Coping with anger is an issue for many of us. I’m sure you know what anger feels like, and have felt it bubbling inside you…
Anger itself is not bad; it is part of your emotional armour from back in our past “fight or flight” stage. Like stress, anger gives you the motivation to get up and do something.
But anger, if not dealt with, can grow into a destructive force. It can become both verbally and physically harmful to yourself and others. To cope with your anger you need to accept the cause.
What makes you angry? – Is it being ignored? Shouted at? Treated poorly in comparison to others? Mistakes you’ve made? Mistakes others made? Feeling humiliated? Criticism? Others being angry with you?
Who are you most commonly angry with? – Your partner? Your children? Family? Friends? Work colleagues? Strangers?
How do you express your anger? – Do you ignore it until you “blow up”? Blame others? Violent thoughts?
Who are you comfortable with expressing your anger? – Your partner? A close neighbour or friend? A parent? No-one?
How to cope with anger? To cope with anger, you have to accept responsibility for your anger. Instead of thinking “you/they made me angry” say to yourself “I am angry”.
It is not other people who make you angry – it is you who responds to them in a “negative” away. Take the attitude that it is YOUR responsibility to how to react. No one can MAKE you angry.
How do you go about calming yourself down? Here’s some methods…
Breathing exercises – When you are angry your breathing often becomes short and shallow. When this happens take note and start taking deep breaths. Picture the oxygen flowing around your body, refreshing your mind and improving your circulation. For specific breathing exercises please visit this article.
A calm word or phrase – Pick a word or phrase such as “cool down”, “relax” or “take it easy” and repeat it to yourself while taking long, deep breaths.
Light Exercise – If possible join a local yoga or tai chi class/course. You will learn how to relax your muscles and release any “negative” energy.
Imagery – Imagine yourself in a “happy place”. This can be somewhere you’ve been in the past, somewhere you would like to go or somewhere you’ve made up. It should be a place where you can relax and unwind without a care in the world.
Hypnotherapy – Hypnotherapy is fantastic for helping you de-stress and relax.