Anger can devastate your life. It can destroy your connection with your spouse, alienate your children, and chase away your friends. It can cost you your job.
The problem is that every day things happen to us that bring out our anger. So it’s critical that we learn to keep our temper under control. We need to do this for ourselves, and we need to do this so that our children can learn from our example.
Here are seven simple straight forward techniques you can use that will keep anger under control.
1. Get away from the location:
When you are in a situation that is upsetting you or frustrating you, and you are afraid that you are going to become angry, walk away. Excuse yourself, go to the bathroom, do what ever you can do to leave the situation. Disengage. The great advantage of walking away is that even if you become angry, nothing will happen. You are by yourself, so no one will know that you are upset. You won’t be able to say anything or do anything that you are going to regret later. If you want to control your anger and limit the damage that it can do, walking away is a great first step.
2. Diffuse your anger:
One of the best ways to diffuse your anger is to get physical. That does not mean hit your kids, which is one of the destructive ways some parents diffuse their anger. What I mean is to engage in some form of vigorous physical activity. Go for a walk, a run, lift weights, or do something else physical that will diffuse your emotions and get your mind off the problem. This will help you cool down. It will also give you some of the best work outs that you will ever have.
3. Get regular exercise:
This is a corollary to what we just mentioned. Strenuous exercise is a great technique to manage your anger and increase you tolerance threshold.
Getting regular vigorous exercise has a lot of advantages. You will feel younger and healthier. You will look better. You will also be able to dissipate the effects of the daily nagging frustrations that tend to add up over the course of the day. These minor irritations tend to build up and eat away at you until even a small incident can get you angry. By just setting up a regular exercise routine, you will find that things will not bother you quite as much and you will be much less prone to anger.
4. Keep calm:
You can control anger if you find a way to stay calm and relaxed throughout the day. There are many relaxation techniques you can use to stay calm and have positive ‘down time’. Some of the more popular activities are yoga, deep breathing exercises, meditation, and so on.
Try to look at what is happening as if it were happening to someone else. Many times if you look at the difficult situations you are experiencing as an outsider would, what is happening will seem quite ludicrous. You can infuse humor in difficult situations and laugh at them rather than get offended or angry.
6. Judge favorably:
Most people who do things that anger you are not doing them maliciously. Usually if the person knew he was doing something to bother you, he wouldn’t do it at all. The problem is that none of us weigh out how our actions effect others. What seems to you as a person who is inconsiderate and uncaring is probably someone who is just unaware that what he is doing is bothering you. Most people do not mean to offend you. Therefore, there is no good reason to become offended.
You should view most actions that bother or offend you as an oversight rather than a direct attack. If you do that, you will almost always be correct.
7. Be silent:
Words said in anger can cause a great deal of harm. What you say may be something you truly feel or may be something that you are just saying to hurt your attacker. Either way, it will usually be something that is not very palatable. Be careful of the words that come out of your mouth when you are angry. When you calm down you will probably have to eat them.
Bonus Technique: Take a cosmic perspective:
There are some very serious issues in the world. Global warming, nuclear waste, genocide, world hunger, etc. These are things that can have ramifications for centuries. Compare these to whatever happened that is making you angry. In ten years from now, is what you are facing right now going to make any difference to anybody? If not, then just let it go. There are a lot of bigger problems to worry about.
You should try to use some or all of these anger management techniques and tips and teach them to your children. They will help you and your family members control your anger and prevent you from damaging your relationships.