We are all humans, and humans have emotions, lots of emotions. One of the strongest emotions we have is anger. And it is crucial to learn how to live with anger. Since we can not have surgery and get rid of our emotions, we need to learn to cope with them daily. Without emotions, life would be quite meaningless and boring, but when we don’t know how to cope with anger, love or jealousy, they could bring catastrophic outcomes. Fortunately, we can handle them with the right anger management techniques.
The source of anger is irrelevant in a way because there will always be things that will annoy us. You can’t escape from that and expect everything to go perfectly well. But you can change your reaction to anger. You can choose to react in a way that short circuits that poisonous tension within you and cut the high voltage before it takes control over you and makes you act in a manner you end up regretting terribly. Here are few quick anger management techniques to help you handle anger and keep your cool.
Step #1: Observe your anger building up and get ready; do not react immediately.
You will absolutely know when it is coming. It is a matter of not reacting immediately. For instance, you are driving, and another driver doesn’t stop at the stop sign, and you almost end up hitting him/her. You are furious; all you want is to roll down the window and curse at him. Even that will not calm you down; maybe you want to chase him and do the same to him. The first few seconds of anger is crucial. So just stop instead of reacting, do not retaliate! Your ego will force you to do so, but you should know that all your ego causes is trouble anyway. So just try to stop and do not act. That will give you some time to do the right thing.
Step #2: Take a mental video of the worst-case scenario.
Yes, you heard it right. Now that you stopped, the next step is to create a video on your mind in which you follow where your anger takes you and what could possibly have happened if you did so. For instance, just before you opened the window and cursed at that guy/girl, create that video with a possible worst-case scenario and hit the play button. On your mind, have yourself act in the worst way.
For example, in the mental video, you roll down the window and swear at him/her, then the driver swears at you, and you get out of your car, but the driver has a gun in his hand. He shoots you right in the head, and you are dead, or he just shoots you on the leg and pumps the gas that leaves you there. People come to help you, and you end up in the hospital and rest for a month etc. etc. Or you just chase him with your car and hit him behind, and the cops come, your insurance skyrockets, and you both end up paying a hefty fine and lose the driving licenses for a year.
Just use your creativity and come up with the possible worst-case scenarios and run them on your mind and that will make you feel like you have already been there. This is a very powerful technique because, by the time you are done with the video, your anger will be short-circuited. You will not feel as angry as you did a few seconds before. It will be gone because you have already released that emotion on your mind hypothetically, except you will not have to deal with the horrible consequences of your actions you took on your mental video. It might take some to apply it properly, but once you excelled in this anger management technique, you will be able to control your anger before it controls you in your daily life.
Step #3: Remind yourself, it is just today.
Some days everything just goes wrong. Your boss is angry, your wife, husband, the child gives you a hard time. Your car breaks down when you have to rush for an important meeting. Everything just goes wrong, and it becomes tough to keep your cool and act calmly. In this anger management technique, you need to remind yourself that it is just today, tomorrow will be a different day, and days like this happened in the past and will happen in the future, and you will survive. That will give you hope and help you relax to have the power to survive the day.
Step #4: Exercise and let the steam out.
Steer your tension coming from anger into a different activity and release the pressure by hitting the gym or taking a walk by the river. Anger creates this tension inside you, you want to punch someone and break things, and you have this insane energy stuck inside, so you need to let it out and exercising is one great way of releasing that stuck tension stuck inside you. The body and mind are connected as you go and hit the gym and run or take a long walk around the river listening to a favourite song of you; it is guaranteed that you will feel better. It is one of the easiest anger management techniques to practice.
Step #5: Reward yourself every time you keep your cool against anger.
Now it is time to program your brain so that you feel proud of yourself when you don’t fall into the trap of anger daily over little things and achieve to remain calm. It is a process to apply these steps; you will not stop yourself immediately when you get angry, and maybe you will say things you will regret.
What matters is to stop as soon as you recognize the pattern and steer the situation in the correct direction before it gets out of hand. And when you can do it, you should reward yourself so that your brain becomes more prone to acting the same way next time it happens.
Remember Pavlov’s Dog Experiment? We are animals in shoes, we behave the same way, and as long as we program ourselves the right way, we can handle anger or any kind of strong emotion without them getting out of control. So every time you do the right thing and create the mental video and take a walk, exercise and successfully short circuit the anger and release it treat yourself. Buy yourself a fantastic dinner. Get those pair of shoes you always wanted. It doesn’t have to be about “buying” something. But just do something you love to do after your successful attempt.
That will motivate you and make it second nature to act in the same way automatically next time. You won’t have to think about every single step consciously after some time; you will just find yourself doing the right things naturally.
These are the five anger management techniques that you should start to apply in your life to achieve inner peace.