10 anger management tips to tame your temper

lightning bolts when you are angryDo you think that our temperament from early childhood is our destiny or it’s something we can change? Research has found that temperament – the mood that dominates our emotional life, that is a given at birth, and is largely caused by our genes – is not our destiny. With the right experiences and emotional lessons we can shape our personality to become more outgoing if we are naturally shy, more cheerful if we are naturally on the sad-side and so on.

This is great news in terms of anger. We know some people are naturally more easily angered than others. Anger is a normal emotion, just like happiness and sadness, so it’s unrealistic to think we will get to the stage that we will never get angry again. What is realistic, though, is being able to gain good anger management skills so we are happier, which can, in turn, make those close to us happier.

Do you want to tame a terrible temper? Try these ten anger management tips.

1. Remember the benefits of managing anger, and the costs of not controlling anger
2. Are you seeing the situation accurately?
3. Increase empathy
4. Forgive others
5. Wait at least a few seconds before reacting and deep breathe
6. Remember the basics of having kinder and more constructive arguments
7. Get help from those in the know
8. Choose fascination
9. Are you lacking vital nutrients?
10. Are you having a food reaction?

1. Remember the benefits of managing anger, and the costs of not controlling anger

The benefits of anger management can help inspire you to keep going with using anger management techniques, especially when the going gets tough.

What are some benefits of good anger management?

  • You feel happier, so you have a better quality of life
  • You have happier friendships/relationships
  • You might have better health, and less chance of dying from a heart attack and heart disease. Scientists have found that when we feel happy different chemicals are released compared to when we feel negative emotions such as anger. Yale University researchers have found intense negative emotions of any kind increase the risk of death from heart disease as they send surges of stress hormones through our bodies. A Harvard Medical School study found being angry more than doubled the risk of cardiac arrest in people who had already had a heart attack. The increased risk lasted for about two hours after the anger started.

What are some costs of having poor anger management?

  • Too much anger reduces happiness which can lead to less quality of life and poor health
  • Poor anger management can erode and destroy relationships such as friendships and marriages
  • Poor anger management can destroy careers
  • Poor anger management can lead to increased risk of alcoholism and drug taking, compared to people with good anger management skills

2. Are you seeing the situation accurately?

We each have “filters” in our minds that can affect how we see the world. Are you really seeing the situation accurately? Is there another way to look at it so that you approach it differently and feel calmer? There are different sides to a situation, such as your point-of-view, what really happened, and the individual point-of-view of everyone else involved.

Anger, if not restrained, is frequently more hurtful to us than the injury that provokes it.” – Seneca (Roman philosopher)

3. Increase empathy

Imagine what a person on the receiving end of your anger feels when you’re angry. Would you like to be treated how you treat them when you’re angry? Would you find your behaviour acceptable? Are there kinder ways to treat the person?

4. Forgive others

Thinking of empathy in another way, if our anger is caused by the bitterness from not forgiving others, by understanding the situation of people who have hurt us, we can gain empathy. Increasing empathy can help us forgive others and let go of anger.

Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.” – Buddha

Anger will never disappear so long as thoughts of resentment are cherished in the mind. Anger will disappear just as soon as thoughts of resentment are forgotten.” – Buddha

If you’re angry at a loved one, hug that person. And mean it. You may not want to hug, which is all the more reason to do so. It’s hard to stay angry when someone shows they love you, and that’s precisely what happens when we hug each other.” – Walter Anderson, The Confidence Course, 1997

5. Wait at least a few seconds before reacting and deep breathe

A short pause and some deep breaths before we react in anger can help us calm down and enable us to think about a better, more constructive, way to react.

When anger rises, think of the consequences.” – Confucius

Anger is one letter short of danger.” – Author unknown

6. Remember the basics of having kinder and more constructive arguments

Treat others how we would like to be treated. Everyone wants to be treated with respect and dignity. If someone is treating you unkindly, is it linked to something you’re doing or saying, or have done in the past, or do they treat everyone like that regardless of how others treat them? If you treat them better will they treat you better in return?

