A traffic jam on the highway, an argument with your partner, or a cancelled flight can trigger so much anger within you that you feel like throwing something or screaming.
Anger outbreaks are a problem that affect many people, especially in larger cities where stress and anxiety are the order of the day.
In today’s article, we want to give you some tips to avoid or reduce these attacks.
What is anger and why does it happen?Anger is an emotion that rapidly accelerates your heart rate, elevates your blood pressure, and raises the adrenaline levels in your bloodstream.
Some of the main symptoms of anger include:
- Muscle tension
- Shortness of breath
The aggressive need to shout, hit something, or throw something is your brain’s response when it perceives danger or a threat.
Anger can be caused by different reasons, and in most cases it occurs when you’re confronted with a situation that you don’t like.
When you’re frustrated or feel powerless, your mind can react in a variety of ways.
Some people cry, others talk about their feelings, and then there are those who become angry.
Anger is automatic, and in a lot of cases, it’s hard to clearly see what happened.
There are different types of anger:
1. Instrumental anger
Aggressive behavior and violence can appear when you aren’t able to do what you want or an obstacle blocks you from continuing with something. This behavior is associated with a problem with your communication skills.
See also: 6 herbs for lowering blood pressure
2. Explosive anger
This appears when a disturbing or unfair situation persists for a long time. Smaller daily frustrations build up and then explode at a certain moment.
A person who has had a horrible day at work and then arrives home to some minor problem, for example, could suddenly get angry.
3. Defensive wrath
If you perceive you’re being attacked or know something difficult is coming, anger can serve as a “protection.” For example, it can help you avoid taking control of or solve a problem in the face of adversity.
Tips for avoiding angry outbursts
As a first step, you need to be aware of the consequences of your habits and reactions.
Managing your anger and rationalizing your impulses can be a big help if aggressive behavior isn’t a part of your life.
Some tips that can help with this include:
1. Watching out for your triggersIs there a situation or time of day that you’re more prone to anger? Do you typically notice this problem with a particular person?
Anger can obscure other emotions such as fear, sadness, or pain. Think about why you have outbursts when you’re late for work, when you talk about things with your partner, or when something isn’t working out the way you want it to.
2. Don’t accumulate negative emotions
One of the main causes of anger is resentment. People are like emotional glasses filled with water. Eventually, your capacity to withstand things will overflow.
Something similar happens with anger and fury. The anger you’ve accumulated all day, week, or month will “overflow” sooner or later. To avoid this, it’s best to face your problems as they come.
Don’t let these negative feelings build up inside you.
3. Count to 10 (or whatever number you need)Although you might not know exactly when your anger could explode, you’re able to analyze the symptoms and stages that you’re going through.
Take advantage of those moments of lucidity to calm down before the storm breaks.
You can count to 10, 100, or whatever you need to bring the anger down. Even closing your eyes and focusing on your breathing can help.
Be sure to do this slowly and consciously. It will even out your heart rate and help you see things in perspective.
4. Get exercise
A great way to release endorphins and calm down is by getting some exercise.
When your body is in motion, it helps you balance your breathing and heart rate.
You can choose any activity you like, including those that are more physical – like boxing or kickboxing – or opt for a more relaxing routine like yoga, pilates, and tai chi to reduce your anger.
5. Get restThere’s nothing more healing than sleeping for several hours. If you’ve had a long day at the office, the best thing you can do is go home and take a shower and sleep until the following morning.
This will help you avoid clashes with your family (because we all release our anger on those closest to us) and your mind will relax.
Getting between six and eight hours of sleep a night will help you be more prepared when anger wants to take over.
We recommend reading: 9 ways to relax before sleeping
6. Meditate, read, or dance
These relaxing activities are highly recommended to avoid anger.
You might not be able to meditate the instant that frustration takes over, but if you do it on a daily basis, it will give you more tools you can use to deal with the fury.
Take advantage of your free time to read, dance, play with your pets or kids, or do anything that brings you peace.
7. Avoid irritating situations (or people)If you know that on Monday mornings your boss is the worst – or that when your partner is taking a test they’re more prone to argue – don’t approach them if it might trigger your own anger.
If the traffic leaving home is driving you crazy, take the bus or subway. These tactics help you avoid contact with the situations and people that increase your chance of suffering from an outburst.