HOW TO STOP FEELING ANGRY
Anger is an emotion that is usually directed towards people and situations when you feel a strong sense of displeasure, annoyance, or frustration. Everyone feels slight frustration at times, but slight frustration is different from full-on rage where you’re shouting, getting into heated arguments, or becoming reactive and over-emotional.
When you feel angry, it means that you are not in control of your emotions. This article covers various techniques and mindsets that you can use to take back control over your emotions. Part of the solution is to apply the correct techniques to control your anger, and part of the solution is to understand why you feel angry in the first place.
The Damage that Anger causes
If you’re someone that gets angry, then the first thing to realise is that anger is damaging you psychologically. Every time you’re getting angry, it’s shaping your beliefs and your perceptions. If you’ve been angry about something before then you’re more likely to be triggered by it again in the future.
Anger levels differ from person to person because we all have had different experiences in life, and therefore we perceive things differently.
It’s important to realise that nothing is inherently causing you to feel angry. How angry you feel in any situation depends on you. What causes one person to become angry could cause no emotional reaction for another person.
It feels like the anger is just a direct result of whatever situation you’re encountering, but if that was the case then why would two people react differently to the same situation?
Are You a Victim?
The next point is that you should start to see anger as a petty behaviour, rather than this dominant and assertive behaviour that you think you need to fuel and mobilise you. Nobody wants to feel weak and petty, so this can be a great mindset for reframing the way you perceive anger. If the only time you’re able to feel assertive is when you’re angry then it means you’ve got weak psychology.
Being angry essentially means that you’re a victim and other people can easily control you with what they say and do. You should aim to be strong, with imperturbable emotions, so that you are completely in control of what you say and how you act. If you’re reacting to what other people say and do to you, then you’re leaving your emotions up to chance. You could be having a great day and then something could randomly happen which could completely change your mood.
A lot of people like feeling angry in certain circumstances because it mobilises them to give their maximum effort, like in the gym, or at work. Anger can amp you up in certain situations, but you can get amped up in more resourceful ways. If you’re passionate and motivated, you can achieve even better results without being angry. Your mind will be much clearer and more focused.
When you’re angry you’re expending a lot of your energy. If you’re angry for two hours, that’s emotionally exhausting so your energy will be deteriorating. If you’re passionate and motivated, then that’s emotionally lifting so you’re generating more energy.
There are of course times when anger is natural and necessary, like if someone threatens you or your family for example. In a situation like this, you’re using anger for your benefit or to defend yourself, not because you can’t control your emotions. You intuitively know the right situations to be angry in.
Consider Your Own Frustrations
Another interesting realisation with anger is that when you’re angry, you are just projecting your own frustrations onto other people. If you’re confused as to why you feel so angry, you should do some introspection to find out what you’re unsatisfied with in your own life. Anger often arises because there’s something in your own life you’re not living up to.
If you do some introspection, you’ll notice that a lot of the things that you get angry at other people for doing, are the same things which you’re doing in your own life. For example, you’re angry at the way someone treats you in a relationship, you hate the way they speak to you. But then there are other people that you treat in the same way you hate to be treated.
Being angry is all about assigning blame to another person, object, or situation. But when you do some introspection and find the true cause of your anger, you’ll notice that there is something in your life that’s causing you to feel angry. Our minds don’t want to internalise the blame, they’re looking for something external to blame for the anger.
If you are living a fulfilling life, it’s very hard to become angry. Any unpleasant situation that you encounter throughout your day, you realise that it’s just one small event that you can ignore. You have so many meaningful things to be focusing on, so you’re not concerned with this minor situation. You have such a high tolerance for dealing with adverse situations.
Whereas if you’re not getting much fulfilment in your life, then these incidents are more significant. You don’t have meaningful things to be focusing on, so your attention gets directed towards these negative incidents. If you feel bitter and frustrated, then you’re on the defensive side, you’re on the lookout for any potential threats that can add to your existing frustrations.
Whenever you feel angry, ask yourself what are you currently frustrated with that you are not getting in your own life? When you start doing this exercise, you spend less time thinking about things that other people have done that have angered you, and you spend more time thinking about how you can improve your life and feel happier.
But what about when you’re in the moment and you’re experiencing anger, how can you control it? The technique that you can use to control anger is just to observe the anger as it’s happening. This can be difficult at first because when you’re acting angrily, you’re not conscious that you are acting this way. No one wants to be angry rather than happy, but because you’re not conscious of what is happening, you can’t control it.
If you become mindful of your thoughts when you start to feel angry, then you can start controlling it. Whenever you can feel yourself getting angry, just observe what is going on in your mind without judging it or trying to change it. Just watch the anger from a third-person perspective and see how it permeates through your body.
Notice how it feels in your body. Is it making you feel tense? Is your heart beating fast? Whatever sensations you’re feeling, just observe it. As you become mindful of what’s happening, the anger will begin to dissipate.
This is the most effective way of dealing with anger. It’s not possible to control anger when you’re not conscious of it, but once you become mindful of what’s happening, the anger starts to feel wrong and you’ll revert to your normal state. It takes practice to become mindful though. When you first start out, you won’t always be conscious of the anger immediately, but over time you can gain complete control over negative emotions like anger.
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