Anger is among the gamut of emotions we exhibit as a reaction to a situation, and it is a 'normal' emotion too as long as it is kept under control. Some people have the propensity to explode when pushed to the extreme. They keep swallowing their emotions until they can finally do it no more, and erupt like a volcano. Others dealing with extreme anger are like a ticking time bomb. You'll never know what you unwittingly say or do can trigger an explosion. In either case, anger that cannot be controlled comes with a physical reaction.
Your heart beats faster preparing you for both action and reaction. Your breathing quickens. You may clench your fist, tighten your shoulders and go into a defensive position. The problem arises out of the fact that it is almost impossible to feel anger and empathy at the same time. An angry person is seldom sensitive to the well being of his victim, and hence may lash out verbally and sometimes physically. Such things done in the heat of the moment mostly leaves us with regrets. So here are a few ways to deal with extreme anger.
- Acknowledge it: The first step in solving a problem is recognizing that you have one. The fundamental problem here is that people believe they are on the right track and refuse to budge from their views. It is essential to realize that this step is not about deciding whether you are right or wrong, but acknowledging the fact that your reaction to the situation can be channeled in a better way. When getting someone to acknowledge their anger problem, be careful as to not use negative words like wrong, false and shouldn't. Instead, influence with positive words like can and should. Instead of saying 'You are wrong to react like this', you can say, 'I understand what you are feeling. Is there a way we can resolve this situation?'
- Recognize the signs: Once you know that your problems exist, you can try devising ways that will work for you in dealing with the situation. You can count to 10 to calm yourself or simply decide to not speak until you can calm yourself. Knowing that you may enter into an argument in a situation, you can list down the points that you feel strongly about and discuss each of them one by one. Working your way through a finite list gives a better opportunity to reach closure at the end.
- Find ways to let it go: Not all arguments end in closure. A lot of unsaid justifications cloud our mind repeatedly leaving us seething from the inside. Research has shown that the neurological anger response lasts less than two seconds. Beyond that it takes a strong will to stay angry. Once you realize how much your anger is consuming your mind, decide to free your mind with meditation and other calming exercises. Tell yourself that some people and issues simply don't deserve your anger, emotion, reaction or time.
If you or someone you know is suffering from anger management issues, consult a doctor today.