How to get rid of your anger

Anger is a feeling that many of us know all too well. Some of us experience it daily, while others hold on to it for years at a time. As you likely know, anger is not a healthy emotion, and it doesn’t make you feel good. Over time it can become self-destructive, ruining relationships and even your health.

This is not to say that anger is always a bad thing--anger is a natural part of living; it is a signal that something is wrong and needs your attention. Anger evokes that well-known "fight-or-flight" response, preparing us to defend ourselves physically and psychologically. Back when anger corresponded to real threats, this response could be lifesaving, but today it pushes your body into an overdrive mode that is almost always unnecessary.

When you become angry the hormones adrenaline and cortisol are released, causing your heart rate and blood pressure to increase. Also, your muscles get tense, your digestive processes stop and certain brain centres are triggered, which alters your brain chemistry.

In the long run, and sometimes even short term, this automatic response to anger can lead to a variety of health problems such as:

  • Headaches
  • Problems with digestion
  • Insomnia
  • Increased anxiety
  • Depression
  • High blood pressure
  • Skin problems, such as eczema
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke

Not only that, but anger can lead to other negative emotions like bitterness, hopelessness, futility and overall sadness. Let’s face it; it’s hard to have a good time if you’re holding on to anger.

So the obvious answer here is: let the anger go. Get rid of it, and it will not be able to bring you down either physically or emotionally. This is easier said than done, of course, and while the following anger management techniques may not guarantee that your life will become suddenly anger-free, they will certainly help you deal with the anger that does come along in a more healthy, proactive way.

Relaxation

If you feel anger starting to take over, simply trying to relax can dissuade the negative feelings. This doesn’t mean that you should ignore your feelings. Take a step back and assess the situation. Is your anger justified? If you determine that it is, give yourself a moment to feel hurt, frustrated or annoyed, but don’t let it consume you.
There are simple steps that you can use daily to overcome anger. These include:

  • Slow, deep breathing
  • Imagining a peaceful scene
  • Relaxation exercises, such as yoga poses

After awhile you’ll see that these steps become automatic reactions, and you won’t even have to think about doing them when anger confronts you.

Empathize

Don’t let the source of your anger get the better of you. If someone makes you angry, try viewing the situation from his or her eyes. Looking at things from a different perspective may make it easier to understand why the situation is occurring, and it may help you to calm down if you come up with a reasonable explanation.

Exercise

Physical activity is a great way to reduce angry feelings. It gives you a chance to focus your mind on something else and once your body is hard at work you will be less likely to obsess over angry feelings.
Vigorous activities such as running and kickboxing are healthy ways to release angry energy that has built up. Follow the intense portion of your workout with something soothing, such as meditation or yoga, to help you relax.

Stay Away From Artificial Stimulants

Stimulants like sugar, caffeine and nicotine speed up the nervous and cardiovascular systems, which can add to the symptoms of anger. If you have recurrent problems with anger, staying away from these items can help. Avoiding them will also produce other health benefits beyond anger reduction.

Source: Mercola.com