Anger is one of those emotions that can be very destructive. In fact, research shows that 64% of people think the world is becoming angrier. One third of the population claims that they have a family member or a close friend who has anger issues, and more than 12% of people have a hard time controlling their anger.
But it makes you wonder where all this anger is coming from, does it not?
Aristotle once said: “Anybody can become angry — that is easy. However, to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose, and in the right way — that requires wisdom.”
That’s the hard part, isn’t it? To really understand and be in control of your anger.
I want to ask you, have you ever paid attention to the fact that there’s something else behind anger?
You might not have noticed that whenever you get angry, there’s an underlying emotion or trigger behind it.
In most cases, it’s an unmet need. For example, you tend to get angry at your spouse because they are not helping out as much as you’d like at home. But if you think about it and get really honest, there’s something that goes beyond that. Maybe you feel like their lack of assistance means that your spouse just doesn’t care, or doesn’t care enough to help you out. So rather than addressing that feeling or need, you get angry and lash out.
You can see how this scenario can often play out between couples and families, can you not?
Everything is a choice and you get triggered because you have made an interpretation of that trigger.
So, what can you do instead of getting angry? How can you keep anger from taking over?
Here are 3 things you can do to combat the urge to get angry:
#1 Stop and ask yourself “What’s the need behind the anger?”
If you’re angry at your spouse for not helping out around the house , stop and wonder what’s really behind your anger.
I used to get angry, but only with my family. And for me, when I am overwhelmed, I get angry. I recognize this. But if I take a minute, walk away and spend some time with myself and going inward, I can see what’s really going on and I can calm down. When you feel angry, tap into your inner wisdom to see what’s behind it.
#2 Train your brain not to get angry
Anger is a habit just like any other habit, and your brain gets trained to react this way. Have you ever noticed that there’s usually a build up before the anger is released? Train yourself to recognize your symptoms and quickly switch out of anger. Go and do something else. My favorite thing to do is dance or go for a walk when I am triggered or annoyed.
#3 Understand the effect anger has on your body
If you only knew what happens when you get angry, you will never do it. Anger leaves an energetic imprint. Think about it for a minute.
When you get angry, how does your body feel?
How does your mind feel?
Did you like it?
Probably not! Those energetic imprints don’t really go away. They will come back quicker and easier the next time around, but you can reprogram those imprints.
For me, I still lose patience, or get annoyed but not the intensity in the way I used to. If it comes, I just walk away and take care of myself now.
I’m inviting you to do the same.
Anger is a toxic emotion. It can easily take over your entire being if you let it. But if you can understand the reason, the REAL reason, behind your anger, train your brain to recognize your triggers and symptoms and realize the imprint it leaves, you can be in better control of your emotions. You can keep anger from taking over and ruling your life.