Many of us a confronted with situations every day that results in frustration or anger. The following are some ways that can aid in reducing anger:
1. Understand that anger is a problem
Anger is unhelpful in a number of ways. We grow up being told thousands of reasons why anger is bad for you; it will lead to a heart attack, it gives you more stress, it makes others unhappy, etc. We all know how anger makes us feel, however, it hasn’t stopped you yet. Anger is a problem because it is an ineffective way of operating in the (social;) world, can backfire, and it ultimately ruins important relationships. It has been proven that a whopping 80% of day-to-day anger actually occurs with family and loved ones whom you care about. Anger builds up resentment between people and can harm the intimacy within relationships. Having warm relationships is the key to human happiness and emotional well being.
2. Monitor your anger
Start by keeping an anger log for at least two or three weeks. By keeping this log you will begin reducing anger because you may be able to reveal what triggers some of that anger. Use this log to monitor any and every episode of anger, from fleeting moments of frustration or impatience, to extreme rage. Keep note of the facts that occurred during these events with an intensity scale of 0-10, where 0 is no anger, and 10 is the maximum anger. After recording the intensity add some notes about the thoughts or images you were are of during the scene, and any other feelings you may have experienced in the scene; and what you actually did. This journal can help you gain more perspective on you anger.
3. Feel the anger and don’t do it anyway
“Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret.” Anger will interfere with your problem-solving and good judgment. Anger drives us to aggress and confront, as well as motivates revenge and retaliation. Its’ a good practice to sit on the anger you feel, wait it out a day before you respond and reflect on what you feel and how you want to handle the situation. If after 24 hours you still need to carry out these actions, you will do so in a calmer manner. In the heat of anger you’re likely to make decisions you’ll regret so working on reducing anger will help you handle situations in a more appropriate manner.
4. Look after yourself
The state you are in at that moment will influence the severity of an anger episode. You can be stressed, tired, sick, hung-over, agitated, or feel any other emotions that will magnify your reaction. Here are some of the most common culprits.