Every once and a while, you are likely to lose your grip, allow anger to overtake you and lead you into an emotional display that, depending on how you handle it, could have negative or positive ramifications.
While it’s easy to give in to your emotions when they well up inside of you, there are other alternatives that can give you control of anger, or any other emotions if you are proactive and inclined to do the work necessary to make yourself the master of your emotions.
People are always their weakest when they are angry.
Knowing what anger is, and what causes it to rise up inside you, is a good place to start when trying to tame this wildcat.
Anger is a fear-based negative emotion fueled by the stress hormone, “cortisol,” that could be triggered by nearly anything, such as, pressure from school or work, unexpected change, challenging life circumstances, feeling as though you’re being attacked (or lorded over) by other people, as well as underlying fears like feeling threatened, perception of impending pain, jealousy, disappointment, low self-esteem, fear of failure, or loss.
Giving in to the emotion of anger can actually have a detrimental effect on your physical, psychological and spiritual health. When you are enveloped by anger, your heart rate speeds up, blood pressure builds, stress hormones are released en masse which creates a toxic cocktail for your body and its associated systems.
Think early physiological deterioration, aging, and failing organ function, memory loss, acute minor motor skills, reaction time, just to name a few.
Getting a handle on your anger is one of the best ways to look younger, increase your quality of life and longevity.
Keeping a list handy where you can note when you are triggered to feel anger and what caused the emotion to make you start to feel angry would help to get an idea of when you might be most susceptible to a potentially volatile outburst.
When you’re experiencing a calm state of mind, and are willing to set aside a few minutes to do so, make a list of things that you can think of that make you angry.
To give you an idea, here’s a copy of a client’s list (used by permission):
• When I get an automated computer voice and a long list of numbered options when I call a business for assistance
• Dealing with impatient customers at work
• Having to deal with my mother-in-law (she doesn’t like me much)
• Crazy drivers on the highway during my commute
• Checking my stock values and finding they’ve decreased again
Here are some ideas that help keep the wild beast at bay when you’re feeling like your bubble of calm is about to burst
Chill out; literally. Grabbing something cold and refreshing, like a frozen drink (or a drink with a lot of ice), a slushee, shaved ice or ice cream can hit the spot, and the temperature jolt to your system can have a calming effect, reducing your potential angry outburst.
Take an exhilarating break by taking a walk, or a hike (subject to time and available access). This helps take care of your body, while cortisol (the stress hormone) subsides and is overrun by happy and healthy hormones, such as endorphins, endocannabinoids, dopamine, and serotonin.
If you’re in a private place, you can always crank up the tunes, dance to the music, or sing along as best you can to your favorite song(s).
Write a letter. You don’t have to send it, just write out your emotions, how this person, place or thing made you feel angry. If you’re keeping an anger diary, be sure to leave space for something good that happened today, also.
Do things differently. If you’re exposed to an activity regularly during your day which set off your anger response, alter your routine so as to avoid that particular trigger (like taking an alternative route to and from work, etc.).
These are just a few ideas to get you started on taking charge of your anger, placing you in the driver’s seat of your emotional storage facility.
Knowing what sets you off, and having some tools to interrupt your pattern can move you quickly toward a healthy, happier life, shaving years off your appearance and supporting your long and more satisfying life.