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Tackling Anger

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When anger strikes, it’s important to pay attention. Anger lets us know when we’re in danger, so we can defend and protect ourselves. Physiological reactions include increased heart rate, heavier breathing, sweating, and activation of our fight-or-flight instincts.

More often than not, however, anger that is reactive, impulsive or out of control can work against our best interests. And while unplanned situations sometimes justify such reactions, repressed anger contributes to depression, anxiety and low self-esteem.

It’s important to work on understanding why such feelings arise while learning how to constructively express them. Here are four tips for tackling anger:

  1. Make your life less complicated. If you find you’re quick to get irritable or angry when you feel frustrated, simplifying should help. Evaluate what responsibilities you can give up so that you have fewer reasons to be angry.
  2. Practice better communication skills. When we’re angry, we tend to jump to conclusions before having all the facts. Listen to others by not responding too quickly when you’re angry.
  3. Own your anger. Identify when you feel angry and give yourself permission to feel that way. It’s a step toward learning how to effectively find solutions to your problems, increasing your sense of empowerment and self-esteem.
  4. Acknowledge what can’t be changed. Lingering and chronic anger can seriously affect health and happiness. If a situation is beyond your control, try shifting your mindset.