Managing your Temper
Anger, as defined by the American Psychological Association, is “an emotion characterized by antagonism toward someone or something you feel has deliberately done you wrong.” Feeling anger from time to time is completely normal. In fact, it can actually be healthy to feel anger because it helps you to express negative emotions.
But, too much anger can have negative consequences. Whenever you feel angry, your blood pressure increases, and when you are constantly feeling angry, your blood pressure constantly increases. High blood pressure can lead to health and mental issues, and it prevents you from thinking clearly. Excessive anger also has the potential to negatively impact your career and the relationships in your life
If your temper constantly flares because of minor inconveniences, or your anger escalates uncontrollably, then you need to practice ways to better manage your temper. Managing your temper does not mean repressing your feelings of anger. Instead, it concerns understanding why you feel angry and learning how to express those feelings of anger in healthier, non-destructive ways.
First, understanding your anger involves looking at your childhood. Anger issues in adulthood are often the result of learning poor anger practices as a child. If you had parents with temper issues, you also are likely to have them because you never learned how to healthily express anger. Anger issues also can result from depression, trauma and long-term stress.
Also, understand that anger may not be the true emotion when you feel angry. Some people with temper issues often feel anger to disguise other feelings such as insecurity, embarrassment or hurt. This is often the result of learning to repress emotions as a child.
Once you understand the reasons for your temper issues, you can begin working on ways to better control you anger. First, when you become angry, remain calm. Remaining calm will help you to think more clearly in response to what is angering you, and it will help you to react in a less destructive manner. Also, think before you say something. When angry, you may say something that you will come to regret. It is better to cool off and be in a calmer state of mind before you speak.
When you are angered, you also may find it helpful to step back from what is causing the reaction. For example, if you are angry because your computer is not working properly, take a break from working on it. Go for a walk, exercise or find another way to relax; just find a way to keep your mind off what is angering you for a period of time.
But if all else fails and you still have trouble managing your temper, see a therapist. Therapists can help you discover the reasons behind your uncontrollable anger and give you personalized ways to manage it.