Some time ago I wrote a post on how to control anger and hate towards other people. As the name implies, it was about controlling anger that is specifically aimed at other people. It also had a little bit of a Buddhist touch to it, which was inspired by the book “8 Steps to Happiness: The Buddhist Way of Loving Kindness” – I highly recommend the book. In this post, however, I want to keep it more simple. I want to share with you ten simple anger management techniques that can help you deal with any kind of anger at any moment of the day!
1. Think twice before you say it
Being myself by nature a very emotional person, I used to lose it very fast. And although I managed to calm down just as quickly, it was difficult sometimes to deal with the aftermath of what the angry me would do and/or say.
One of the most effective weapons against this type of behavior is to think twice before you speak. And it doesn’t even have to be another person. Often, when we are in the state of frustration, we say things to ourselves that drive us even more angry, which is never a good thing.
So next time when you feel you are getting angry (I am sure you know by now when this happens), just stop. Hold on for a second, take a deep breath, don’t say anything and try not to think of anything. Be aware of the state you are in. After that, either remain quiet or change the way in which you would respond.
Regardless of what you do, it’s important not to run away from anger. The best approach is to recognize the cause of it, and when you do, that is when you understand that you don’t have to be angry. Remember, most anger is unnecessary and damaging to us. Thinking twice gives you that extra moment of realization and awareness.
2. Replace anger with exercise
The second anger management technique is about replacing anger with exercise. Sometimes, it just happens to be so that we cannot calm down – we are waaay to furious. The best thing you can do here is to go and do some exercise. Jogging and weight lifting are the perfect scenarios since both can really drain you. Not only exercise is known to make people happier, it also helps you get rid of all the toxins and accumulated waste in your body.
By the way, while beating up the pillow may feel exceptionally good, psychologists don’t recommend this approach to getting rid of anger. You may create an association between anger and punching, which can cause a more violent behavior in the future.
Recommended for reading: Exercise and Sports – Life’s First Aid
3. Positive affirmations
Another simple anger management technique is to repeat the words “I am relaxed” or “I am calm” in the moment of fury. When you repeat these words, not only you are telling yourself that you are relaxed, but you are also occupying your mind with something other than anger.
Make sure you repeat it calmly, slowly and with belief in what you are saying. You don’t want to be repetitively screaming in rage these words. 🙂
4. Avoid critical situations
The fourth anger management technique is all about avoiding situations that you know will cause a negative outcome.
Believe it or not, we often get into situations, knowing that they will anger us. For example, you know you shouldn’t talk about politics or religion to a person with a completely opposite view than yours, yet you still do it. Alternatively, you know that if you say to your sister that she has an ugly haircut, she will find something to tell you in return. Or maybe you really hate some program on the TV… Solution – don’t watch it.
Little things may not make you angry immediately, but the collection of them throughout the day may seriously hurt your mood.
5. Use humour
The fifth anger management technique is to use humor to destroy your anger. You don’t have to become one of those people that use humor in all awkward situations, but you can definitely use it when feeling irritated.
Create a few funny situations that you can think of whenever you get angry. For example, one popular technique to deal with stage fright is to imagine everyone in front of you naked. Maybe that’s something you could do when angry? Smiling makes being angry such an effort. 🙂
6. Keep a daily journal
The sixth anger management technique is something a little more complicated than the previous, but is also the most effective. Remember, putting more effort into something often means the best results.
You can use a daily journal not only to write down your thoughts, but also things you notice about yourself concerning your anger issues. For example, why did I get angry? What were the first symptoms of my anger? How long did it last? Was it some particular topic that caused it?
When you write things down on paper, you become more aware of them. With time, you will begin to notice a pattern to your anger, and that is when you will be able to improve. To defeat the enemy you must know the enemy. A journal is crucial here.
7. Ask your friends to help you
It’s important to seek help from your friends. They can help you recognize the moments when you are unnecessarily frustrated. Additionally, by making it public that you are trying to overcome this problem, you become more accountable for it, and therefore more motivation for change.
8. Focus on listening
The eighth anger management technique is about listening.
If your anger emerges during a conversation with someone, you are most likely going to try to prove your point. You are focused on the fact that you are right, and the other person is wrong. But remember, there are always two people and therefore two opinions to every problem.
Focus on listening. Hear first what the other person has to say. Don’t focus on putting everything out there, but rather let the other person speak. When you stay silent, you will be able to hear what the other person has to say. Maybe they have a point? And even if they don’t, your careful choice of words and a calm voice will be received a lot better, unlike when you are shouting.
9. Learn to relax
One reason why we get angry so often is because we are tense and tired. Make sure you have breaks throughout the day. Take a pause from whatever you do and learn to spend some time with yourself.
Also, make sure you get enough of sleep. Believe me, when you are fresh and relaxed, you have fewer reasons to be cranky.
10. Life and death
The last anger management technique is a lot about the philosophy of life and death.
In one of my older posts, I wrote about the importance of why we should be thinking about death from time to time. Thinking about it helps us realize that we are not eternal and so are not the people around us.
When we are aware of the fact that any day may be our last, we become less occupied with our ego and the need to feel angry. There are so many better things we could be doing with life.
Finally, is it often the case that we are angry at those that we love most. Understanding that we may lose them any day forces us to think twice before letting out all of our hate on them.
A simple, yet a very powerful technique to control your anger.
I hope now that you are more aware of how to keep your anger down. However, one last thing that I would like to add is that it is always a lot easier to control your anger at the moment of arousal, rather than when it has already come to the surface. For this reason, I always recommend everyone to meditate. Meditation is an essential piece to the puzzle of life, in all aspects, including the ability to remain calm in difficult situations.
Recommended for reading: Understanding Emotional Pain and How to Relieve Stress Effectively, Short and Long-Term
Feel free to share your thoughts on the subject with me in the comments below. I always appreciate your input.
Thank you for stopping by and good luck!