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Good and mad - the healthy way to be angry

Anger is a normal and even a healthy emotion - but it's important to deal with it in a positive way. Uncontrolled anger can take a toll on both your health and your relationships.Anger is a response to an unmet expectation. Emotions cause impulsive reactions. The amygdala, a bundle of neurons deep inside the brain, is the hub for emotional behaviour. It sends impulses to the hypothalamus, which triggers the fight-or-flight stress response.

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People experience anger in different ways and for different reasons. You might be furious about something that may only mildly irritate someone else. Because of this subjectivity, it may be difficult to understand and manage anger. It is however, important to note that your response to anger is up to you.

Keeping your temper in check can be challenging. Use simple anger management tips - from taking a timeout to using 'I' statements - to stay in control.- Think before you speakIn the heat of the moment, it's easy to say something you'll later regret. Take a few moments to collect your thoughts before saying anything - and allow others involved in the situation to do the same.

Once you're calm, express your anger


As soon as you're thinking clearly, express your frustration in an assertive but non-confrontational way. State your concerns and needs clearly and directly, without hurting others or trying to control them.

Get some exercise

Physical activity can help reduce stress that can cause you to become angry. If you feel your anger escalating, go for a brisk walk or run, or spend some time doing other enjoyable physical activities.

Identify possible solutions

Instead of focusing on what made you mad, work on resolving the issue at hand. Does your child's messy room drive you crazy? Close the door. Remind yourself that anger won't fix anything and might only make it worse.

Stick with 'I' statements

To avoid criticizing or placing blame, use 'I' statements to describe the problem. Be respectful and specific. For example, say, "I'm upset that you left the table without offering to help with the dishes," instead of, "You never do any housework."

Don't hold a grudge

Forgiveness is a powerful tool. If you allow anger and other negative feelings to crowd out positive feelings, you might find yourself swallowed up by your own bitterness or sense of injustice. But if you can forgive someone who angered you, you might both learn from the situation. It's unrealistic to expect everyone to behave exactly as you want at all times.

Use humour to release tension

Lightening up can help diffuse tension. Avoid sarcasm, though - it can hurt feelings and make things worse.

Practice relaxation skills

When your temper flares, put relaxation skills to work. Practice deep-breathing exercises, imagine a relaxing scene, or repeat a calming word or phrase, such as, "Take it easy." You might also listen to music, write in a journal or do a few yoga poses - whatever it takes to encourage relaxation.

Know when to seek help

Learning to control anger is a challenge for everyone at times. Consider seeking help for anger issues if your anger seems out of control, causes you to do things you regret or hurts those around you.

Sources:

www.mayoclinic.org

www.mindtools.com

www.webmd.com