When I was a child I was very angry. I would throw things, break glass for fun and threaten to jump out of the car. I would even open the door while the car was moving. As an adult, my anger has lessened but there are bursts where I have that same feeling that I had as a child. I used to think there is no way of controlling it. This is just who I am. But that is not true. There are ways on how to deal with anger.
How to deal with anger
An emotion of anger lasts around 90 seconds. In those 90 seconds when you feel anger touch your stomach and breathe in and out. This will help you from overreacting. In this time you can acknowledge your emotion and understand where it is coming from.
Understanding the trigger
Usually, the reason for you getting angry has to do with your own fears and feelings rather than the other person’s. To track when you get angry and what is causing it.
For example, dealing with customer service makes me anxious. When I am paying for my goods at the store I like to do it as fast as possible because I feel like people are waiting and I find the interaction nerve-wracking (that of course is something I have to examine further why I feel that way). But when I go to the store with someone at the counter I end up pressuring the other person and I get angry when they don’t do things as fast as I like. I project my own anxiousness and feeling of embarrassment onto the other person even if they aren’t doing anything. These are one of the moments I need to breathe acknowledge my anger and let the feeling go.
Tracking your moments and reflecting on them later will give you a better understanding of where the anger is stemming from. Then you can work towards the root problem.
The pandemic has been stressful and we have been moving less. Exercising releases dopamine and other hormones that regularize our emotions. If we don’t move unpleasant feelings can build in us.
Find your thing to do when you are angry
This can be anything from walking away from the situation to washing dishes, to exercising or breathing exercises.
Don’t expect the other person to walk away or do things. Take control of the situation at that moment and do what is best for you in that moment. If the issue still bothers you after then communication is important.
Understanding the emotion lasts 90 seconds
The reason the anger ends up lasting for more than 90 seconds because we give it power and let ourselves spiral. But the main emotion when dealt with properly goes away in 90 seconds. Notice this next time you feel angry. Do the breathing and then check in with your emotions you most likely won’t feel angry anymore. Label the emotion you are feeling. You can use the emotion wheel to label your emotion.
Of course, all these things are easier said than done. It is something we have to work on every day. As usual, take small steps and keep working on it. Try to add one thing into your life at a time.
It is important to understand anger is an emotion you feel and just because you feel angry doesn’t mean you are an angry person. As a child, I always felt I was an angry person and that was my personality and that made me feel like there was no way out.
Being able to identify our thoughts and understand they are only thoughts helps us better understand our emotions as well.
Disclaimer: This blog on how to deal with anger is not meant for people that think that their anger issues are getting in the way of their daily life. It is always best to talk to a professional regarding that.