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Getting angry is totally normal, but the way you express this emotion can make a difference in the way you feel about yourself and the way others see you. If your anger is starting to get the better of you, affecting your personal and professional relationships and causing you to feel depressed and isolated, it’s time to learn how to get a handle on it.   

What’s your anger “style”?

We all have different ways of expressing anger. Some people practically explode when they’re ticked off – they might yell and scream at the person who’s made them angry, slam doors behind them, or kick or punch objects around them. Others are a little less dramatic, preferring instead to hide behind sarcasm, awkward humour and other forms of passive-aggressive behaviour. No confrontational episodes for them – when they’re mad, they react with one-liners like “Fine, whatever” and “Do what you want, I don’t care” or by writing angry caps-locked emails.    

Tips to manage your anger

Whatever your anger style, you can learn to get the emotion under control, quickly and comfortably.

If you’re passive-aggressive:

  1. Acknowledge the way you feel. Instead of sweeping your anger, hurt or disappointment under the carpet and pretending everything’s fine, recognise how you’re feeling and accept that it’s a negative emotion. Your feelings count, so remember to validate them.

 

  1. Confront the person you’re angry with. If you’re used to seething in silence and walking away from the person who ticked you off, change your tactic. Sure, nobody likes confrontation, but you shouldn’t let the person who’s responsible for your anger get away with treating you poorly. You don’t have to yell or use harsh words against this person. Simply explain to her why you are angry, frustrated, hurt or upset, and hash it out with her in a civilised manner.

 

  1. Avoid sarcasm. The kind of language you use to express your anger is important. Don’t hide your feelings under layers of sarcasm or humour. Words and phrases like “Fine” and “Whatever” say nothing about how you’re really feeling and lead nowhere when it comes to resolving your anger. When you express your feelings truthfully, you take responsibility for them. 

If you’re explosive:

  1. Calm down. Taking your rage out on others by screaming, shouting and using foul language may feel cathartic, but where will that get you? Blowing up the instant you start to feel angry prevents you from processing your feelings and thinking of a better way to react. The next time you feel yourself about to lose it, be quiet and just breathe deeply for a couple of minutes. Allow your anger to settle before deciding how to express it or respond.

 

  1. Get active. Anger is an energising emotion. So when you start to feel it creeping up on you, go for a run or do something that makes use of that built-up energy. It’ll help soothe you and give you time to figure out what you’re really feeling. When you’re in the right frame of mind, you’re in a better position to think and act more rationally.

 

  1. Talk to yourself. Silently, of course. When you feel your blood boiling, find a quiet, safe space and close your eyes. Now repeat phrases and mantras in your head, like “I can handle this”, “Everything’s going to be fine” and “Blowing up will not solve anything”. This is a practical and effective way to simmer down and feel more reassured.  

Learn how to think positive and be happier in the process, as well as how to employ essential oil therapy to destress and unwind. For more lifestyle hacks, head to www.herworldplus.com/lifestyle.