How to Control Your Temper
by Darci Maxwell
There are few things as unpleasant as somebody suffering from an external bout of unreasonable anger. We often call this a “bad temper.” Having anger management issues can result in the destruction of property and relationships, as well as lead to incredibly violent behavior that puts people in danger of physical harm. Oftentimes, these anger issues can pose dangerous situations for children, and can lead to instances of abuse. For this reason, it is an incredible important skill to learn how to manage anger, and negative feelings, in general. Here are some tips on how to hone this skill and control your temper…
Know anger is a natural emotion
It’s important to point out that anger isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Anger is a very natural emotion that belongs on the spectrum of human experience. Look at the world around you! There are plenty of things to get angry at. The trouble, however, comes with the ways that we choose to handle our anger. Although it is a natural emotion, anger has a tendency to displace logic and make us do irrational things, and thus needs to be kept in check.
Learn to recognize anger
The first, and perhaps most difficult, part of dealing with anger is simply learning to consciously recognize it. If you are able to acknowledge that you might not be in the best state of mind, due to your anger, then you are far less likely to act in a way that is irrational and damaging. While this may sound simple, it actually takes a great deal of self-control and tremendous insight to recognize this. Anger is an emotion that, by its nature, can wash out the thought processes that should keep it in check. Recognizing anger is the first step to emotional balance and better control, though. For more information about how to recognize different types of anger, check out this nifty little article here.
One of the simplest and most practical ways to deal with anger is to use the chemistry of our bodies to release endorphins that relieve stress and calm an angry mind. This is what makes exercise such a great way to manage anger. Getting the energy out of your system that gets pent up when you are angry will help you relax and get a better grasp on your mind. You don’t need an extremely rigorous exercise, either. Even taking a jog and quick walk will help you reduce stress and release endorphins.
Get to the root of what’s making you angry
Once you have calmed down, it’s important to get at the root of exactly why you are angry. What is the underlying source that is putting you in this emotional state? Your anger is your mind’s way of signifying that something is wrong and must be dealt with, so the logical next step is to locate that problem and find a way to deal with it. This is why it is so important to control your anger. You need a clear mind to address problems and make meaningful progress towards solving them.
Think of problems on a scale
One of the biggest misgivings of anger is that it tends to make people blow things out of proportion. Keeping things in perspective will help you control your anger and realize where things actually stand in conjunction with your life. To do this, a helpful tool is to think of everything that makes you angry on a scale of 1 to 10. 10 is the number where everyone you’ve ever loved has died a horrible death and you are inadvertently guilty of causing it, and the world, as you know it, is coming to an end. When you put things in your life on that scale, it reminds you that nearly everything we deal with on a daily basis exists on the lower end, and that our anger should adjust accordingly.
Let things go
At the end of the day, the final thing that you should do to deal with your anger is simply learn to let things go. Not everything deserves to be held onto. Grudges make poor living partners, and should be evicted at all appropriate places. If something isn’t actively affecting your life, don’t let it bring you down, as it will give anger a reason to continue popping into your mind, and with little good reason.
About the Author
Darci Maxwell is a walking contradiction, and she loves it. You are just as likely to find her outside tearing up a mountain as you are to discover her curled up at home with a steamy cup of herbal tea watching Dr. Who. She is terrified of heights, yet she is the first one to run to the edge and marvel at the spellbinding sight. As an introverted extrovert, writing is her favorite way to connect with many people while still enjoying the comforts of her own home. Her favorite quote is “Here’s to the movers, the shakers, and the mischief-makers.”