Do you suffer from anger? Do you find yourself getting angry and wound up very easily. Believe it or now, all is not lost as there are coping mechanisms you can use to help control, reduce and in some cases even eliminate the anger. But only if you want to.
And that is because some people actually seem to enjoy being angry. For some, it is an EGO boost, a power trip to release tension and to get what they want. However, the emotion of anger can harm your body, as the emotions play a significant part in our overall health. Or to put it another way, it has been said that a few minutes of rage can actually reduce your immune system for several hours. Now I don't know about you, but that is a few hours too many.
I've suffered my fair share of anger and rage over the years. It's not been pretty, and you do loose many friends. You have to be really careful in what you say and do, as anger has an annoying habit of getting you to say and do things which you are only going to regret, and can be ultimately costly.
So if you do want to remain healthy, keep your immune system and your blood pressure intact, and keep your friends, keep reading. This article will help summarize the best ways to reduce anger and get your inner peace of mind back. As always, reading is simply not enough, you do need to take action. But by taking action, you'll begin to gain more emotional strength, which will help any future situations.
1- Use deep breathing
Deep breathing is vastly under-rated in modern society. Just the act of deep belly breathing itself can work wonders for your emotions and your mind. It automatically has a soothing effect on your emotional well-being, and can be helped to keep your mind clear, distraction free, and to re-focus on the task at hand.
To deep breath, take a good belly breath, hold for 2 seconds, and then breath out. Repeat this simple exercise 3-5 times (more depending on the level of anger you feel) to really help reduce the anger bubbling inside you. You'll be surprised how effective this little exercise can be.
2- Count backwards
This is another great exercise that you can do in the privacy of your own mind, and helps not only to relax you but to retain your inner peace. Essentially, when you feel you are getting angry, learn to quickly count backwards in your mind from 20. If you can breath deeply at the same time, this will also help. I've used this technique to stop emotionally reacting to peoples comments, that would otherwise wind me up, and can be used to re-claim your peace of mind.
3- Being present
For the spiritual amongst you, presence is a good way of reducing your anger. By being present, your are reducing your EGO mind chatter, and the imagery that comes with it, which means that you will re-claim your peace and reduce the negative emotions that anger was giving you. Of course, this does mean that you have to quickly find a way to be present. One of the easiest ways of doing this is to use your peripheral vision, so that your central focus is widened (although deep breathing can also be used in conjunction with this for great effect).
Another clever little resource, this can be used to help not only reduce anger (by restoring the energetic flow of emotional energy) but can also help you to stop reacting the same way in the future.
EFT is all about tapping certain parts of your face and body, while reciting affirmations. While it may sound silly, EFT is a powerful free tool in helping you overcome many emotional issues, and has been used to treat many psychological problems.
When you are in the angry state (if you can remember), sit down for about 5 minutes and do a quick session of EFT. You'll find that after a few, 'rounds' you'll start to notice peaceful feelings returning (or at the very least, the intensity of the feeling of anger will be reduced). EFT is a powerful technique, and has been used by thousands of people across the world with startling effects.
5- Drinking cool water/green tea
Of course, diet plays an important role when it comes to your emotional well-being, and anger is no exception. Popular drinks like coffee and alcohol actually can be more of a hindrance than a help. Caffeine is a popular stimulant, whereas alcohol is the best combustible…it can heat and dry your body.
However, a better alternative would be to slowly drink cool (not cold) water, as this will soothe your nerves. If you have access though, drinking green tea is a great way to relax you, as it contains Theanine which calms you. Of course, try to go for the de-caffeinated version, so the Theanine will be at it's best, and not be fighting against the stimulating effects of the caffeine.
6- Boxing bag
If you simply don't have the time for the above, or are not in a situation to do anything, a boxing bag can be very handy after work. Of course, you would need to find a way to help calm the nerves before you get home/go to the gym (breathing exercises would be advised in this case) but once you have left work, or the situation that is causing your anger, the boxing bag can be an ideal way to let of some steam.
Of course, try not to destroy your bag, as you will end up not only hurting yourself but also causing long-term injuries. Boxing gloves would be well advised, as well as wearing wrist supports. Doing a few rounds in the gym can work wonders on your emotional strength, and can help you get the negativity out of your system.
7- Avoiding situations/knowing your triggers
It does go without saying, that if you know something is going to make you angry, try to avoid it altogether. Sometimes certain comments which trigger images can wind you up. Other times, it could be certain people. The thing is to try to find a way to keep contact with them at a minimum, or if you must, find coping strategies so you can put up a, ‘shield' so your negativity will be reduced. Of course, this does require practice, and also the knowledge that you know which situations, comments or images are likely to trigger the feelings of anger in you.
But over time, you'll find yourself building emotional strength, which will not only help you feel better, but can also send out positive vibes towards other people who could also be suffering. Knowing what triggers your anger is a priceless skill, and can help you resolve conflicts peacefully and very quickly.