I used to get all riled up by traffic. The stupidest thing would set me off in a mindless rage – all done within my own head. As a Christ follower, instantly praying certainly helped calm me down. But I knew there was more to it then just modifying my behavior or doing the action first and then regretting it. I needed a change of heart and that’s where only God’s power can come in and make that happen. After that developing certain habits and reminders also help as an aid. I list them below.
1 – Relaxation
If joy puts a smile on your face then anger makes you frown. When you’re angry your muscles tense up, you tighten your lip muscles, and the blood rushes to your head. Anger experts suggest trying relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing exercises, to avert the anger cycle.
2 – Environmental Change
The suggestion here is not to move to another state or something as drastic as that, the strategy employed here is to identify what triggers your anger and avoid it.
Some people may not even know that subconsciously, by watching the nightly news for instance, that this triggers their anger. Being overwhelmed with debt can easily trigger anger in a person. There are 101 reasons why people get angry. Find yours, and change the environment to avoid those things that set you off.
3 – Keep an Anger Log
This may sound kind of archaic but it works. Visualization is a strong antidote to the poisonous effects of anger. As you write down things that make you angry your mind finds ways to avoid those situations. This technique is especially effective if you review your log before going to bed. The last thing you see before going to bed will be what your mind cultivates throughout the night.
4 – Do a Countdown
Many articles on anger management talk about the countdown strategy. It’s simple, when you feel anger rearing its ugly head, take a time out and countdown from 10 to 1. This gives you time to cool down and gather yourself. This also gives your body time to release tension and reduce the blood flow to your brain.
This countdown method may give you just enough time to regain your composure and take control of your emotions.
5 – Cognitive Behavior
Thoughts and emotions go hand-in-hand, and changing the way your think can be very effective when it comes to anger management. Cognitive behavior is reprogramming your thought process from negative to positive. Yes, we’re talking about a little brain washing, but in a good way.
Anger is the result of negative thinking. I can’t, you can’t, everything is wrong, it’s stupid, these are all negative thought patterns that become part of your cognitive thinking. Changing behavior is not the easiest thing in the world to do, but being aware that this is a problem is your first step in changing how you think.
There you have it, five strategies for managing anger. Chronic anger behavior has no benefits for either the giver or the receiver. In fact, chronic anger behavior can lead to severe physical and mental problems well beyond the anger itself.
Emotions are hard to tame, but others have done it and you can too.
Featured image by http://dribbble.com/artimos05