Dealing With Anger? Five Ways To Cope
Updated May 14, 2019
Anger is a part of life. Regardless of who you are, where you come from, or what your story may be, you will experience anger at one point or another. You most likely already have. There's a common misconception about anger, and that misconception states that anger is a bad thing. Anger in itself is not a bad or negative emotion; as a matter of fact, anger can be quite motivating, and it can serve as a driving force.
The problem lies not in anger itself, but in the lack of ability to cope with anger productively. There's nothing inherently wrong with being annoyed with someone who keeps pestering you at a social event, but if you haul off and punch them in the face, there is something wrong with that and could even lead to a series of legal issues for you. What's important to understand is that people don't get in trouble for simply being angry; they get in trouble for handling their anger in ways which are simply not appropriate.
One of the most important parts of understanding anger is realizing that it's an indicator that something is wrong. Now, this can vary depending on who you are or what situation you're dealing with. However, the universal truth about anger is the existence of a problem. That problem may involve your workplace, a relationship which you're a part of or something else entirely. Sometimes, the problem which is causing anger isn't readily apparent. It can require time, thought and careful consideration to get to the bottom of what is truly causing anger.
Signs Of Anger
As a whole, there are a series of warning signs which are associated with anger. If you find yourself experiencing multiple symptoms, then it might be good for you to take a step back. Some of the most common signs of anger are as follows:
- Increased heart rate
- Clenched jaw
- Higher body temperature
- Urges to physically or verbally lash out
- Desire to get away from current circumstances
- Alcohol cravings
- Raising your voice
- Loss of humor
Experiencing signs of anger is not inherently bad, but this is the point where you need to try to calm yourself down or even remove yourself from the situation altogether if that is in the realm of possibilities. In these moments, the key is to remember that you control your anger; anger doesn't control you.
Variations Of Anger
Anger often gets a rap of being a fairly simple emotion, but this is false. There are many variations and types of anger. Anger can be repressed, chronic, or passive. In many cases, anger can lay dormant for quite some time and come out of a person when they've had enough and aren't able to repress it for any longer. Of course, there are a diverse amount of factors which can influence why someone feels angry and the type of anger which they experience.
Sometimes anger is merely a manifestation of a repressed issue which has yet to be resolved. This issue could date back to childhood or merely involve an issue which someone has never talked about. Regardless, dealing with anger and dealing with the source of anger is so very important to enjoy a healthy and productive life. For this reason, knowing how to cope with anger is something which will be addressed at this point.
How To Cope With Anger
There is a multitude of ways to cope with anger. Some methods will work better for some people than others. Nevertheless, having a series of ways to cope with anger ensures that people do not lash out in unhealthy ways or otherwise make decisions which they will regret after they've finally managed to relax and calm down.
Anger can be a very intense emotion. When someone feels angry, their base emotion may involve doing something to get a release, whether screaming at the source of their anger, throwing something at a wall or even getting violent. None of these choices are constructive; as a matter of fact, they can be very destructive and make a bad situation even worse. It's always critical to think before you act and this is why pausing matters so much.
When you pause, you do yourself several favors. First and foremost, you're able to assess the situation at hand. This allows you to observe what is happening and determining what the wisest next step will be. Pausing is also a great way of coping with anger because it ensures that you don't do something which could damage a relationship or get you into trouble. Next time you feel tempted to lash out at something which disturbs you, take a minute to pause and regather yourself. This could save your life one day.
In life, you'll find that walking away is another constructive way of coping with anger. Walking away does several things; it prevents you from becoming more angered by whatever situation has disturbed you. It also ensures that you don't do something which you regret and it saves you from possibly being hurt by other individuals who are also angry, yet lacking the proper tools to deal with their anger. So many people have been injured or even killed because they didn't walk away when they had the chance. There is nothing wrong with walking away and regathering yourself.
Believe it or not, exercise is a very constructive and healthy way of coping with anger. Some so many people hit the gym when they've had a tough day. Stretching, lifting weights, exercising on the treadmill, etc. are all great for coping with anger because of the endorphins which are released during exercise. Taking your frustration out on a boxing bag instead of the person who looked at you sideways is always a better protocol.
Count To Ten
Counting to ten as a means of coping with anger may sound juvenile to some people, but it's a very healthy decision. Counting to ten helps you calm down and keeps you from behaving in a way which you're likely to regret at a later date and time. By directing your attention to the counting, this ensures that you stay in control and it lets your rationale dominate as opposed to the immediate, destructive instinct of lashing out.
Make A Lifestyle Change
If you find that you are constantly around people or in environments which force you to deal with anger, then a lifestyle change might be in order. It may be time to end a relationship, find a new place of work, or otherwise remove yourself from whatever is causing you to experience anger constantly. One of the most important things to remember is that ongoing anger is not good for you. Ongoing anger can quickly become chronic anger which has all types of impacts on your mental health, your emotional health and even your physical health, such as your immune system.
You should not constantly be surrounded by things or people which cause you to feel angry and unhappy. Making the appropriate lifestyle change may not always be easy or comfortable in the beginning. However, in the long run, you will thank yourself for improving your quality of life and opening the doors to relationships and places which are healthier and more beneficial to you as a human being.
There Is No Shame In Seeing A Therapist
If you find that you are still having trouble coping with anger despite the five above methods, then it might be a good idea to see a therapist. Working with a mental health specialist can be helpful, and you may discover underlying, deep-seated issues which are making it difficult for you to cope with anger.
Many people have reservations about working with a therapist, and there are many reasons for this. Sometimes people feel as though there's something wrong with them if they struggle to deal with certain issues without help from others. In reality, everyone needs assistance sometimes, and there's nothing wrong with admitting this and seeking the necessary guidance. A therapist is not there to judge you but to be of service to you and help you enjoy your best life. There are countless success stories which have been brought into being by therapy.
Here at BetterHelp, we have a team of world-class therapists who would be thrilled to work with you. Regardless of whether you're struggling to cope with anger or dealing with another matter altogether, we are here for you. Asking for help and being receptive to help from others are each sign of growth and individual maturity. No matter who you are or what your story is, you should never feel as though you are alone. Everyone deserves to have a reliable support system which they can turn to.
You can get started with BetterHelp at any time and from anywhere by simply clicking right here.