Helpful strategies to control anger

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Health Assured team

25 November 2021

Anger can come in varying degrees, from mild angry thoughts to intense physical outbursts. In the body—this actualises as a tightness in the chest, a pumping heart and a flush of heat that takes your temperature up a notch. And in the mind? Anger tends to cause irritation, an inability to relax and feelings of guilt, nervousness or resentment. That said, this isn’t an exhaustive list—your experience of anger will be unique to you.

It’s normal for us to experience anger as we move through our daily lives. But when anger goes unchecked, it can come between relationships and cause destructive behaviour.

Breathing techniques to control anger

When we’re angry, our heart rate and temperature start to rise. These physical symptoms soon take over. And if you aren’t careful, you can soon find yourself swept away in an emotional reaction. Breathing techniques can help to intercept this physical reaction before you make any actions you might later regret.

The Box Breathing exercise can help regulate your heart rate, reduce bodily tension and relieve stress. Simply follow the four steps below:

  1. Inhale for a count of 4
  2. Hold your breath for a count of 4
  3. Exhale for a count of 4
  4. Pause for a count of 4

What triggers anger?

You can gain control of your anger by starting to understand your triggers. Pay more attention to your emotional state and take a step back whenever you feel anger developing within you. If you can take note of the situations that trigger these feelings, you can start to identify the causes of your anger. Once you understand this, you will be more prepared. You can have your coping strategies ready and be aware that you might need to step out of the situation if it starts to become too much.

Reframe your thoughts

After the initial trigger has passed, angry thoughts often fuel the feeling. This can exasperate the emotion even further. Before you know it, you could quickly become trapped in a cycle of rage. But there is an alternative. You can intercept these thought patterns by challenging unhelpful thinking habits. Pay attention to your thoughts when you’re angry—writing them down might help you identify them. When you can identify these thoughts, they somehow lose their grip. You'll get a second to breathe and find perspective.

Repurpose your energy

Anger can produce a lot of energy and tension in the body. One way to overcome this anger is by repurposing it for use in productive ways. Exercise can be a great way to cool off from intense emotion. Plus, it will improve your mental and physical health in the process too. Even if it’s just a short walk for some fresh air, this ‘breathing time’ will allow you to wind down and release pent up tension.

Health Assured can help you to overcome anger. Get in touch with us today on: 0844 891 0356

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