How can I handle anger?
Anger is a natural emotion which, in normal situations and within specific limits, is healthy for the human being. It is a natural response to adapt in the face of a threat, and it helps to react and defend oneself. When it goes out of control, however, and becomes more intense, it could become destructive both for people around and for the person feeling the emotion.
Anger could harm the physical and mental health of the person, and so we need to learn to manage it in the best possible way. Many people affirm that if a person remains removed from hatred, resentment, and anger, they manage to keep their body and heart clean.
Concrete techniques to handle anxiety and anger:
1: Take a deep breath
This technique is very easy to apply and it is useful to control physiological reactions before, during and after facing intense emotional situations.
• Breath in while you count to 4
• Hold your breath while you count to 4
• Breath out while you count to 8.
• Repeat the steps.
What we try to do here is to slow breathing down and intensify it, without forcing it. To see if you are doing it properly, place a hand on your breast and the other on your abdomen. You will be doing it correctly when the hand on your abdomen only moves when you breath out.
2: Hold the thought
This technique can be used also before, during or after the situation causing us problems.
This strategy is centered on control of thoughts. In order to practice it, you should do the following:
• When you start feeling uncomfortable, anxious or rattled, pay attention to the thoughts you are having, identify those with negative connotations (focused on failure, hatred toward others, guilt…)
• Tell yourself: Enough!
• Substitute those thoughts for something more positive.
The problem with this technique is that you need certain training to identify negative thoughts and turn them around. The following are some examples:
• I am a failure
• I cannot take this
• I feel overwhelmed
• Everything is going to be bad
• I cannot control this situation
• He is doing it on purpouse
• I am able to overcome this situation
• If I make the effort, I will be successful
• Getting worried does not lead anywhere
• This is not going to be so bad
• I am sure I will make it.
• He might not have realized that what he does bothers me.
3: Muscle relaxation
This technique is also good to apply before, during and after a situation, but you need prior training. Do the following steps:
• Sit calmly in a comfortable position. Close your eyes.
• Relax slowly all the muscles of your body, starting with your toes and relaxing then the rest of the body, reaching the muscles of your neck and head.
• Once you have relaxed your muscles, imagine yourself in a peaceful and relaxing place (on the beach, for instance). Whatever the place you choose, imagine yourself totally relaxed and without worries.
• Imagine that place as clearly as you can. Practice this exercise as often as you can, at least once a day during about 10 minutes. If you are convinced about the usefulness of the exercise, remember you must practice it to make the process automatic and relax in a few seconds.