At one time, everyone has felt anger. Feeling angry when things go wrong is natural - acting out in a negative and hurtful way to that anger is not. Learning to control your anger is not always easy - but it can and should be done.
Anger is an emotional state and can vary in intensity from a feeling of mild irritation to intense and uncontrollable rage. Just as other emotions can cause both physiological and biological changes, anger can also cause these types of changes. Anger can cause your blood pressure and heart rate to go up, and the levels of your energy hormones (adrenaline and noradrenaline) to go up. Over time, anger that is not controlled can lead to health problems such as high blood pressure and heart disease.
There are many things that can trigger anger - from small, every day occurrences such as being stuck in traffic to larger betrayals by a loved one. Feeling anger is a very natural occurrence. As a matter of fact, anger is one of the body's instinctive survival tools. In dangerous situations, anger helps us to be aggressive enough to fight and defend ourselves. When anger is used as a survival tool - that is perfectly natural. The danger occurs when your anger is so out of control that you have outbursts, rages, and even resort to bullying that has a negative effect on your relationships with family, friends, co-workers or strangers.
Once your anger has reached that point, it is time for you to take measures to help you learn how to control it - not only for your health and safety, but also for the safety of those around you. Here are a few free anger management techniques to get you started:
Count to 10 - If you ever wondered why your mother stopped in mid-sentence and started counting to 10 when you were in trouble, now you know. This is sort of like a "time-out" for grown-ups and is a great way to effectively remove yourself from the situation that has caused the anger and allow you to regroup.
Physical Activity - This is a very effective outlet for your anger. If you feel that you are about to explode, physical exertion can help you to get rid of enough anger so that you can face the situation in a calm manner. Activities such as cleaning house, running, swimming, and shooting baskets can help to defuse the anger before you explode.
Take a deep breath - Rather than breathing from your chest, take a deep breath the fills your diaphragm and slowly release it. This is one of the most relaxing exercises there is. While you are breathing deeply, think relaxing thoughts, even if the thought is imagining your breath as it feels your body and slowly seeps back out.
Soothe yourself - Find an activity that has a calming and soothing effect on you - any activity that you find relaxing. It could be listening to music, painting, yoga, writing, a soothing bath - whatever activity offers you the most relaxation.
Once you have defused the worst of your anger, it is okay to confront the person that caused the anger. If you are calm, you should be able to resolve the issue in a constructive manner. It is just as important not to hold in your anger, as it is to learn how to control your anger. The first thing, though, is to calm yourself enough to approach the problem in a rational manner - this will usually result in you being able to find a solution for the problem rather than making the problem worse.