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Anger management: Tips on how to control your temper

November 20, 2017 - Oluwaseun Olowoyeye

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Have you got so angry to the point that you hurt yourself? Anger is not bad in itself. It is only said to be bad when loss of lives, relationships and properties are involved. Anger is just an intense emotional response that involves a strong uncomfortable and hostile response to a perceived provocation, hurt or threat. It occurs when a person feels threatened or have their personal boundaries violated. Anger can greatly impact the body causing effects like elevated blood pressure, increased metabolism and increased sweat production. It triggers the release of flight and fright hormones which prepares the body for an attack or defence. Anger is easily displayed in facial expressions, words and actions. In as much as it is normal to get angry, it is wise to control your temper or manage your anger to prevent damage or loss. Here are some tips on anger management:

  1. Take a deep breath: You take a deep breath with your mouth sealed. This enables you to put a stop to the words spoken in anger. The words spoken during anger are most of the times destructive to others which can lead to loss of relationships. A deep breath helps to relax the body and relieve the impact of anger on the body by decreasing heart rate and release of fight hormone ‘adrenaline’. Psychologist Carlos Coto at Pick the Brain suggests the 4×4 breathing technique where you breathe in for four seconds, hold the breath for four seconds and exhale the breath slowly for four seconds. Repeat until you feel calm enough to react.
  1. Hit the brakes: It is good to stop whatsoever is causing the anger by walking away from trigger being it a person or situation till one is calm and settled. Remember that when you feel like a boiling kettle, it’s better to remove the heat from the heat source. This is to avoid further problems and prevent wrath which is the worse form of anger.
  2. Meditate on the situation: Ask yourself questions about what triggered the anger to help you assess the situation. Find out silent triggers that fuelled the anger indirectly before the outburst. Why do I feel so bad about this? Is it something I can handle or solve? Did you misunderstand the thing that’s fuelling your fire? Be sincere with yourself, reaffirm yourself with positive words and make silent declarations. This will help clear your head and calm your nerves.

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  3. Distraction therapy: This is a therapy that involves the use of memorable pleasant experiences, exercises, activities and events to distract the thoughts in your mind. It is quite effective for anger management. It is better to go with what interests you and makes your happy. These activities can include games, cycling, swimming, watching TV, music dancing etc.
  1. Turn your anger to productivity: Expand your energy during anger to positive use by cleaning messed up desks, arranging books and files, taking out the garbage. This trick can be especially effective when you have physical stuff that needs to be done, but you might be able to carry it over into clearing or cleaning your environments as well. You can also volunteer for the “grunt work” and burn off some of that pent-up anger. Whatever the task, you will discover that you have got lots of work done. In the process, you would have abated your anger.
  1. Express yourself: It’s good to express your feelings about what triggered you in a calm and positive way. It is a great way of handling anger instead of bottling up emotions which can erupt terribly if triggered again. You can make this easy by talking to a friend, uncle or trusted person about your feelings. This helps you to pour out every bottled emotion and avoid resentment or hatred towards the offender.

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  2. Deal with underlined issues: Tempers can start to rise if you are laden with stressful situations and issues than you can cope with. You can handle this by:
  • Prioritizing your unsettled tasks
  • Taking them one at a time
  • Ensure take time to have adequate rest and sleep
  • Set time for rest in-between tasks.
  1. Seek help: If you discover that your anger is going way beyond what you can handle anymore or cope with, it is better to seek professional help. There, the professional will place you on anger management programs. This will help you handle your anger and treat the root of your anger problems.

Anger management is important to maintain good relationships. Therefore, you should take proactice steps to control your temper.

Oluwaseun Olowoyeye

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