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5 ways to control anger

September 19, 2012

Anger is one of the most powerful human emotions. It’s a natural part of the human experience, but it can also be overwhelming and frightening when it gets out of control.

Much like a boiling kettle, anger runs on a spectrum – starting out with simple annoyance and moving through to full-blown rage. Triggered by how our mind reacts to an event, either in the outside world or an occurring thought, anger causes changes in the physical body; increasing blood pressure, heart rate and adrenalin.

So, how best to protect yourself and others when the wave hits? Every person is different, because we all have different things that make us angry. But here are some things you might try:

1. Using humour – can you reframe the object of your anger into something funny?
2. Take time out – if you’re in a situation that allows you to leave the space, then do.
3. Breathing exercises – similar to people who experience panic attacks, deep breathing (from the stomach, not shallow from the chest) can help to calm you down.
4. Slow down and communicate – the heat of anger defeats our rational response. Talk about what you’re feeling, try to articulate it. This process of analysis works to slow down impulse reactions.
5. Counting to ten (or higher) – yes, this one does actually work! It’s not just an old wives tale. Concentrating on the action of slowly counting allows time to take you off the boil and step back from the situation to re-assess.

These are, of course, short-term solutions. In the long run, you’re going to need strategies for managing anger if it has begun to take over your life.

Finding out just what your triggers are, how to neutralise them or change your thought processes around them is something a psychologist can assist you with in a safe, non-judgmental environment.

Call Life Resolutions today on 1300 668 256 to find out how our qualified psychologists can help you or a loved one with anger management, or use the email contact form on our website.

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