Anger is the easiest emotion to show, so it’s no wonder why many people blow their tops when they get upset. It’s okay to get angry, but this overreaction often causes you to say and do things you wouldn’t normally do. For instance, do you tend to say something you soon regret because you go off the deep end?
You’re not alone, as many people tend to overreact when they’re mad. What causes someone to hit another person, punch walls, or say cruel and mean things just because they hit their boiling point? According to Mental Help, the amygdala of the brain is in the prefrontal cortex, which is the section that helps control your emotions.
Now, if someone has a condition that affects this area of the brain, like dementia or neuro-bulbar disease, it can cause your emotions to be an array. However, most people have trouble controlling their anger, which can be fueled by stress, depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and even obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Twelve Practical Tips to Control Your Anger
Unless you have a medical reason for being angry and overreacting to emotions, you likely have a problem with anger. You can stop the overreactions by learning a few tips to help you manage the condition. Sadly, some people are a bit more hotheaded than others, but you can learn effective ways to manage your rage.
While you may think of time out as something done to correct 2-3-year-old children, it can be just as effective for an adult. If you feel that rage churning inside, you need to take a time out. Don’t say something you regret or do that could damage your relationships.
Do whatever you need to do to calm down. Focus your attention on a game, a funny meme, or surf the internet. Diversion is the key to controlling your anger and stopping an overreaction.
2. Stop Talking and Walk Away
The most important thing is to remember when you’re in this situation to walk away. Stop speaking, as you cannot control yourself while raging inside.
Even if you need to put your hand over your mouth, do it until you’re away from others. Remember that you’re not in a good place, and the words you say can hurt deeply.
3. Play Some Music
It’s often been said that music calms the savage beast, so why not turn on some tunes? There are many genres of music that can help you to get control of yourself. Maybe you feel like some rock and roll that allows for head-banging and screaming, and you can do that as it’s a positive way to release these negative emotions.
4. Journal Your Thoughts and Feelings
While the last thing that comes to mind when you’re mad is writing, it can be an excellent tool to get out your frustrations. Instead of voicing your anger, why not write or type it out in a journal? You can pound out your irritation on a keyboard and say anything.
Having a diary or journal to get all the negative inside out is a positive thing for you mentally.
5. Try Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Progressive muscle relaxation is a great tool when you feel every muscle tensing up from your body’s overreaction to stress. Start with a general area, like your neck. Keep this area still and focus all your energy on removing the strain from this region.
Take deep breaths and allow the tension to flow from you. Once you’ve done your neck, work on your back, arms, legs, and any other areas of concern. Breathe in and out, feeling the tension evaporate from these precisely focused areas.
6. Take a Walk to Remove the Edge of Your Overreaction
There’s something tranquil and healing about being outside in nature. Feeling the gentle breeze against your skin or the golden rays of the sun can do wonders for your mood. If you feel out of control and so mad you want to hit something, release your energy by walking or running outside.
Box breathing can be used alongside other relaxation methods, and it’s an excellent technique that can bring you relief. It’s often used for those who suffer from panic and anxiety disorders.
To do this relaxing act, you start by inhaling and holding your breath for the count of five and then release it slowly to the count of five. You can adjust the counts, as some folks can’t hold it out for that long, and others find that it works better to hold it out a bit longer.
You will instantly calm yourself when you bring air into your lungs, as your muscles tense and breathing becomes labored when you’re upset.
8. Try Some Yoga Movements or Stretches
Yoga is a powerful exercise that incorporates movement with relaxation. One way to calm yourself and get into a better headspace is by raising your feel-good brain chemicals through yoga. Many people use gentle movements through this exercise to help manage stress or even anger.
9. Visualize a Stop Sign
Visualization is another powerful method that can help calm you. When you start to feel your temper flare, visualize a stop sign before you. The bright, red sign indicates that you’ve hit the “red zone, or your anger is becoming hot.
Try this little trick the next time you start to go off the deep end and see if it helps you. If you don’t want to visualize a stop sign, you can also try imagining yourself lying on the beach or in a beautiful mountain setting. The key is to remove yourself from the place that’s causing you stress, and you can transport yourself to another dimension where things are tranquil.
10. Phone a Friend
If you’re enraged and want someone to talk you off the ledge, you need to call a friend you trust for help. Friendships are significant and very much necessary in life. Do you have someone who can talk some sense into you when you seem out of control?
The right person will know what to say to make you come to your senses. Remember the old television show Who Want’s To Be A Millionaire? When someone was stumped, they had a few ways to get help. One of these methods was to phone a friend.
Friendships are worth the effort you put into them, and you must have someone on standby when you need them most.
11. Look At the Big Picture
Sure, something has made you simmer like a boiling pot. However, it would help if you looked at the big picture. Did someone cut you off in traffic, and you wanted to chase them down?
Think of it this way; they might have been in a hurry to get to the hospital to see a loved one in dire condition. What if the person who cheated you on purchase on social media marketplace doesn’t have food for their children? It doesn’t make the actions done to you right, but it can help you be a better person and overlook situations.
Please don’t get all worked up and rage about something that might have been done in their time of desperation. Show compassion to others and look at the big picture rather than focusing on your internal rising thermostat.
12. Is There an Underlying Issue?
Your reaction might be because you are exhausted from lack of sleep, stressed out from work responsibilities, or have an undiagnosed mental health issue. Knowing where this anger is coming from is essential to work on a resolution.
It’s easy to say someone has a boiling temper, but there may be something else under the surface that’s causing you to act this way. If you’ve had anger issues since childhood, then there’s probably nothing but a bad temper to blame.
Dealing with anger or rage can be a significant problem. Don’t rule out that an underlying medical or mental health issue is causing it, but it might just be a poorly controlled temper. Andrea Bonior, Ph.D. from Psychology Today, believes that anger is often mixed with a negative thought process.
For instance, if you look at someone cutting you off in traffic as an inconvenience, you will react differently than you would if you used compassion. Think on the other side of things, why were they in such a hurry, it might change how you view the incident.
One thing is for sure; if you don’t learn to control your overreaction to something, it can cost you relationships, jobs, and even your sanity. So, try putting together a plan on how you will control yourself the next time you feel your blood start to boil.