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How to control Anger

How to control Anger

If you want to get in control and get the best deal from life possible then a very important aspect, which you can get help for is anger issues. Recognising when you feel angry or experience feelings that lead to anger is very important. Because anger is generated within the brain, any help on how to control anger must also be brain based.  Anger is felt in the body as well as the mind, and can adversely affect our behaviour, which in turn affects the world around us, so we need to learn how to control anger effectively.

Changes Welcome practitioners not only understand how to control anger, but can help you to avoid anger from happening in the first place.

How does anger form?

Anger is a response to a perceived or actual threat.  It can be categorised as appropriate or inappropriate, depending on the level f real threat. Unfortunately, more often than not, it is not a measured response to the actual events.

In reality, anger is hard to control once unleashed.  Figuratively speaking, anger can be seen as an emotional hijacking of the brain, which causes us to think that we are absolutely right for being angry.

Anyone who has ever been angry knows how hard it is to keep the emotion in check when we’re already riled up.  We are usually advised to count to ten, or a hundred (or a thousand) or kick a ball around until we no longer feel angry or upset.  But it can be very exhausting to try and counter the angry feelings especially when it’s already there and we are unable to see the situation in a different light.

Because anger is always stress related, the most effective way to control anger is to stay away from that tipping point by effectively reducing our stress.

Anger is one of the many responses to stress (along with depression and anxiety) that originates from the primitive part of the brain.  Every one of us has a “stress bucket” that gets filled up the more we think negative thoughts (this includes our perception of our current, past or future situation). When the stress bucket gets full (and the trigger could be anything), then our mind calls on the stress response and the body goes through the emergency phase where the fight or flight response takes place. This means that our mind starts to operate from the primitive part of the brain (the one that’s emotional, negative and obsessive) instead of the intellectual part (the one that can logically assess a situation and create innovative solutions).

Anger is an “emotional hijacking” that takes over and stops us from thinking calmly and clearly, so we need to regain our intellectual control.

Here are some tips on How to Control Anger effectively by stopping it at it’s roots

We can see then that in order to avoid getting angry, we need to make sure that our metaphorical stress bucket does not get too full.  And there are several ways to make sure of that.

Mental/Psychological Aspects

1) Don’t Hold On to the Negative Thoughts (rumination is bad)

In order to control anger effectively we need to cultivate a perception or view of the world that all is well.  We need to avoid negative thinking and overly generalizing our views (e.g. “It’s never going to work out”, “Things are never going to change”, “I never get what I want” , etc.)

2) Focus on Solutions, not Problems

Always make it a point to recognise the things that are going well.  The mind can’t tell the difference between imagination and reality.  So, when we focus our attention on what is positive, the mind will realize that there is no need for the stress response to be initiated.

Behavioural Aspects

3) Positive Activity

As Stephen Covey said: Sow a thought, reap an action; sow an action, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny.”  Our thoughts form the actions we choose to take, which then becomes habit, and eventually becomes our reality.  Visualising the ideal/desired gain will help us to think about the actions we need to take to get there.

4) Humour

Humor is an effective way to diffuse tense situations.  It also allows us to view the situation from a different and more positive point of view.  It helps us to realize that things are not so bad, and that there is in fact another lighter or funny side to life.

Physical Aspects

5) H.A.L.T

This means to pick your time carefully and avoid having difficult conversations when you’re Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired.  This includes when you feel distracted or stressed.  Simply put, you have to respect your body’s needs and get some nourishment or rest first before you tackle situations that have the potential to make you angry.  We are more likely to feel and behave in a better way when there are no other worries on our minds.

6) Exercise Regularly and Keep Fit

Anger can bring about similar physical changes as stress.  The pulse rate and blood pressure increase, and hormones like adrenalin and cortisol are released in the brain.  This is because the body is going into the emergency phase and calling for our fight or flight response.  This evolutionary trait was great for primitive man, as it ensured his survival.  That said, it’s not so advantageous in the modern world, where such life-threatening situations do not occur on a regular basis.

Regular exercise helps our body regulate the adrenaline and cortisol levels and also releases endorphins– the “feel good” hormones that help us to feel relaxed and in control with our buckets empty, so that we can spend our days without rising to anger.

7) Sleep

REM (rapid eye movement) is THE most important way to empty the stress bucket, and it happens without us doing anything! Well, this is not entirely true.  We need to maximise our chances of a good night’s sleep, so it’s important to understand that sleeping tablets, alcohol, and drugs can all significantly reduce or even cause us to skip our REM sleep entirely. Getting a good night’s sleep is crucial in both anger and stress management.

8) Book an Initial Consultation with the Changes Welcome.


Read more about Hypnotherapy to Help with Anger Management.

 

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Peta Klein

Peta Klein

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