Anger MANagement

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By the time we've grown from children into fully fledged men, it would've been ingrained into our minds not to be "too emotional". We go through life putting our poker face but once that feeling of rage comes across us, we have a licence to go from 0-No Chill in less than a second. We've gotten pretty good at unleashing this emotion. Anger. 

We all go through a wide range of emotions and at some point anger WILL be one of them! Whatever the trigger, we all know what anger is. We've felt it's destructive presence. Whether as a fleeting annoyance or as full-fledged rage, anger can lead us to disconnect from our better nature and do the irreversible.  

Anger is a completely normal and healthy human emotion, however, when it gets out of control it can become a destructive force that will cause problems in every area of your life if left unchecked. Problems at school, work, in your personal relationships, and in the overall quality of your life. The feeling of anger can sometimes make you feel as though you're at the mercy of an unpredictable and extremely powerful emotion, but, how can we recognise and manage this emotion when it rears its head more regularly than we would like? 1 in 4 suffer from mismanaged anger and not only is this bad for our health but it can lead to Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED), depression or even domestic violence so here's a few tips to make sure you're always in control of this dangerous emotion that often tries to control us.  



Breathe Slowly  

Remember Will Smith in bad boys 2? Well, there's method to his "woosah" madness. It turns out that breathing out for longer than you breathe in can help bring a sense of calm to the mind and relax us with each breath. At the end of the day you can't control your environment, however, you can control your breathing. By focusing on something you can control, like your breathing you allow yourself to get back in the driver's seat and can significantly manage an emotional response. Research has found that practising breathing control can have a positive impact on our stress response. A simple technique is to count to five while inhaling, hold for five seconds, and then breathe out for five seconds. Focus on your each part of your breath. It's quite similar to counting slowly up to 10. This will calm you down effectively and help you think more clearly.   



Recognise Your Anger Signs  

Everyone has a physical reaction to anger. Be aware of what your body is telling you, and learn to recognise your anger signs. For most of us, our heart will start to beat faster and our breathing pattern becomes quicker, preparing us for action. You might also notice other signs, such as tension in your shoulders or clenching your fists. If you notice these signs, get out of the situation if you’ve got a history of losing control until you have learned to manage this. It's important to face the things that anger you at some point otherwise it will always have the better of you. That anger avoidance rather than management.   



Keep a Journal   

I haven't tried this one myself however as I write often about my life experiences perhaps I do tick this box in a round about way. I've been told that many people find journaling a really helpful way to clarify and process their emotions. I've found that when I write about anything it gives me a chance to put my feelings in perspective and analyse the whole situation. It's often the case for most men to bottle up their anger as a result of simply feeling unable to express it however, this can be potentially even more dangerous as that lid will blow at some point and most likely for the most insignificant thing. Writing down what has happened, what you feel, the duration and even the severity of the emotion can help put your anger in context. This may afford us a moment of rational thinking and reflection that better prepares us if a trigger situation arises again.  



Pray And Meditate  

It's widely documented that meditation and prayer can improve positive emotions, health, and happiness. Also, it decreases anxiety, stress, and depression. There are many different types of meditation, some sit in silence whilst other may reflect on a verse from the Bible, but the goal of all meditation is to let those negative thoughts go and bring your concentration back to a focus point. This can calm your thoughts and renew the way you think when presented with a situation that triggers anger in your life.  



Talk About I 

Honestly this one is a big one because we don't do this enough in general. Get it off your chest and talk about what made you angry. Being alone with sad or painful emotions can create an echo chamber where you can’t help but fixate on that emotion. People who hold on to their anger often feel entitled to feel this way because of a wrong that may have been done to them, however, holding on to our anger means that we're always on edge and almost anything can trigger a negative response from us. When we don't let go of the anger we are feeling we begin to mistake others neutral expressions, actions or statements for hostility. Even the most genuine of comments can make a person feel as though they are under attack even if they're not. It's important to have a constructive outlet for this emotion and discussing your feelings with a friend can be useful and can help you get a different perspective on the situation. Try to pick someone who lives on the positive side of life as emotions, including happiness are contagious so having a positive friend who can help you vent for a moment might be just what you need to help you relax.   



As a child, I never really knew how to manage my moments of anger and so I would punch through walls, lash out, fight and say hurtful things. It crept in like a monster, making a mess of things and left me to pick up the pieces. As I grew older my only method of managing this was to suppress my anger and this can be equally as dangerous. Using suppression as a method of managing anger can often lead to Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED) or even deep depression.  

I've learned that anger is a completely normal part of life and if directed in the right way it can actually be used as a tool that motivates us to create great change in the world. Dr Martin Luther King is a great example of that. He was angry with the state of how black Americans were treated and was moved to take action.   

Anger is something many of us have experienced (on different levels) but how do you balance a healthy containment and expression for that anger? Please share in the comments box below. You never knew who your advice may help. 


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