Healthy Ways To Deal With Your Anger
The Oxford English dictionary defines anger as, “a strong feeling of annoyance, displeasure, or hostility.”
Anger is a primary human emotion. Just like other emotions such as happiness, disgust, or anxiety, anger is almost impossible to avoid. In small amounts, anger can be useful. It allows you to understand that something that is happening or something that was said is not acceptable to you. Anger is also connected to the body’s fight or flight response and helps to prepare you to fight.
Prolonged bouts of anger can be harmful to yourself and to others. Anger can cause ever-lasting physical and mental damage. Short-term memory, decreased judgment, and a weakened immune system are all potential side effects of prolonged anger.
Everyone experiences anger differently. According to Psychology Today, Psychologist Jerry Deffanvacher, has determined that anger happens with a combination of the qualities of a person, a trigger event, and the person’s observation and experience of the situation at hand.
We’re going to break this down in more detail below.
- Qualities of a Person: These include overall personality traits and the level of those traits. Some of these traits include competitiveness, low tolerance for frustration, high levels of exhaustion or anxiety, and narcissism
- Trigger Event: This is the actual event that provoked the emotion of anger. Examples can include a package being delivered to the wrong address, being cut off in traffic, an employee calling out for their shift at the last minute or being yelled at by a customer or stranger in a store.
- Observation and Experience of Event by the Person: This is how the person appraises the situation at hand. This could include needing justification, need for punishment, or blaming.
According to the American Psychological Association anger is defined as “ an emotion characterized toward someone or something you feel has deliberately done you wrong” Since anger is an emotion that we will all experience throughout our lives, it is important that we learn to deal with anger appropriately. The Mayo Clinic refers to the below tips to deal with your anger.
- Become Calm, Then Express Your Concerns
It is very easy to get caught up in the heat of the moment. When your blood is boiling and you’re all revved up, there is a good chance that you will say or do things that you will later regret. Instead of immediately reacting when you feel anger, take a moment to breathe.
Give your body time to become calm, cool, and collected before reacting. By stepping away from the situation, you not only allow yourself space and time to think logically and rationally, but you also allow others to do the same.
The simple act of thinking before speaking and thinking before acting can save you a lot of difficult heartbreak and can avoid potential disaster.
Once you are thinking clearly, express your frustration or annoyance in a nonconfrontational and professional manner. You should be able to state your concerns directly and without hurting or controlling anyone else.
- Be Active
Another way to deal with your anger is to do something physical. You can go for a hike, play a sport, swim, dance, run, or clean out the garage. Changing your physical stance allows your mind to relax and divert into another activity.
- Determine Potential Solutions
Another way to deal with your anger is to focus your time, effort, and energy on solutions. We tend to focus on the event that made us angry. This is a waste of our internal resources as the event has already happened and cannot be changed. Instead, think about what you can do to control to fix the problem or move on from the issue.