So many of us are focused so much on our physical health and state of our bodies that we forget to look at our mental health and even the state of our character. We tend to think of personality and character as unchanging. People proudly talk about themselves as “straight-shooting, genuine, honest and principled” and that’s how they always are. The truth is we evolve through our life, and we can take steps to manage the less attractive qualities of ourselves.
Anger is an issue that many people deal with. Those who seek out an anger management counselling service in Melbourne, for example, are being proactive in seeking solutions to their anger management issues. If you think you have an anger problem, you don’t necessarily need a therapist yet, but there are things you can do yourself to help tame that temper.
1. Collect Your Thoughts
Many people build a negative habit of speaking their exact current thoughts right in the heated moment of a “passionate” discussion. If this sounds like you, then it’s very important that you take even just a few seconds to really think about saying something right there in the moment. If you can first remind yourself that virtually all things said “in the heat of the moment” are regrettable, it can become like a warning light that just stops you short of making that mistake. In that moment, your critical faculties return and you don’t say those things.
2. Express Anger After Reflection
Instead of expressing frustration and anger in those heated moments, gather your thoughts, reflect on what you’re feeling and come up with a calmer way to express it later. Anger is a vicious cycle in most people because when people express their anger in that heated overboiling way, others don’t listen and write them off as “crazy” or “hot-headed,” which in turn makes them angrier.
When you express those same frustrations in a calm and rational way, people listen and the cycle is broken. You move from the “angry” column to the “rational” column in others’ eyes, and your frustrations are taken seriously. Calm discussion is productive discussion.
3. Take a Timeout
You might have thought you’d grown out of the need for timeouts when you left primary school, but in fact a timeout is just as good for an angry adult as it is for a child in tantrum mode. Your timeout can be the time you take to collect your thoughts and reflect as we mentioned in the first point. Sometimes you just need to extract yourself from a situation and move to another space where you can calm yourself and restore rationality to your thinking.
4. Focus on Solutions, not Causes
People with anger issues tend to get laser-focused on the causes of their frustrations and problems, building up rants and further anger about them, but without even thinking about practical and proactive solutions. It’s one of the reasons modern international education includes so much focus on “taking action” about community problems and personal issues. It builds a can-do attitude and prevents people from descending too deeply into anger. Some fiery passion is fine, but as long as you’re more focused on getting to the solution rather than just stewing in those angry feelings for as long as you can.
5. Practice Relaxation
Finally, it always pays for those with anger issues to work on ways to relax themselves and “find their centre.” It’s not just hippie-speak. Learning to properly and healthily relax is one of the great lessons that is missing from our education system at every level. You might use humour to release the tension, or get into meditation and/or breathing exercises. Anything that helps your stress melt away and shift your focus and energy to more productive or fun things is a good move.
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