Strategies for Managing and Reducing Anger

If your anger is in the driver’s seat chances are that your personal and professional relationships are suffering. It is also difficult to feel good about yourself when you feel out of control. Your health can suffer too; anger can take years off your life.

Some of the short and long-term health problems that have been linked to anger include: headache and digestion problems, insomnia, increased anxiety and depression, high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke.

Strategies Which May Help in the Moment

Practice identifying the physical responses and telltale signs that warn you are straying into the danger zone. If taking some deep breaths or counting to 10 doesn’t help – walk away until you feel calm again.

Express your feelings rather than bottling them up. If something is bothering you, speak up before you feel overwhelmed. Communicate your concerns in an open and respectful way.

Pause before responding in order to collect your thoughts rather than saying the first thing that comes to mind.

Sometimes texting is a better option than calling or meeting face to face if you feel that you might say something unwise or overreact. Texting gives us the chance to pause and reflect before we engage or respond.

Be tactical and think about what you’d like to achieve before entering into a situation which you know will be stressful. Make one of your goals to come out of the situation without regret and feeling good about your behavior.

Rather than allowing yourself to be triggered or distracted by history, focus on the present moment and what you’d like to see accomplished.

Consider the source and don’t take things personally. You’ll have more control over how you respond if you realize that the difficult person in your life irritates everybody!

It helps to look at the big picture and realize that not everything is critical.

Try to view stressful situations from a more positive perspective. A traffic jam might be an opportunity to pause, regroup and listen to your favorite radio station.

Practice Self-Care

Keep a gratitude journal each day for a more balanced outlook.

Invest in figuring out who you are and what you could do to find greater joy in your life.

Schedule time for yourself and set boundaries. Some of us do too much for others and then become angry that they don’t respond the way we’d like them to respond.

Put effort into being the person that you want to be, rather than the person others want you to be. Be honest about what works for you in your relationships.

Exercise. It has so many health benefits and helps relieve stress by bumping up the production of endorphins; the brain’s feel good neurotransmitter.

Free yourself from negative energy. Allow others to make mistakes and practice forgiveness. By and large we are all trying to do the best we can with what we have.

Stay in the present in order to move forward. Ruminating on the past keeps us stuck.

Try to see the humor in situations.

After discovering the strategies that work for you in managing and reducing anger in your daily life, practice them. The more you do, the better they will work for you and the faster you can recall them when you begin to feel out of control. The practice is worth it – a peaceful heart has room for joy.