Sometimes, life can get so irritating that it is hard not to get angry. While getting moderately angry is natural, some people get too worked up for their own good. Too much anger can affect mental health, as can suppressed anger.
Why anger is harmful
Anger is a major cause for mental health problems. It is a powerful emotion that results from frustration, hurt, exasperation or discontent. Slight irritation is fine. But constant strong rage is harmful.
Suppressed anger could result in mental health issues such as anxiety, depression and often destroy relationships. It also influences the thought and behaviour patterns of the individual leading to physical problems. Some people develop high blood pressure, heart disease, skin disorders from the stress, headaches and stomach upsets. As if all these weren’t enough, anger is also linked to crime, physical abuse and violence.
How to manage anger
Anger is not difficult to manage once you make up your mind to do it. Here are some steps you can take to help you dissolve that feeling of anger:
- When you begin to feel angry, deep breathing can calm you down. Positive self-talk can tone those angry thoughts. Relax or chant a soothing mantra until the feeling of anger subsides.
- We know that suppressing anger is not a good idea. It is better to express it – but remember to express it in the right way. Some people tend to fizz up with frequent outbursts, messing up their relationships with others. Flaring up often can also stress your nervous and cardiovascular system. Instead, use your assertiveness healthily to express how you feel and what you need.
- Get others’ support. Talk about it to someone you trust and try to change how you behave
- If you find it hard to predict when that spurt of anger hits you, keep track by keeping a log of which situations trigger it off.
- Try changing your perspective, preferably by getting into the other person’s shoes.
- Try laughing at yourself and spotting the humor in the situation
- Try being a good listener since being a good listener can improve communication skills and help build trust. This will help deal with your own negative emotions.
- Express yourself in a relaxed manner without getting defensive or emotionally worked up. There are several self-help books that can help deal with anger.
If you find your anger too tough to manage on your own, maybe you need the help of a mental health professional or a counselor. A qualified psychologist can work with you to come up with techniques to change your behaviour and thinking.
Stress is often linked to anger and managing your diet can help reduce stress and thereby, anger. This means avoiding foods rich in fat. Instead, a fiber-rich diet will provide the energy you need to work. High fat diets increase stress and are a good precursor to arteriosclerosis.
A healthy diet with nutritious meals is a must. Fresh fruits and vegetables help. Cut down on sugar and too much caffeine. Drink lots of water to stay hydrated and fresh.
Stay healthy – mentally and physcially.
What do you do to manage your anger? Share your tips.