Having trouble controlling your temper? You’re certainly not alone.
According to a recent National Health Service survey, one in 10 people they polled claim they have difficulty managing their anger. Aside from the unpleasant and uncomfortable environment it creates, constantly losing your cool can ruin your health.
Angry outbursts puts your cardiac health at great risk, increases the likelihood you’ll have stroke, weakens your immune system, makes your anxiety worse and is linked to depression.
NHS clinical psychologist Isabel Clarke has some tips on how to manage your rage to save yourself from these diseases.
1. Keep a diary of what made you angry.
Keeping a diary of what caused your rage helps you monitor your anger. Write one line each day and include your body’s response to your ill feelings and how you reacted. Try to check if you see any patterns.
2. List the things that affect your temper.
Identify the things that make you more likely to lose your temper. Note down examples of situations and triggers such as hunger, lack of sleep, pain, health issues and even alcohol. Many people who take anger management classes believe that their anger comes from nowhere but by carefully examining your feelings, you’ll be able to identify things or situations that fuel your anger.
3. Don’t block off emotions.
Whether you like it or not, bottled up emotions will tend to leak out somewhere else. To channel these feelings appropriately, do regular exercise, practice negotiating with people and try not to please every body. Be mindful of your body, your breathing, your surroundings and your thoughts and let go of anything negative. Know how to conquer your thoughts and body tension.
4. Pick up your early warning signs.
Notice your early warning signs for anger reactions such as increased heart rate, rapid and shallow breathing, and muscles tensing. Once you see these signs, try to do breathing exercises to calm down your spirit.
5. Let go of common “wind-up” thoughts”
Create a list of the sort of phrases or expressions that occur to you when you’re angry. Let go of these “wind-up” thoughts and substitute it with a better and more positive alternative. For instance, instead of cursing people who are bad in driving, try to be thankful that you have better driving skills.