Why should you learn to control your anger?
We often hear that we shouldn’t hold in our anger. However, letting it out aggressively isn’t the solution either 🤬. It’s not possible to “suppress” this emotion like we do to close an app on our phone. It’s also not for others to deal with our emotions, but for us to do so for several reasons.
Anger eats away at us
As we often see, emotions as strong as anger are tiring! Feeling anger causes physical symptoms that can lead to serious chronic illnesses such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, immune deficiency… Still, if that was all there was to it 🤯!
➜ The reason it makes us so tired to feel anger is because it consumes significant psychological resources. It can even lead to generalized anxiety if it’s recurrent, or even depression and other mental disorders…
Anger isolates us
It’s important to think about the effects that anger has on us, but others also suffer from it. And they shouldn’t have to suffer in any way! We may think that others provoke this emotion, but in reality, it’s our past that is coming back. Moreover, anger can drive us away from the people we love and make them suffer 😥. In order to keep them safe from all this, we need to learn to control ourselves.
What is hidden behind anger?
It’s important to know that anger is a secondary emotion related to events we’ve experienced. It actually hides another emotion, we’re angry because of the primary emotion. Sometimes we also want to hide it, which is emotional avoidance. That’s why you have to learn to manage your emotions, they’re all legitimate.
⚠️ You may also have been brought up to communicate only with anger as soon as something goes wrong.
Here are some reasons that can explain anger:
- Difficulty making compromises: you may have grown up in a model where the angry person always got what they wanted, so this pattern is reproduced. Otherwise, it will be perceived that making compromises is being vulnerable.
- One principal emotion: we put on a mask to hide the real emotion.
- Inability to listen to different opinions: this means that you’re unable to question yourself.
How to learn to manage your anger?
Anger manifests itself through physical symptoms such as a knotted stomach, a clenched jaw, excessive sweating, etc. These signs can help us to feel the anger coming and understand what is causing this strong emotion.
Identifying the situations or people that generate anger
Anger can be deciphered from the signals sent by the body. Sometimes it’s a question of situations or patterns that recur and trigger this strong emotion. Here’s a non-exhaustive list:
- Stressful and particularly anxiety-provoking situations;
- The “you must” imposed by psychorigid people;
- Accumulation of frustration;
- Jumping to conclusions, feeling as if you know what the other person is thinking;
- Generalization of others, for example, “you always cut me off”;
Learning to calm down
Once you’ve identified the situations, it’s easier to learn to calm down. Distancing yourself from your emotions means you suffer from them less, and instead, observe and better understand them. To do this, yoga or meditation can be strong allies to best control the fits of anger 🧘♀️.
Nevertheless, these practices should be set up in the long term. In the moment of rage, you can focus on physical sensations. As such, shift your attention to your body and not your emotions. Learning to do breathing exercises is necessary to evacuate anger, so you can breathe in and out deeply.
Just like calming down, it’s an exercise that takes time. Indeed, it’s not easy to distance yourself when you’re seething. But the more you do it, the easier it will be for you to do it. When you start to get frustrated and upset about a situation, ask yourself the following questions 🤔:
- How important is it really?
- Is it worth getting angry?
- Is it worth ruining the rest of my day?
- Is my answer appropriate to the situation?
- Is there something I can do?
- Is engaging in problem or anger solving actions worth my time?
Using your empathy
From there, it’s possible to be strong enough to put yourself in the shoes of the person who has upset you, whether it’s your boyfriend or the post office worker. To achieve this, you have to listen actively to the other person without over-interpreting their words. Furthermore, you need to learn to detach yourself from something you often hold dear: being right.
👩❤️👩 If you manage to put yourself “in the other person’s shoes”, it’ll be much easier to let go and not allow yourself to be overcome by the feeling of anger.
What are the signs of anger issues in a girl?
Here are 3 telltale signs that a girl is struggling with anger issues.
1) The struggle to communicate before the tantrum
Girls often throw tantrums because they don't yet have the ability to express themselves and understand clearly. If your little one has trouble expressing his point of view, or if she has trouble asking for what she wants, she may throw a tantrum unless you help her express herself.
2) Physical signs of frustration
If a child starts hitting a toy, throwing an object or raising a hand in frustration, a tantrum may be on the horizon. When frustration begins to move through the body, your child may be reaching her limit.
3) Yelling before the tantrum
If your little one starts raising her voice, it may be a sign that she’s having emotional difficulties. When her voice is less than happy, you can look to see if intervention is needed to prevent a tantrum.
Does anxiety cause anger outbursts?
We all regulate our emotions, every day of our lives. Through this psychological process, we can manage the way we feel and express our emotions in any given situation. But for some people, this regulation is not effective, especially those that suffer with anxiety. The feelings they experience are intense and difficult to cope with, often leading them to engage in behaviors such as self-harm, alcohol consumption, or overeating to escape. To regulate our emotions, we use various strategies, such as reappraisal (changing how we feel about something) and attentional deployment (diverting our attention from something). These strategies rely on underlying neural systems in the prefrontal cortex of our brain. If this malfunctions, we can lose the ability to effectively manage our emotions.
But emotional dysregulation does not only occur when the brain fails to use its regulatory strategies. It can also occur when attempts to mitigate unwanted emotions are unsuccessful, or when counterproductive mitigation strategies are implemented, i.e., when the cost of these strategies outweighs the short-term benefits of mitigating an intense emotion. Deciding not to open your bills to save yourself from an anxiety attack may make you feel better in the short term, but in the long term, it results in a continual increase in costs.
Editor’s note: Identify the origin of this anger
Anger is a strong and tiring emotion in the long run. There are of course healthy forms of anger, as long as they serve as a driving force and allow us to move forward. When they only translate into aggression, they are exhausting and harm our relationships. It’s therefore important to learn how to channel these emotions. If you suffer from regular fits of anger, the first thing to do is to identify the causes. Contact a psychologist to trace the origins of this aggressiveness and find solutions together.
🤗 Understanding yourself, accepting yourself, being happy... It’s here and now!
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