With Christmas just around the corner, it’s natural that stress levels may be higher than usual so it’s important to equip yourself with strategies to overcome and manage your anger effectively.
Five steps to a calmer you:
1. When you’re angry, adrenalin is released into your body, causing your blood pressure and heart rate to increase. This prepares you for the fight or flight response. This is a natural instinct which protects you in danger, but can be destructive if you’re having an argument with your partner or handling a difficult work call. Try to recognise when this is happening, and step out of the situation for a short while. With a little time to pause, you quickly regain control and be able to re-enter the situation with a more rational frame of mind.
2. If you can’t step out of a situation, you could try this relaxation technique to regain control:
“Close your eyes, and as you breathe in slowly and deeply, imagine your belly filling up like a hot air balloon. As you breathe out, visualize a hot air balloon floating upwards. Breathe in, and you float higher and higher. Gradually, a sense of weightlessness will encompass you and any tension should dissipate.”
If you practice this technique regularly, perhaps before you go to sleep, it will be familiar to you when you are in a situation where you need it.
3. One of the best ways to diffuse your anger is through the distraction of laughter. Distraction can reduce your anger, so turn to an amusing video, recall a funny joke or favourite comedy show. Nothing lifts the mood like a clumsy cat.
4. Angry people are more prone to outbursts. It’s important to try and take a few moments before speaking to think about what you want to say. Try explaining how you feel with “I” statements, rather than “you” statements.
5. Find a way to tune out. A popular way to do this is through music. This will enable you to process your emotions and anger, rather than continuously suppressing it.