Do you know that feeling that a haze draws in front of your eyes, steam comes out of your ears? You want to sell someone a thump with love or you close it completely. Anger, being angry, it happens to all of us. Sometimes there is a logical connection with the situation, sometimes you have the idea that the situation is taking you by surprise.
As a coach, I regularly receive questions about how to better control anger. “I want to let it go,” is usually the request, or “I want to tell someone the truth without hurting the other.” In this blog I give you tips for the short term (very practical) and the long term (is a bit less easy and with lasting results). Do you read along?
Short-term anger tips
1. Accept your anger
It may sound strange, but accept that you are very angry right now. Emotions are just as much part of life as breathing. If you say to yourself: “Yes, I am angry now and I am allowed to do that,” you will let that air. Literally.
2. Count to 10
This is the classic tip when it comes to controlling your anger. And the great thing is: it really works. That is that by counting to 10 you do not respond from your first emotion. You give yourself the chance to relax, allowing you to respond more rationally.
If you do this seriously and consistently, you will find that you can indeed control yourself. That you still feel angry (and you may) and that you do not respond angry.
3. Take a figurative distance
Distancing yourself from an unpleasant situation can also help. You can do that by thinking of something nice in your mind. That can be something simple: your favorite color, a beautiful holiday, a favorite song. By taking some distance in mind, it is often easier for you to view the situation in a different, more rational way.
4. Take a literal distance
You get frustrated because you can’t do something. Your PC is too slow, a colleague nags, a partner is cranky. It is then wise to do something else. Take a walk, get coffee or check your messages on your phone. If you go back to that situation after a few minutes, it often looks different again.
5. Write off
Just like counting to 10, this is also a classic. But often we don’t do it, because it takes so much effort and time. At least we often think so. Just do it, write off your frustrations and anger. It helps because you move your mind from your head to paper (or your PC). That way you clear your head and it helps to gain more insight why you are so angry or frustrated.
6. Take a deep breath
If you feel it bubbling and want to react angry, take a few deep breaths. Very deep from your stomach and exhaling completely empty. This also helps if you close when you are angry. Give it a try.
(There are a few exercises in this blog! )
Anger tips for the long term
The tips for the long term help you to get rid of your anger structurally.
7. Find out the cause
Try to figure out what, who or which situation makes you angry. This can be done by using the tip of writing down or by talking to someone about it. Do you discover a common thread in what makes you angry? They are often very old patterns, I call them cart tracks, which have often been with you all your life. They feel like a part of your character, which makes you think that’s just the way it is. And I know from experience that it is often learned behavior from very long ago. And the good news is that you can also learn learned behavior. If you want that. The following tips can help you with this.
8. Adjust your expectations
We often get angry with someone else because they don’t meet our requirements. What is so logical for you does not have to be for someone else. After all, we differ from each other. Therefore adjust your expectations of and about others. Know that people sometimes react carelessly and say painful things for you. Know that not everyone is aware of what they are saying and what effect that has on you.
9. Take your responsibility
You get angry for whatever reason. It does not help to blame others for that. In fact, the situation does not change. Do you know this killer: “That’s just the way I am.” It’s an excuse for your own behavior. Posing as a victim of the situation does not help you. Do you want to get rid of your anger? Then place yourself ‘under the magnifying glass’. It helps to ask a professional counselor, such as a coach, for this.
10. Take advantage of criticism
Do you experience a comment as a negative criticism? Have you ever received that comment from someone else? Maybe there is a truth in that. Getting angry doesn’t help. Do not think in advance that people mean evil Investigate ‘the blind spot’ and find it useful in the comments of others.
11. Talk about it
If you are angry about what someone else is doing or saying, it’s important to talk about it. You can do that with an “I-message”. The characteristic of an I message is that you tell what you find annoying, without attacking the other.
For example, say, “I feel pressured by you.” Instead of, “You always put pressure on me.”
The difference seems small and because you do not attack the other person, they will not be able to defend themselves that easily anymore.
12. Ask for help
Much of what we experience as anger has to do with how we view the world. Ask yourself honestly if you see everyone and everything as an opponent or obstacle. It could just be that the world is not really ox, but you think so.
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