Anger is one of the most primal and powerful emotions we have. It comes from a place of instinctual survival when we feel threatened and feel the need to defend and protect ourselves. Fear lies beneath the anger and fuels it’s blaze. Anger is one of the most difficult emotions to control because it is not only a basic coping mechanism, but causes physical effects on the brain. According to Harry Mills Ph.D,
“As you become angry your body’s muscles tense up. Inside your brain, neurotransmitter chemicals known as catecholamines are released causing you to experience a burst of energy lasting up to several minutes. This burst of energy is behind the common angry desire to take immediate protective action. At the same time your heart rate accelerates, your blood pressure rises, and your rate of breathing increases. Your face may flush as increased blood flow enters your limbs and extremities in preparation for physical action. Your attention narrows and becomes locked onto the target of your anger. Soon you can pay attention to nothing else. In quick succession, additional brain neurotransmitters and hormones (among them adrenaline and noradrenaline) are released which trigger a lasting state of arousal. You’re now ready to fight.” mentalhelp.net
In times of extreme conflict and emotional stress anger can be hard to control.
Ways To Manage Your Immediate Anger
1. If you feel out of control, walk away temporarily until you calm down.
2. Identify the cause of your anger and come up with solutions on how to fix the situation.
3. Recognize your anger is normal and allow yourself to feel and work through it.
4. Do something to work off the mad. Go for a run or play a sport.
Patterns of dealing with anger come from long term behaviors and defense mechanisms. It can take time, serious work, and determination to change those patterns
Long Term Solutions To Manage Your Anger
1. Learn positive ways to resolve conflict that are healthy alternatives to your negative reactions to anger.
2. Learn how to speak to people when you are angry in a way they will hear and understand what you are saying.
A good way to accomplish these first two solutions is to take an anger management class or speak with a therapist specializing in anger management techniques.
3. Keep a journal of your anger and reactions to it in order to try and understand what triggers cause you to become angry.
4. Formulate a regular exercise routine.
5. Choose your battles on the things that are important and let the little things go.
6. Focus only on the things you can control and learn to let the other stuff go.
Learning to manage your anger can help you emotionally, physically, and socially. As you learn to cope with anger in a healthy way your emotional state will improve, and you will be able to focus on more positive and constructive issues in your life and be happier. Physically, you will be healthier as your stress levels, as well as the harmful biological reactions that being angry inflicts on your body will decrease. Socially, you will notice people will react to you in a more responsive way, as dealing with anger in healthy ways and not focusing on it causes you to be more positive and attracts people who want to be around you.