes in the lung functions. Men who are more violent or hostile had more respiratory problems than those who weren’t always angry.
- Finally, it makes your life shorter than it should be. A study by the University of Michigan shows that couples who repressed their anger had shorter life spans than those who didn’t.
Dealing with Anger the Way Mentally Strong People Do
Anger isn’t an unhealthy emotion. When managed well, it regulates a person’s sense of right and wrong. But you can imagine that unrestrained anger can cause chaos. Mentally tough people understand this. So, how do they go about dealing with anger? How can you do the same?
1. The mentally tough recognize the signs
First of all, they understand their anger styles. People show their anger in different ways. Rational people manage it once they know what theirs is.
a. Being explosive
Tense people say things like ‘If you don’t lift up the toilet seat again, I’m leaving you!’ It takes a lot to push them over the edge, but people run for cover when it happens.
Individuals with such anger try to avoid conflict. As a result, they keep their feelings bottled up. If this happens for too long, a small irritation will cause an emotional tsunami. Explosive people may say things that they regret in the heat of the moment.
The mentally resilient wait it out. Anger management specialist Ronald Potter-Efron shows that a typical anger response only lasts for two seconds. Beyond that, the feeling disappears. So, waiting till it goes away keeps it in check.
They also rephrase their emotions. Saying ‘I’m upset with you,’ is better than swearing.
Some people had the habit of blaming themselves for difficult situations when they are angry. An upset wife might say, ‘It’s my fault that my husband doesn’t want to help around the house. I’ve spoiled him too much.’ Self-abusive people find ways to make everything their fault. Turning angry feelings inward can cause depression.
Rational people don’t hold themselves accountable if they’re not to blame. Do you have this type of anger? You might want to ask yourself if you are responsible for adverse situations. If you’re a mentally tough but upset wife, you ought to sit down and have a chat with your husband about helping out more at home.
Then, some people try to avoid any show of irritation. They may feel a gross sense of Injustice but refrain from saying anything to keep the peace. Avoidance can result in unhealthy behaviors like compulsive shopping, or overeating.
This type of anger does more damage to relationships than any other. A mentally tough person knows that addressing an issue brings things out into the open. Not doing so can cause resentment to fester under the surface and eventually destroy relationships.
Also, on this list is sarcasm. Sarcasm comes from the Greek word ‘Sarka Zien,’ which means ‘to Bare flesh.’ Sarcastic people often say things like ‘It’s okay that you forgot the jam, I’ll only have to go without breakfast today.’ This type of anger damages relationships.
Sarcasm is a passive-aggressive form of communication. If something bothers a rational person about the way people are behaving, he or she gives it to them straight. They express themselves before they reach their breaking points.
e. Habitual Irritation
Do you snap at others over trivial matters? You’re not quite sure why you do this. You aren’t usually unreasonable.
Habitual irritation happens because of lingering resentment. Perhaps your colleague got the promotion you feel you deserve. You know that you shouldn’t feel irritated, but you can’t help yourself.
People might try to avoid upsetting you if something irritates you. But the effort may take its toll, and they may avoid you altogether. You’ll see no progress and become stuck in a vicious cycle.
Mentally tough people get to the source of their irritations. They think about how these frustrations make them react. The mentally tough find new ways to manage anger as they develop self-awareness.
2. The mentally tough break it down
Also, you may find it difficult to decide why you are angry. Perhaps you feel overwhelmed. The mentally resilient break problems down.
Do you always feel stressed when your yearly review approaches? Write down all the things that drain you. You may find more ways to deal with them than you think.
3. The mentally tough find the physical trigger
Another way to control anger is to find its physical trigger. Do you always get angry when you look at a particular picture? A mentally strong person would remove it. They may also clench their fists to eliminates it sit frustration.
4. The tough share
Sharing feelings with someone you trust is cathartic, and not weak. Sharing is another way to go about dealing with anger. But make sure that the person can offer supportive advice.
5. The tough watch
Finally, you can’t get rid of anger at once. Rage may show itself in the form of depression, annoyance or lack of sleep. The mentally resilient watch out for such warning signs because they may indicate a knotty problem.
Dealing with anger like a mentally tough person takes practice and patience. But you can learn to use the above-described strategies.