How to control your anger – four ways to manage it

Check out how to control your anger.

A guy walks into a bar, orders a beer only to have the waitress drop it all over him. He’s unamused, yells at the top of his voice, insults the waitress and storms out full of rage.

That could be the typical stereotype you imagine when someone brings up the term anger, yet anger comes in many forms.

All of us have varying degrees of anger within our psyches, some of whom externalise it like the guy in the example above, while others subconsciously build it up and internalise it.

Both forms have their consequences. Yet constant internalised anger is far worse for your mental health. At the extreme, constant externalised anger would have you reaching for the blood pressure monitor down the road.

Internalised anger, left unaddressed, can go on to manifest as depression and/or other emotional problems. A person wouldn’t necessarily always know they have underlying anger when faced with such mental health issues.

Anger can be directed at others, at life, at your ego, at circumstances, whatever the cause, it can create havoc and bring an aura of negativity to your life.

4 ways to control your anger

Externalise it

Emotions are better in the out than kept in. There are better ways though of externalising your anger, than by taking it out on others. Take it out on a boxing bag, scream in a pillow or in your car (…just make sure you’re not stopped at a traffic light with the window down!)

how to control your anger : clown boxing a punching bag

Observe it

Eckhart Tolle in the Power of Now talks about observing the pain-body non-judgmentally. Let yourself feel the anger within, observe it and try to relax into it, without reacting. It’s easier said than done …… but it works! If you don’t know where to start, try journaling down your thoughts.

cartoon guy with eyes closed meditating to control anger

Distract it

If you’re caught up feeling heated, don’t dwell on it and distract yourself. Try finding something to laugh about. Can’t laugh out loud? Then pull a smirk, it’s enough to neutralise your state. Alternatively resort to gratitude. It may be the last thing you feel like but thinking of five things going right in your life can do the trick.

how to control your anger: cartoon figure distracting someone and pointing away from him

Love it

If you cannot somewhat love yourself, you’ll find it hard to love others or simply let it go. Practice self-compassion, console your ego. Positive affirmations here can go a long way in regaining control of your anger.

how to control your anger: Guy holding a 'Love Yourself' placard

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