What can be done to control anger

Anger is a normal feeling, and while it may not seem like it, getting angry has been linked to many health benefits.

However, it can be a problem when it makes us lose control, causing irritation, altercations and even aggression. To avoid this situation, here we share strategies that specialists recommend.

Anger is an emotional state that can vary in intensity, as defined by the American Psychological Association (APA).

As with other emotions, it is accompanied by biological and physiological changes, such as an increase in the hormones adrenaline and noradrenaline, higher blood pressure levels, and a rapid heart rate.

It can be caused by different events, either external (co-workers, supervisors, traffic jams, or canceled appointments), or internal (memories that can refer to traumatic events).

Many researchers highlight that anger is a natural and adaptive response to threats, which allows us to inspire powerful feelings and behaviors, essential to fight and defend ourselves when we are attacked.

A certain amount of anger, therefore, is necessary for our survival. However, professionals warn that you can not resort to attacking every person or object that irritates or bothers us.

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To deal with these feelings, the APA recommends three main approaches: express, suppress and calm.

The first of them, the expression, does not refer to expressing feelings aggressively, but assertively, that is, making clear what one’s own needs are and finding a way to defend them, without harming others.

Anger can also be suppressed and then redirected. This practice can be appreciated when you avoid thinking about the trigger of the anger, to focus on something positive.

The goal is to inhibit the anger and turn it into more constructive behavior, although care must be taken not to suppress these feelings, as they may eventually turn on you.

Finally, you can calm down inside. This means not only controlling external behavior, but also internal responses.

For this, measures can be adopted that will help modify the physiological alterations that accompany anger, such as the acceleration of the heart rate, or the production of adrenaline. These are options to achieve it:

Reflect before acting or speaking

Angry people often act based on inaccurate conclusions. That’s why the first thing you should do in an argument is slow down and think about your answers.

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Professionals from the Mayo Clinic explain that in a moment of anger, it’s easy to do or say something you’ll later regret.

To avoid altercations you can try to take some time to collect your thoughts, allowing the people involved to do the same.

Remember that anger is not going to solve anything and possibly make the problem worse, so staying calm can prevent the situation from becoming disastrous.

relaxation techniques

From deep breathing or resorting to images and sounds that give you relief, to slow movements like those of yoga or tai chi.

Researchers say incorporating these habits can be very helpful in preventing angry feelings from taking over your thoughts and actions.

take care of the environment

Many times the reason for your irritation and frustration can be the environment in which you work.

Modifying those aspects that you identify as triggers of your anger, or reserving some “personal time” in spaces that are to your liking, can work to avoid daily anger.

don’t forget humor

Sometimes letting your imagination run wild and visualizing hilarious images is a good way to relieve anger and prevent irritation from taking over when making decisions.

Experts point out that it’s not just about “laughing” at your problems, but about using humor to deal with them constructively.

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Other practices

You can choose other ways to help relieve your anger, such as counting to 10 before doing or saying something, writing your ideas and thoughts in a journal so you can calmly evaluate them later, or exercising regularly. These types of activities will give your mind a “breather”.

Sources consulted: American Psychological Association, US National Library of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, National Institutes of Health.

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