“If you remain patient in one moment of anger, you will escape a hundred days of sorrow” — Chinese Proverb
Let’s be honest: who hasn’t lost their temper at work? Anger is a normal emotion and everybody loses their cool once in a while.
It could be because you’re passed over for a promotion. Or it could be over your failure to meet a deadline. It could also be because a colleague keeps interrupting you while you speak or because you feel the manager favors another colleague.
You might be tempted to throw your phone on the floor or toss your chair across the room in a fit of anger. But whatever the provocation, don’t lose your cool.
Remember, it’s healthy to be firm under such circumstances but also important to ensure you don’t fly into a rage. So manage your anger and be aware of the risk posed by uncontrolled anger.
Uncontrolled anger is also known as rage and it is often destructive. Anger management is a therapeutic process that helps you manage it.
Anger management principles help you shift your focus from anger to its underlying causes.
Effects of Anger
Unbridled anger can cause severe damage to one’s physical and mental well-being, relationships, and career.
Some people express their anger in outbursts. Others repress their anger and try to behave normally. In both cases, unaddressed and unresolved anger causes damage in multiple areas of one’s life. It can cause problems at work and affect the overall quality of your life.
Let’s see the areas of life which can be impacted negatively by anger:
Although anger is an emotion that is based on thoughts, it can also cause physiological changes in the body. An angry person can sometimes feel their anger rushing through their entire body. They may feel like smashing a glass or punching someone.
This is an irrational expression of anger. It will not solve the problem or change the situation which is causing anger. Physical violence only makes things worse. It can lead to destruction, injury, or other forms of harm.
So why do people tend to react physically when they are angry, instead of handling it rationally?
The manifestation of anger in one’s physical responses occurs due to the impact of adrenaline. Adrenaline, also known as the fight-or-flight hormone, is released in large amounts in the body when one is angry.
At the same time, the amygdala in the brain, which controls emotions, takes over the other centers of the brain that govern logical reasoning. This is known as an amygdala hijack.
However, there are many ways one can train oneself to calm down when angry and express their anger in healthier ways.
Consistent long-term anger can cause heart problems, diabetes, weak immunity, insomnia, and several other lifestyle diseases.
An angry person is never at ease. Anger is a powerful emotion. It can make you feel agitated, exhausted, depressed, or tense. It doesn’t allow you to focus on your work and gets in the way of your experience of joy.
Anger management techniques can help reduce one’s simmering anger and make one feel more in control and accepting of the situations that caused the anger. Remember, you cannot choose to avoid people and situations that make you angry, but you can certainly limit the negative impact of anger by using anger management techniques.
Some jobs are stressful and work situations are triggers for anger. Proper anger management techniques help you resolve the issues without hurting other people or ruining their reputation.
However, some people are known for always being angry in the workplace. They can lose their temper for the smallest reasons.
People who are always angry and behave nastily with colleagues are unpopular at work. They develop a tendency to disagree and refuse to cooperate with others. Such behavior will likely be frowned upon and ultimately lead to dismissal from the job.
Personal relationships are fragile. A bout of uncontrollable anger can, in a moment, destroy a relationship you may have spent years nurturing. There is often no hope for reconciliation when you unthinkingly abuse or hit someone in anger.
Angry people may regret their outbursts later when they have calmed down, but it is often too late to make amends and salvage the relationship. It is better to pause, think, and walk away from the other person if needed instead of unleashing your rage on them. Chances are, you’ll regret it later.
How to Control Anger
The common misconception about controlling anger is that anger management is all about concealing and suppressing anger. On the contrary, suppressing anger can only make the situation more volatile. Once you understand how to control anger, you gain the ability to express your anger clearly and constructively without losing your grasp of the situation.
Here, we have listed some tips that will help identify and manage your anger patterns::
Identify the cause:
People often fight over trivial issues. Once the anger cools down, they are not even able to understand what made them so angry. It’s critical to learn how to control anger which could often be masking other underlying problems such as stress, undetected health issues, fatigue, or fear. Therefore, you need to analyze the reasons that make you angry and seek solutions for the same.
Familiarize yourself with anger symptoms:
Anger doesn’t come without its peculiar warning signals. Here are some of the commonest signs of an imminent outburst:
- Tightening of stomach muscles
- Clenching of fists
- Clenching of jaws
- Faster breathing
- Rapidly beating heart
- Seeing red
- Sudden headaches
- Inability to focus on things
- Inability to understand
- Physical agitation
Once you identify these symptoms, you can take steps to cool down and avert a situation where you may lose control.
Learn cooling-off techniques:
People with an understanding of anger management principles can reduce their anger by practicing things like deep breathing, closing their eyes, or counting to 10.
You can use simple relaxation tools such as deep breathing to tame your temper. It helps calm you down and stops you from flying off the handle.
Try and change the way you think. Use logic to beat any negative thoughts that might be making you angry.
One important tip: don’t ever send an email when you’re angry. You might be tempted to unleash your temper but hold yourself back. Experts say you can write an email out for an emotional release but don’t send it out.
Another way of dealing with anger is to speak to a colleague. Venting to a trusted ally at work gets things out of your system and helps you calm down.
Anger is not a problem as long as it is not allowed to spiral out of control and overpower your senses. It can be channeled constructively to help you improve.
So the next time you find your blood boiling at work, remember to use your emotional intelligence or your ability to understand emotions to deal with anger. Find out why you’re angry and deal with it.
Harappa Education’s Embracing Change course has helped a lot of people deal with change and setbacks that could be a reason for anger. Through the concepts and frameworks taught in the course, they have been able to identify and overcome the root causes of their anger.
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