Do you know how to control your anger?
Anger is an innate universal feeling. Every human being can experience it. It is one of the six basic emotions that psychologist Paul Ekman identified as universally experienced by all people: surprise, disgust, fear, joy, sadness and anger.
These six emotions are related to human ability to adapt to the environment. Therefore, they are part of our current emotional repertoire because they have been evolutionarily beneficial to us. Although some of these emotions are actually more comfortable than others, they all have a function and the reason why they exist.
What exactly is anger?
Anger is an emotional state that a person experiences as a response to a real or fictitious threat. It causes irritation, rebellion and frustration.
It occurs when a person feels vulnerable and its evolutionary role is to motivate you to fight against what may harm you. To do this, the body responds on a physiological level by increasing the heart rate and blood pressure and secreting adrenaline and norepinephrine.
In the past, it was common for people to feel scared or angry when they saw a predator trying to hunt them or in front of a rival who threatened their survival by stealing food. This feeling was completely adaptive. Mind and body responded to face a real threat.
The problem is that today there are not too many threats that put us in danger. However, people express excessive anger in many situations due to their inability to handle emotions properly.
Two types of anger
There are two ways to express anger: aggressive anger and passive anger.
A much more visible way of expressing frustration that does not lead to misunderstandings. Some people act in the following ways. The:
- shouts excessively
- judge others, as they feel superior
- owes the frustration to someone else or an external problem
- threatens others
- destroys objects
- is physically violent towards others
- shows no form of empathy
- punishes others unfairly
- seeks revenge as a way to solve problems
- are unpredictable
People express it in the following ways. The:
- does not treat anger well and suppresses it
- feel irritation but do not express it
- manipulates others
- disregard others by showing indifference
- avoids eye contact.
- feel superior because they seem to “control” their emotions
- criticize others behind their backs
- playing the victim
- sabotaging others
- avoids conflict
This way of feeling anger is more subtle and can go unnoticed. Yet both aggressive and passive anger are harmful.
Strategies to control your anger
People who have difficulty dealing with anger, especially when they are more aggressive, often state that they are unable to control themselves. However, everyone can learn to deal with their emotions in a much more appropriate way. Here are some keys that can help you control your anger:
1. Know yourself
Self-knowledge can help you improve your control over emotions. We all inevitably build up emotional wounds throughout life. However, knowing what causes the wounds to bleed again can help you resolve conflicts more appropriately the next time a situation affects you.
2. Strategies to control your anger: Accept reality
In most cases, the suffering of people who feel angry and helpless is due to not accepting reality. So before you accept the circumstances as they are and not as you want them to be, the sooner you stop resisting them and suffering.
Discover cognitive distortions
Whether you admit it or not, your inner dialogue is full of irrational ideas and cognitive distortions. If you work hard to discover the thoughts that are hurting you, you will be able to react better the next time a situation affects you.
4. Improve your social skills to control your anger
People who have difficulty dealing with anger can benefit greatly from social skills training. It allows them to learn to react in a confident and much more respectful and empathetic way when faced with conflicts.
5. Work on your self-esteem
People who do not know how to control their mind usually have unhealthy self-esteem. Many times they are not even aware of how they are harming others. And when they become conscious, they usually feel self-loathing.
Therefore, you need to know and value yourself well.
6. Feel compassion to control your anger
This point is related to the previous one, as people who have difficulty dealing with anger must learn to forgive and be compassionate with themselves. A deep acceptance and unconditional love will allow you to heal all your wounds.
Latest recommendations to control your anger
In short, it is not easy to learn to deal with anger and all that it entails. You must be humble to recognize your past mistakes and gather a lot of willpower to change.
Fortunately, psychology offers many tools to help you deal with and control your anger. Use them today and say goodbye to negative reactions!