Let’s start by a simple tip how to control anger: Watch Anger Management, the show with Charlee Sheen. Just kidding. But seriously, if you want to control your temper, you must think of situations in a more humorous way. Charlee might be a crappy psychiatrist, seeing as his patients were stuck in therapy for more than three years, but he is a good actor who can get you laughing. Now, onto more serious tips for how to control anger, let’s take a look at some of the methods and techniques to get your temper down.
Think, and then think again
Most of the problems occur when you speak and go nuclear in the heat of the moment. Sadly, most of the relationships, be it love, family, friends or colleagues end because you and other people are speaking in the heat of the moment. When faced with an angry situation, take a few deep breaths to think through the situation. Is it worth it go start raving now, or should you wait until tomorrow or another day?
When to express anger?
Now, the second step for how to control anger is to speak when you are calm. I assume you’ve read the first tip, and you’ve thought things up in your head. Once you are calm, it is time to express your anger, but do it in a non-confrontational way. The trick is to state your concerns in clear and direct way, all while making sure you are not hurting the feelings of your counterpart.
Do not try to control your opponent
Sometimes, during the heat of the moment, instead of stating arguments, people are trying to control their opponent. Everyone does it, I’ve done it a few times myself. Sadly, trying to control others is one of the crucial mistakes in anger management. In 99.9% of the situations, it will backfire and continue the vicious cycle of arguing.
I can safely say that there is no better way how to control anger than doing some exercise during the week. Strive for at least two days of working out during the week. Anger is essentially negative energy, all of which you can channel and point to another direction. Exercising is a form of channeling your negative energy and releasing it in a safe environment. Not to mention that working out works two ways, you are also feeling better about yourself and filled with positive energy. Yoga is the best technique for calming down, but any exercise will work. I’ve had huge success with kick boxing. Punching a bag really does help with your frustrations.
I don’t know how many times I need to mention, but getting seven hours of sleep is crucial for so many health and behavior problems. When you haven’t gotten your 7 or 8 hours of sleep, it is only natural for you to feel irritated and cranky. Getting sleep improves your mood, so make sure to get your daily hours. If you have sleep problems, it might be time to consult with a physician. Or you can try some valerian supplements.
Another mechanism to cope with anger is to get creative. And while getting creative is a wide term, let me narrow it down for you: painting, drawing, writing, dancing, creating music, all those activities help.
Identify your emotions
Let me say it plain and simple, anger is not your primary emotion. I know from experience that anger is usually masked under some other emotion. Most of the times, that primary emotion is fear, hurt, depression, sadness. To put it simply, anger is your defense mechanism to deal with emotions. It is much easier to go raving about something than dealing with your emotions. Once you identify the primary source of emotions, you can easily control your anger. Make it a point to stop using anger as defense mechanism.
Now, if you’ve watched at least one episode of Anger management, you’ll notice Charlee using humor constantly to lighten up the mood. That there might be the only proper technique that the show will teach you. Using humor is great way to diffuse tension, calm the situation down, and allow both sides to talk in a constructive manner. However, humor is a tricky technique, and you should be careful when and with whom you are using it. Some people do not understand and tolerate humor, and in those cases, you might make matters worse.
Take a timeout
Timeouts are not something you see only on the sports channel. You can take a timeout during an argument, or during the stressful period of your day. Take five to ten minutes to isolate yourself from everything and everyone around you. Those precious moments of quiet time will prepare you for the stress that follows. I practice taking quiet moments in the morning so I can last through the day, and once in the afternoon.
Identify the solutions
Oftentimes during an argument, people often forget that every problem has a solution. Make sure to focus on the solution of the problem, not on what started the problem. For example, if you are mad that your husband is late for dinner every day, try to adjust, and schedule dinner for later in the evening. It won’t hurt to eat one hour later, and you’ll solve the problem.
The magic of “I” statements
It happens to the most of us. Let’s go with an example. You and your husband had dinner, and once the dinner is over, your husband leaves the table and you have to take care of everything, including doing the dishes. Naturally, you go on screaming something like “you never help with housework”. And from there on, the argument is a downhill or screaming and arguing. What can you do? I would recommend that instead you should stick with a sentence with “I” statement. For example “I am mad you didn’t offer to help with the dishes and you left the table”. This way, you are not placing blame or criticizing, instead, you are describing the problem and what bothers you.
Embrace anger as positive
Look, anger is not always a negative and unhealthy emotion. Quite the contrary, in some cases, anger can be positive and healthy emotion, one that helps you get protection from constant abuse. I am not going to be the one stopping you to stand up for your rights and stand up to someone who is harming you constantly. In such situations, you should become angry, but the trick is to embrace anger in a positive way, expressing your anger in a constructive way with arguments.
Should you seek help?
The crucial question most people ask themselves besides how to control anger is “Should I seek help”? I cannot be the one answering the question. Only you can answer the question. If none of the techniques and tips help you, it might be best to seek professional help for anger management.