More than one in ten people say they have trouble controlling their anger. There are a number of key triggers, and identifying these is the first stage to overcoming them.
Too many people allow anger and stress to get the better of them, but there is always a solution to a problem. It’s natural to have these feelings in certain situations, but it’s when they get more frequent and out of control that it gets worrying. Not just to yourself but to those around you.
Every day pressures can lead to stress, which can lead to anger and people can often have very different ways of dealing with that anger.
Stress management is similar to that of anger management and it is important to focus on the positives – having emotional strength, emotional support, control and a positive outlook.
If you have days when you are feeling particularly stressed and angry – take it out at the gym. Exercise is a great stress buster. It reduces some of the emotional anxiety and helps to clear your thoughts and deal with your problems better. Exercise is also known for releasing endorphins into your body that interact with the receptors in your brain, reducing your perceptions of pain and triggering a positive feeling in the body.
The UK has the longest working hours in Europe, so it is easy to forget to give yourself some ‘me time’. Those are the days we need to spend doing things we really enjoy and ultimately keeping stress and anger at bay. Remind yourself who you are, what you like to do and what makes you smile.
Taking some simple steps to improve your wellbeing can have an overall affect in how you deal with pressure and anger and allows you to bounce back. For example, you could:
- Have a break – whether that’s day away, or a weekend, allow time to wind down
- Make some small lifestyle changes
- Use your support network whether that is family or friends
Finding balance in your life is key to assisting in your stress and anger issues. Perhaps you spend too much time working whether that’s at home or in the office, maybe you have children that take up all your energy. Focus some of those efforts on yourself – a hobby, family or friends. It can be difficult but it will help to spread the pressures of your life.
Your GP is also a good point of help and support. They will offer you a helpful support structure and offer advice. One good starting point is to practice deep, slow breathing – something your GP may even recommend – it normally happens automatically when you’re angry, but it’s really good for helping stress too. It allows you to focus on positive outcomes.
Passive aggression, inward aggression and violence might be normal responses for some, but it is a very unhelpful behaviour. Although it is not seen as a mental health issue, aggression can have a negative effect on your mental health. Aggression can make any issues you have appear worse and contribute to additional problems like depression or self-harm. Try some useful techniques to stay calm and let go of any unwelcome feelings. Buy yourself some time to think and figure out the best distraction techniques that work for you.
Supporting family and friends
Reflection and listening are the practical things you can do to offer your support. There may be times you can see they are reaching their tipping point before they even notice themselves. Being there for them and helping them through the situation can be a bigger help than you may initially think.
Be gentle but remind them that what they are going through is temporary and things will get better, at times conversations like this can increase the anger, but in turn it can help them assess the situation. It will also be useful to help them identify what is causing the issues in the first place and give them space to deal with them.
Set boundaries – ensure you let them know what is and isn’t acceptable and when they have crossed the line, but you must also remember to look after your wellbeing. You must remember you are not to blame for any anger problems someone you know is suffering with.
A number of those who suffer with anger will admit that the worst thing someone can do for them is to say they need to calm down – listening is a much better response to anger even if you don’t agree with why they are angry.
Anger does need to be controlled, especially those who suffer with extensive anger issues, but being able to focus on the positives of coming out on the other side and getting yourself through the phase will get easier the more the techniques are practised. Particularly when you are able to identify the triggers. Controlling the situation is not something you can get a grip of – your reaction is.
Take time to think about what’s actually made you angry and use our simple steps to help yourself calm down and assess the situation.