Anger is a normal yet powerful emotion. We all face situations that make us so angry that we can’t help venting it either verbally or physically. What’s awful is after acting on our anger, we usually instantaneously regret doing so. We often wish we could control ourselves but feel so helpless about it. Although we already know that letting anger take over our minds is wrong, it just seems impossible to let it go and change.
If not handled appropriately, anger can have destructive effects, not just to you but also to the people around you. While unchecked anger can result in arguments, physical fights, physical abuse, assault, and self-harm, controlled anger can be a useful motivating force for you to make a positive change.
When you get angry, your body’s “fight or flight” response is activated, flooding your adrenal glands with stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol. Your brain becomes alert and diverts the flow of your blood away from the gut and towards the muscles to prepare for any physical exertion that might ensue. This reaction, in turn, increases your heart rate, blood pressure, and respiration. This constant flood of stress chemicals and the metabolic changes that happen due to unmanaged anger can bring you harm, physically and mentally. Some health problems linked to unmanaged anger include headache, digestion problems, insomnia, increased anxiety, depression, high blood pressure, skin problems, heart attack, and stroke.
Unchecked and uncontrolled anger may indicate underlying problems, such as anger management issues or mental disorder. It is important to learn how to control your emotions and keep calm in challenging situations for your own good as well as for the benefit of the people around you.
But how do you do it? How can you stop being an angry person? Here are 20 easy ways to help you stop being an angry person.
- 1. Accept anger as a normal emotion
- 2. Feel the anger
- 3. Breathe deeply
- 4. Look into the cause of your anger
- 5. Accept that the world will not work like you want it to
- 6. Forget and forgive
- 7. Keep your distance
- 8. Think before you act
- 9. Find a way out
- 10. Do not let your anger mask other emotions
- 11. Express your anger when you are calm
- 12. Engage in some physical exercise
- 13. Meditate
- 14. Take some time off
- 15. Practice the visualization technique
- 16. Present the cause in an unoffending way
- 17. Find reasons to laugh
- 18. Let your body and mind relax
- 19. Do not hesitate to seek help
- 20. Practice positive self-talk
1. Accept anger as a normal emotion
It is not always bad to be angry. Sometimes, it can motivate you and bring out the best in you by wanting to improve or make a change. This intense emotion can also make you fight and protect yourself. Remember that anger is one of the emotions that everybody feels.
2. Feel the anger
Do not be afraid to express your feelings, even if it is anger. If something makes you angry, you do not have to suppress it all the time. Allow yourself to be angry but do not let it take over your mind and act on it. Just feel it and sit with your anger.
3. Breathe deeply
Anger causes some changes in your body. For instance, you might feel that your neck is tense or your legs are twitching. Do not ignore them. Focus on that sensation, relax, and breathe deeply to clear out the blockages that are making you feel sick and stuck.
4. Look into the cause of your anger
How was your mood before you got angry? Were you already a little agitated or did someone’s actions make you angry? Try to understand the cause of your anger. It will help you to cope up with the situation.
5. Accept that the world will not work like you want it to
If how people behave or act makes you angry, just let it go. If their actions do not directly involve you, just ignore them and don’t bother yourself with their shortcomings. Everyone has their own perception on how to live their lives. What is wrong for you might be right for them.
6. Forget and forgive
Forgiving benefits not just the forgiven but the forgiver as well. Stop thinking about what someone did to you or to someone else. Ruminating it will only make the transgression feel fresh every time. Do not hold a grudge. You do not have to trust them completely, but forget and forgive. Free your mind, and you will be free of anger.
7. Keep your distance
If you come across something that ignites anger in you, whether a person or a situation, try creating a safe distance from it. Save yourself from anger by ignoring or avoiding the people and situations that make you angry. You don’t have to face and deal with them all the time.
8. Think before you act
When you find yourself very angry, do not act on the situation immediately. Take a deep breath, clear your mind, and reframe the situation. Think of all the possible consequences of your actions. Because if you let yourself get carried away, you might say or do something that you will only regret later on.
9. Find a way out
When you know the cause of your anger, instead of putting all your energy in letting it out, you should try to find a way out. If it is someone who is making you angry, try to figure out what you can do to stop that person from making you angry.
10. Do not let your anger mask other emotions
Sometimes, anger is just a front to a primary emotion, such as hurt, sadness, grief, depression, or fear. This is a coping mechanism that you may be doing consciously or unconsciously because it is easier to deal with anger than any other emotions. Allow yourself to feel a wide range of emotions, and do not let your anger mask them.
11. Express your anger when you are calm
Whatever it is that made you angry, only talk to someone about it or the person whom you are agitated at when you are already calm. Collect yourself and tell them how it affects you in a respectful but assertive way, without hurting or trying to control them. You can even write about it as writing is a therapeutic way of releasing anger.
12. Engage in some physical exercise
Exercise can reduce your stress level and calm your mind. Go out for a walk and get some fresh air, or engage in a physical activity that interests you. Spend your aggressive energy in exercising.
You cannot control what others do, but you can certainly control what you let yourself do. Meditation can help relax your mind and control your actions. Whenever you feel stressed, just close your eyes and meditate. You do not even have to be at a particular place to meditate. With practice, you can be alone with your thoughts even on your work desk.
14. Take some time off
If you are having a stressful day, just take a break and treat yourself with something you like to eat. You may also just stop what you are doing, sit and relax, and prepare yourself to face whatever challenges the day will bring you. If your work has been consuming your life lately, ask your boss for some time off. Spending a couple of stress-free days is good for your physical, mental, and emotional health.
15. Practice the visualization technique
When things get overwhelming, visualize a place, thing, or person that makes you happy. Think of a happy memory from your childhood and visualize it to calm your mind and breathe through the stress and anger.
16. Present the cause in an unoffending way
If you decide to talk or share the root of your anger, it is important to present it without criticizing or blaming anybody. Your anger is your problem. If you are trying to make someone understand how their actions can help you manage your anger, you need to be specific but respectful. They will be more than willing to be of help to you.
17. Find reasons to laugh
Humor can lighten up your mood and diffuse stress. Watch a comedy movie or talk to someone with a good sense of humor. This will also help you forget what was making you angry. Avoid sarcasm and criticism at all cost; these will only worsen an already awful situation.
18. Let your body and mind relax
A stressed body can raise the level of mental stress and also make you irritable. Have a restful sleep, listen to some soothing music, or read your favorite book. Do anything that relaxes you and calms you down.
19. Do not hesitate to seek help
Managing or controlling your anger is a challenge and can be hard at times. Seek help if you find that your anger is getting out of control or making you do things that you end up regretting, such as hurting other people.
20. Practice positive self-talk
Your anger can sometimes be rooted in your negative perspective. Change the way you think; train yourself to be positive. Always look for the good in every situation. This can help you find a solution and curb your anger.