Letting anger control you = disastrous results
Explosive outbursts can be detrimental to your health for the following reasons:
- Anger interferes with your ability to develop long term healthy relationships
- Rage can result in violence, which is scary and unsafe.
- Others won’t like us if we get angry, so being angry is perceived as bad
- Others often avoid angry people
Do you feel inappropriately angry for the situation, in certain contexts?
Do you often feel irritated and or frustrated, but try not to show it?
Do you fly off in a rage, sometimes expressing anger with violence?
How has that worked for you so far?
I can tell you it didn’t work out so well for me. A long time ago I used to fly off into an impressive rage when triggered by a feeling of rejection or when I felt bullied. Once the red mist of anger was around I was lost in it and unable to stop. I said and did things that afterwards, when I calmed down, I bitterly regretted. The wake up call came when I threw something in temper and I realised that I could have hurt someone. I knew I had to take back control and deal with my emotional baggage.
Whether you have had totally different triggers/situations or similar ones, I am guessing you want and need to take back control of yourself and your actions. But right now It seems impossible, no matter how hard you try or how much you want this to change, when the right button is pushed, off you go again.
The cost of not addressing this can be huge
A loved one walks away, unable to be on the receiving end of your rage anymore.
Being so angry raises your blood pressure and is generally bad for your health.
It can have a devastating effect on your children and/or other members of your family.
The consequences of expressing anger with explosive outbursts are many and far reaching. Maybe you are saying things like “I can’t seem to help myself, the smallest thing can result in me going into a rage of anger. What is going on here?”
What’s going on?
It is likely that we express anger this way to unconsciously mask other emotions, that we may or may not be aware of yet and don’t want to experience. We may have repressed these underlying emotions for a long time.
It’s not all doom and gloom
On the flip side anger can be a very useful emotion, as it helps motivate us to take action and change what is not working. It can also help us protect ourselves. But the rub is we need to understand anger and learn how to express it appropriately in the moment without being out of control, non-violently with motivation and without fear, so anger can help us forge successful and real relationships with others and ourselves, at work and at home.
However, with time and effort it is possible to experience anger as a good, healthy and normal emotion.
Make a start now to take back control of your anger
As soon as you start to feel angry. Walk away saying something like “when I feel calmer I will come back to you.” Then go for a 20 minute walk, stick to the 20 minutes, even if you start to calm down quite quickly.
Whilst walking, focus on your surroundings, as if seeing them for the first time. It is crucial for the first ten minutes to leave all thoughts around the issue, person or situation aside. You can think about this later on when you start to feel calmer, toward the end of the walk. Instead focus your attention on breathing deeply, into the belly, and slowly.
Thoughts about what has made you angry, will try to intrude. Do not try to fight or resist them, allow and notice them and let them drift off, do not engage or follow those thoughts. Try to say something like “stop” or “I have got that” or “I don’t need to hear that right now.” The idea here is to take your attention away from following and engaging in unsupportive thoughts.
You could also apply the 7/11 technique below:
Both techniques are ways to calm down, to see things as they really are, more clearly and from different perspectives. Not just from your point of view, e.g “I’m right and they are wrong.” You will also be able to become more aware of the consequences of how you choose to deal with the situation or person/s involved. The simple tools give you the space and calmness to apply your intellect to the problem from a more neutral mindset [neither positive or negative].
This is a good way to start to take back control. Let me know how you get on.
Did you give this a try?
What worked for you, what didn’t?