How to Control Your Anger

Has anything ever frustrated you to the point where you just lost your cool? You were of course initially calm and collected, but then all of a sudden something pushed you over the edge and you just couldn’t control your anger. You now of course have some regrets. In retrospect, you certainly could have handled yourself differently. But in the moment, you just couldn’t help yourself. You just couldn’t resist but react emotionally. You’re of course not an angry person, but it’s sometimes just difficult to control your anger in the spur of the moment. If only you had a six step process to guide you through these kind of situations.

 


1) RECOGNIZE ANGER

The first step to controlling your anger always begins with self-awareness. You must become aware of your emotional recipe for anger. This essentially means recognizing how you tend to respond to anger. We all of course respond to anger a little differently, however there are some telltale signs you can look out for. These signs include tension in your muscles, grinding of your teeth, flushing of your face, clenching of your fist, and an ever increasing sound of your voice. Recognizing these signals will provide you with an early warning system that alerts you to the fact that you are about to lose control.

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SIX STEPS FOR CONTROLLING ANGER

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2) REMOVE YOURSELF

As you recognize your anger slowly bubbling up to the surface, it’s important that you now take the time to remove yourself from the situation. Yes, actually step away from the situation and take a moment to calm yourself down. All you need is just a few minutes to be alone with your thoughts. You of course need this time to fully process what just happened in a rational and objective way. Just tell yourself that everything will be okay and that you are in full control of your emotions. Now take a few deep breaths and release any pent up energy. Just relax fully and be very mindful of how you are in this very moment.

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SIX STEPS FOR CONTROLLING ANGER

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3) IDENTIFY TRIGGERS

Now that you are in a better emotional place, you can think more rationally about your predicament. Take a moment to think through exactly what happened and why this made you feel agitated. Your objective here is to try to identify what exactly stirred up these angry feelings. Was it something a person said? Was it maybe something they did? Was it potentially something they didn’t do? Maybe what you expected would happen, didn’t, and this riled up your emotions. Have a think about what exactly triggered your anger, then question why you felt agitated and angry in that particular situation.

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SIX STEPS FOR CONTROLLING ANGER

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4) EVALUATE SITUATION RATIONALLY

In order to control you anger, you now need to begin evaluating the situation rationally. In other words, challenge yourself to view your predicament in a more helpful and beneficial way. Possibly things aren’t as bad as you make them out to be. Just maybe you overreacted to these events or misinterpreted the situation. How you are feeling in this very moment is a direct result of the story you are telling yourself about what just happened. Change that story and you change your view of the situation. Maybe this really isn’t worth getting angry about. Just maybe there’s a better way to respond to this situation.

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SIX STEPS FOR CONTROLLING ANGER

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5) SELECT AN APPROPRIATE RESPONSE

Having taken a moment to think things through rationally and objectively, it’s now time to choose how you will respond to this situation. Your objective is of course to respond in an optimal way that helps you make the most of your predicament. Although when it comes to controlling your anger, remember that you always have a choice. You can for instance choose to either avoid the situation, to control your anger, to release pent up anger, or to redirect your anger in more optimal and helpful ways. The key is of course to respond in a way that is most helpful for you, for everyone involved, and most beneficial to the situation at hand.

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SIX STEPS FOR CONTROLLING ANGER

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6) LEARN FROM YOUR EXPERIENCE

Having responded in an appropriate manner, it’s time now to learn from your experience. Take a moment to assess how you handled the situation and how you handled yourself in this situation. How did you respond? What was the outcome? How did other people respond to you? Did you make the best of the situation? Could you potentially have handled things differently? Would that have made any difference? How else could you have responded and what impact would that have had on the situation? Now take all these lessons and figure out your next actions. How will you respond in the future when facing a similar situation?

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CONCLUDING THOUGHTS

To control your anger of course takes practice. Often when we get angry it’s because of a habitual patterned response that we have conditioned into our psyche over a lifetime. In order to change this pattern we need to establish a new and more helpful patterned response. In other words, you need to work on developing a new habit. This of course takes time and significant amounts of consistent repetition.

However, if you’re committed to making positive changes in the way you respond to people and circumstances, then this is certainly something that is very doable. And it all of course begins when you fully commit yourself to the decision that you will start taking control of your anger starting today.


Six Steps for Controlling Anger

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