We all can have a temper at times but some people go from temper to tantrum in a heartbeat. They get into an argument and lose all sense of reason because they’re so angry. Tempers flare and before you know it, you’ve blurted out something horrible that you can’t take back. This is how relationships can disintegrate over time. Do you want to get that temper of yours under control? Read on.
Can You Count to Ten First?
Have you ever heard the old saying to count to 10 before you respond to something? That really rings true with anger management. Before you say something you may regret, stop and slowly count to 10. Imagine a big stop sign as a visual aid if you have to. This might sound simple but it usually works. If you speak impulsively, you’re likely to blurt out the most hurtful thing you can say and there is no taking it back. This will only escalate the situation rather than diffuse it.
Can You Wait a Little Longer?
Depending on the situation, you might be able to take a longer break before you respond. If that’s the case, take a timeout for a few minutes, or even a few hours, before going back and addressing the issue in a calmer state of mind. Try walking around the block or stretching your muscles. The longer you can wait the better; you’ll be calmer and have had a chance to think about your response.
Have You Tried Rehearsing Your Response?
This is an extension of the last point where you take time to calm down and think about what you want to say. If you can, write it down and wait a bit before you reread it so you can get a more objective perspective on what you are really feeling and what you want to say without stoking the fire. When you’re angry it’s hard to get anything done, and that goes for the other person as well.
Can You Make It All About You?
If you’re trying to plan out your response to an argument or allegation, it’s helpful to frame it in the context of your experience. Instead of using accusatory words like “you,” try to express your feelings using “I” statements. This makes the other person less defensive and avoids making your argument all about how it’s their fault. You’re not directly blaming them for the conflict, but simply telling how their harsh words or actions made you feel.
What About Getting Physical?
No, we aren’t talking about getting into a fist fight. We’re talking about controlling the physiological responses you have to anger and conflict. First, practice slowing down your breathing to help calm down quicker. Concentrate for a few moments on your breath and slow it down to the normal rate to help bring your emotions under control.
Next, be aware of how certain muscles may tighten up and release them. Focus particularly on the jaw and shoulders. Both can hold a lot of tension and letting go of the tightness in them prompts an emotional response to calm down. Sometimes tightening them first helps you release the tension. For instance, squeeze your eyes shut and when you reopen them, your facial muscles will relax. Try to increase your awareness of physiological reactions to anger in your body and consciously relax them. Where the body goes, the mind follows.
Can Exercise Blow off Some Steam?
If you really want to relax your muscles, give them a good workout. It should be no surprise that exercising helps you blow off steam and release tension. Get out all that pent-up frustration and anger with an activity like boxing or weight training. Put that anger to good use not only for a healthier body, but for less stress and a healthier mind. Help yourself, don’t hurt yourself.
Massage therapy can also be helpful to release some extra tension and relax your muscles so you don’t feel quite as stressed or angry.
Can You Forgive and Forget?
If you are one of those people who love to hold grudges and are obsessed with getting revenge, stop and think who you’re hurting more–them or you? Those toxic thoughts are killing you slowly but surely. Meanwhile, the people you’re angry at probably have no idea what’s wrong or simply don’t care. Forgiveness can be one of the most freeing emotions you’ll ever experience. Sometimes it’s better to forgive the offense and forget the anger.
Can You Find the Humor in the Situation?
Nothing diffuses a situation like everyone having a good laugh. Sometimes things get so tense that we just have to laugh about our relationships or situations to help put things into perspective. If you can laugh with someone about a difficult problem, you can likely work with them to find a solution.
Everyone experiences anger but how you handle your emotional flare-ups makes all the difference in the world. There are techniques you can practice to get anger under control. That’s not saying you’ll never get angry–or that you shouldn’t ever be angry–but you’ll be able to handle it better. You can become better at conflict management and learn to better control your anger and your reactions. There is a connection between what happens in your body and what happens in your mind. When you control the physiological symptoms of anger, you calm down the emotional ones as well. Think about your verbal responses and keep the conflict resolution about expressing your feelings without making accusations that escalate the conflict and make the other party defensive. At Everlast Recovery Centers, not only do we help heal your body, but we help heal the mind for those suffering from behavioral problems. Call (800) 338-6925 today.