Anger is everywhere. It shows itself when you’re yelling at a coworker or saying spitting words you don’t mean, but it can also be triggered by the smallest of things when we are stressed. It can feel as if we are a ticking time bomb, unable to defuse ourselves. It’s important to note that anger can either be positive or negative, depending on how you express it. Mild irritation can help facilitate social change at protests and stand up for others, but extreme anger affects others sporadically, without notice. Although anger is common, the majority of people are unable to calm themselves down before it affects others. Don’t worry! I have a few tips that can prevent regretful discourse. In fact, the following steps are closely aligned with managing anxiety.
Let’s give a situation. Say you are ordering a coffee, and the barista messes up the order. How would you react? If you are angry towards a simple mistake, your negative emotions are immediately transferred to the barista. On the other hand, if you are understanding, both you and the barista will be content for the remainder of the day. Responding with anger puts both parties at odds and complicates the situation. Instead, here are a few steps that you can take when emotions overcome the situation.
- Understand your triggers. Prevention is key when dealing with mental health barriers. For example, I don’t like it when people chew next to me and I acknowledge how it infuriates me.
- Take a deep breath and bite your tongue. It’s hard, trust me. It’s the exact opposite of what your brain is telling you to say, but, as with anxiety, keeping yourself in your own world can be detrimental to improving your mental health.
- Leave the situation. After acknowledging the trigger, leave the room. Go to a quiet place like the bathroom and ground yourself. Tap your fingers together and wiggle your toes, like someone attempting to regain consciousness. Engage all five senses with music, candles, or even exercise. You are larger than your emotions, no matter how intense they feel.
- Talk to a trusted friend. Having a support system is very helpful and can help people vent their emotions in a safe space.