Anger is one of those emotions that sneaks up on you and takes over. Anger is normal, but if you’re letting arguments escalate every time and your temper is going out of control, then you need to keep your emotions in check. If you have a short fuse, your anger might be damaging relationships‒both work and personal. Make sure you know how to learn from anger and grow to be happier.
How much do you know about anger? It’s important to understand this emotion before you know why it’s important to tackle.
Anger hurts your health.
Anger is accompanied by high levels of stress and tension. If you experience this emotion consistently over time, you will be more susceptible to illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, insomnia, and high blood pressure. But this harm isn’t purely physical. Anger takes over so much of your mind that it clouds your thinking. The stress it creates can also lead to depression and a variety of mental issues.
Anger hurts your relationships.
Anger hurts both your personal and your work relationships. Debates and arguments can be healthy, but only if you can take a step back and realize these as discussions only, not personal attacks. Getting angry and flying off the handle makes it so that people will not feel comfortable being honest with you. They’ll tailor their words and actions to your reaction, instead of according to what needs to be said or done.
Anger makes you look like a bully.
And everyone hates a bully. People might be scared of you and do what you want if you fly off the handle easily, but they won’t respect you, and they certainly won’t like you. You need to keep your anger in check during arguments and discussions so you come across as level headed and capable of handling anything that comes your way.
Now that you understand the downsides of anger, you can work to get over it, which will make you happier in the long run.
Acknowledge your anger.
It’s said you’re supposed to “let out” your anger so it doesn’t eat away at you, or become corrosive and hurt you down the line. While this is true, you must vent in moderation. Letting out all your anger will only hurt everyone around you, possibly permanently damaging relationships.
Understand your anger.
Is your anger rooted in something from childhood? Are you experiencing traumatic events or heightened stress levels that are causing you to fly off the handle more easily? Is this anger covering up another feeling? Maybe you feel too vulnerable to say what you’re really feeling, so you express it in anger instead. This is especially likely to be true if anger is your default reaction in most conversations. If anger is the only emotion you can express, then you need to work on getting those others to come out more willingly.
Take action on your anger.
Make note of the warning signs before anger takes over your entire body. Does your face get hot? Do you feel knots in your stomach? Do you ball your hands into fists? Keep yourself in check when this starts happening. Try breathing exercises to calm yourself down, then isolate yourself so you can work through your anger without alienating anyone you care about.
You can control your anger.
Anger might sneak up on you and take you by surprise, but that doesn’t mean you can’t control it. You might not be able to stop what makes you angry, but you can control how it comes out around others. Don’t throw tantrums, don’t be a bully, and don’t let it eat you alive. When you feel angry, acknowledge where it came from and that you’re too big a person to be brought down by a little negativity.
Don’t suppress your anger.
It’s impossible to never get angry about anything. It’s human nature that things will rub you the wrong way and you’ll get frustrated and angered by them. Instead of focusing on suppressing your anger, or even trying to eliminate the sources of your anger, just make sure you’re expressing it in constructive, not destructive, ways.
Make your anger productive for you.
Take that angry energy and use it to propel you around the block for a walk, or go to the gym to blow off all that steam. Funnel your energy into a creative outlet, listen to calming music, or even just sit in silence. Find something that works for you‒something that calms you down and makes you happy‒and use that to stave off the side effects of anger.