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How to Keep Anger at Bay

Ms. Kaustubhi Shukla 88% (133 ratings)
M.Sc - Psychological Counseling, B.A ( Hons) - Psychology
Psychologist, Delhi  •  9 years experience
How to Keep Anger at Bay

Anger is a normal emotion. However, it is equally important to keep anger under control. Just like any other emotion, anger too varies from person to person and from one circumstance to another. Uncontrolled anger can lead to mental and physical stress. It also causes stress in relationships and hampers overall well-being. 

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. An angry person may lash out verbally and at times physically. Such things done in the heat of the moment may leave one with regrets or bad consequences. 

Here are some of the ways that you could learn to gain control on your temper: 

  1. Recognize the signs: Once you know that a problem exists, you must 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. 
  2. 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. 
  3. Focus on the present: Whenever you're angry, don't look back at the past. By doing so, you may end up bringing past grievances into your present situation, while holding others responsible for feeling how and what you feel. Instead focus your attention on what you can do in the present to work out the issue. 
  4. Hold no grudge: Holding on to the negative feelings will have a negative impact on the health. Focusing on the present will enable one to let go off bad experiences with a person. Letting negative experiences go not only keeps the relationship healthy, but also keeps you away from stress and harmful emotions. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a psychologist.
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