Your boss says something that really gets under your skin. The kids were arguing in the car this morning. Traffic made you late for an important meeting, then the guy cut you off at the exit.
All of it is just too much. You want to yell and rail. Let the world know how really ticked off you are feeling.
Whether you want to react, yell, let the world know how mad you are, you know it's the wrong way to react. But the truth is, it can be hard to control anger when it takes over in your head.
Consider these 9 simple anger management strategies to help you when you feel like your anger is taking over.
1. Count to Ten
If you feel the rage coming on, instead of letting it fly, try counting in your head slowly to ten. Be deliberate and slow, one, two, three...until you reach ten.
This strategy for how to manage anger forces you to slow down in the situation before reacting. It allows your rational brain to get up with your reacting brain.
If you reach ten and still don't feel that calm. Count again.
2. Get Some Exercise
Exercise can be used in a few ways to help with anger.
Regular exercise releases endorphins into your body. This helps to manage day to day stress that can be a trigger for anger.
If you are already feeling the anger, exercise can help to calm you back down. Maybe you can't stop what you are doing at work and go for a run. You can get up and take a five-minute walk to help you manage the anger you are feeling in that situation.
3. Give Yourself a Time Out
Time outs are not just for toddlers. But for the same reason, you might give a toddler a time out, you can give yourself one too.
One way to learn how to manage anger is to recognize what triggers it. If you feel an anger trigger coming on, take a time out.
Or if you know you are about to face a situation that brings on anger, give yourself a preemptive time out. This allows you to get your emotions ready to face the situation.
4. Respond with "I" Statements
One important anger management technique is to recognize the anger is yours. Avoid placing the blame. Use I statements to articulate how you feel.
Instead of you are such a slob. You never pick up or put your stuff away. Try this instead. I feel frustrated that the house looks messy because things don't get put away.
This addresses your feelings. Then you can work towards solving the problem that creates those feelings of frustration and anger.
5. Take Some Deep Breaths
This is another "in the heat of the moment" technique that can help you settle down before reacting in anger.
When you feel the anger coming on, consciously take some deep breaths. Try to take the breath from deep in your abdomen so the breath goes through your body. Make the breaths be deep and long to allow you time to settle back down.
Once the deep breathing helps you to settle down, you'll be in better control to handle what has made you feel the anger.
6. Think Before Reacting
It sure sounds simple enough. Think before you react. But if you have felt real anger, you know it can be downright tricky.
One strategy for how to control anger is to recognize what type of anger you are feeling and what is causing the anger. Once you recognize your anger, you'll be better equipped to handle it.
If you force yourself to stop, think and recognize what is causing the anger. Then your methods for handling it will be more effective.
7. What? Use Humor
It sounds counterintuitive to laugh when you feel anger. One way of controlling anger is to fill your life with more humor.
Life can be stressful, annoying, frustrating. That is real life. But use humor and laughter as a way to distract yourself from those stressors.
You know the idiom, laughter is the best medicine. It might be true and way to distract yourself from the triggers you have for anger.
8. Connect with Your Senses
It is true that anger can sometimes feel like it is taking over your body and mind. Instead, use your senses to help control and alleviate the feelings of anger.
Your five senses, sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell, offer powerful opportunities for you to soothe yourself.
Listen to some music, notice the birds chirping. Look at photos associated with happiness. Sit in a comfortable and smell the aroma of your favorite coffee.
Being in touch with your senses gives you a plethora of ways to manage the sometimes overwhelming feelings anger can bring on.
9. Slow Yourself Down
Don't immediately react. Don't pound out that reply email. Don't hit send. Don't yell at the top of your lungs.
Slow yourself down so your reaction is proportional and appropriate. Of course, you want to deal with anger. It needs to be done with focus and calm, not rage and reaction.
Use the "slow yourself down" method to make sure you have a response to your anger that gets you results, instead of fuels the fire.
Anger Management Ideas That Work for You
Are you ready to finally get your anger under control? Have you had enough of overreacting? Do you feel embarrassed after the fact when you respond the wrong way to your anger?
Use one (or more) of these techniques to help you with your anger management. Some of these strategies are "in the moment" ideas to help. Others will help you to curb the feelings of anger from coming on.
For more help in managing your anger, or to get help, contact us today.