Signs that anger is a problem include sarcasm, nasty name calling, bullying, criticizing, snide comments, put-downs, domestic violence (abuse at home that is verbal and/or physical), teasing, deliberately starting arguments for fun, throwing things, breaking things, being condescending and high levels of rage.

For extra happiness, and healthier relationships, we should not have to tolerate – nor take part in – any of these behaviors. Find kinder, more respectful and more constructive ways to deal with anger.

7. Get help from those in the know

Books, counsellors, articles, anger management courses, and other Internet blog posts can be great sources of anger management techniques. I recommend the number one bestselling book Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman. It includes ways to improve our emotional intelligence by managing our tempers better. I also recommend Paul Wilson’s books Calm for Life, Calm at Work, The Calm Technique and Instant Calm.

Here’s a passage from the book Emotional Intelligence. Daniel Goleman is writing about some results of anger research by Dr. Redford Williams at Duke University.

“…Whether anger is expressed or not is less important than whether it is chronic. An occasional display of hostility is not dangerous to health. The problem arises when hostility becomes so constant as to define an antagonistic personal style – one marked by repeated feelings of mistrust and cynicism and the propensity to snide comments and put-downs, as well as more obvious bouts of temper and rage.

The hopeful news is that chronic anger need not be a death sentence: hostility is a habit that can change.”

8. Choose fascination

Decide to be interested in a situation instead of getting angry. This, obviously, depends on a number of things, such as how severe the situation is. If someone physically hurts us, then while this is happening it would be hard to choose interest instead of anger, but if what’s going on is a minor thing, choosing interest – maybe even trying to find a humorous side – can help us feel better.

9. Are you lacking vital nutrients?

If we lack certain vitamins, minerals and other nutrients, such as omega-3 fat, we can feel more irritable and angry than if we receive enough of them. Feeling irritable can be a symptom of magnesium and/or vitamin B deficiency, for example. Statistics say about 80 percent of Americans lack magnesium, and many of us can lack at least one B vitamin. Ensure you’re getting enough nutrients. Get tested for nutrient deficiency, if you’re unsure.

10. Are you having a food reaction?

Food reactions can cause anger, irritability and other unpleasant reactions in some people. Are you having food reactions that you aren’t aware of? It might be the food itself, a chemical in the food (such as an artificial color or preservative) or a contaminant in the food. Test for food intolerances to identify whether your anger is worsened by something you’re eating.

written by Nyomi Graef

photo of lightning by Christian Meyn and available from FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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6 Responses to “10 anger management tips to tame your temper”

  1. Superb Content, Top Notch, and User Friendly are the best way to describe this post, reading this motivates me.

  2. Well its absolutely true.I like your post.Simple relaxation tools such as deep breathing and relaxing imagery can help calm down angry feelings.There are books and courses that can teach you relaxation techniques and once you learn the techniques.If you are involved in a relationship where both partners are hot-tempered,it might be a good idea for both of you to learn these techniques.

  3. cp brakewell says:

    I like that :), (at least the bits I could make out easily). I am color blind (deuteranopia to be exact). I mainly use Safari browser (no idea if that makes a difference), and a lot of this web page is tricky for me to make out. I know that it is not your problem really, nonetheless it would be great if you could bear in mind color blind visitors whilst undertaking the next web page redesign.

  4. Interesting post. Bookmarked for future reference! I encourage you to visit my site on how to deal with anger. Shared some helpful tips over there 🙂

  5. Anger is not the problem…the problem is how we deal with it.

  6. Hello
    Very useful information! Two things I would like to comment. First of all – surveys have shown that deep breathing is probably one of the most efficient and easiest things an angry person can do to calm down. It really is worth to try.
    And secondly I would like to say that talking about it later is a good thing to do. This way it is possible to prevent negative situations in the future.
    Best Regards
    Samantha Mat

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