Anger is a problem for me; It starts with a thought and of course a negative voice that makes you feel as though you’re righteous, pushing and driving you to make a point that’s going to get you jail time.
I remember during my days in college, I was running late for a class I had 7:00 in the morning, my mum told me about cleaning my shoes, the words picked a certain bad nerve in my brain and I was triggered to be angry with her for what she said or maybe how she said it. To me, there are some things you don’t remind an adult to do (I think). All through that day, I lost focus in the class teaching, no bit of life in me. Why? I was angry with the choice of words she used on me. I gave in to the words and it gained control over me and subdued me.
It’ subjected me to a life of bondage and in a moment I’m seeing someone who isn’t me.
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And in a calm state of mind, I search and look for what actually got me in such a bad mood, and I don’t seem to find. I find out it’s just a tiny slight misunderstanding that triggered that bad temper in me or a bitter truth I couldn’t bear. Because I lack the strength to waive it and the power to manage it, it continued to linger and grow.
From where I’m coming it’s a popular belief that anger is hereditary and just because my dad also had that same anger issues, it’s become a phase I must face. Maybe or maybe not, but I think I’m the only one who can define the kind of life to live and getting angry isn’t on the list nor is it sexy-lady-like.
A lot of times, I struggled with controlling myself that sometimes I end up losing myself in the process of venting the anger.
The truth is venting makes anger get worse because you’ll end up saying a lot of things that you’re definitely going to regret. Or you’ll end up over boarding with your actions that you regret. Just that you’ll feel a momentary relief because venting seems like to getting off those heaped energy off your chest.
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How I Control and Manage My Anger Issues
1. I Study Myself- Anger
The feeling of anger builds up until it becomes visible in our actions. It just starts like an atom till it expands to become a molecule and then you react and act towards what you’re feeling. I studied myself to know what gets me angry, so can you too. This takes you to answer these questions which I did;
A) What makes me angry?
Answer- To me whenever my self-pride is about to be thrashed or when it’s as if I’m in reasonably making no sense at all (that hurts like salt on the wound).
B) Who makes me angry?
Answer- Friends or family.
C) Where am I when I get angry?
Answer- Usually at home, or with a close friend or relative (but never at work).
If you know the situation that triggers your anger, you’ll get prepared. Going to work I prepared for everything, and whatever- I’m mindfully prepared to be able to scale through whatever situations I might find myself that was why anger was never a trait found in me, but coming home I’m a different person.
Also studying yourself puts you on a healthy path of taking notes of the signals your body might be taking you through before or during your anger phase.
Do you experience a change in your heart beat? Or you feel a heavy load at your back- which could be an excruciating pain (this is usually my pre-symptom)? Or do you feel your breathing change?
And the more about yourself you know, the more you can be able to alert whenever you’re about to lose control.
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2. Avoid Your Triggers
Answering these questions can help you know what triggers your emotions negatively. Mine did. I was one of the people who think “Triggers can’t be avoided” well it can and just the easy way out.
Before I couldn’t avoid some discussion with friends or family member especially when I know I’m about to blow the stack. But now I find a way, giving an excuse like I’m expecting a call or have a plug-in issue on my blog just any excuse clearing the tense energy in the room.
So, it’s totally possible, you just have to be resourceful and be creative to find a form of distraction at the moment to reduce the impact at least.
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3. Endure the Feeling
Just like alcohol, you seem drunk and about to experience the worst hangover ever? What do you then do? Nothing!
Whatever voice that’s pushing you to explode isn’t relevant and shouldn’t be trusted. Pause for a moment, slowly take a few deep breaths (certainly one breath won’t work). Don’t rush to cut those trigger wires in your brain. Allow yourself some time to process and get your head straight before you defuse whatever bomb you’ve set to explode.
I focus on what I’m feeling- the neck pain, headaches and the heaviness of my chest rather than the chattier in my head.
And that’s usually when I get to study myself at least I’ll have something to focus my anger-time on.
Being able to focus on something like a bit of distraction makes the anger dissipates. While waiting, it feels like time gets slowed and you feel like it’ll never vanish, but it does. And trust me, the more you practice, the quicker it’ll vanish.
I’ve been able to manage anger because I know it’s somehow impossible to eliminate it. Taking my time to study myself and knowing that being angry isn’t a disease but an emotion that sometimes tells me what’s important to me- either to change it or allow it to be if I’m ok with it.
At least the important part is that it’ll teach you something about yourself. And it’s left for you to decide if that’s the person you want to be.