Why is it so challenging to regulate your anger? There are different kinds of fury, and it’s essential to understand which type you’re dealing with at the time. For instance, some people become outraged at the social prejudices in the world. Indeed, this could be considered a fit of warranted moral anger.
However, what about the kind where you blow your top at the grocery store clerk because they’re not moving the line fast enough? How often have you given someone a not-so-lovely gesture because they cut you off in traffic, otherwise known as road rage? There are all kinds of anger, and you need to learn what’s healthy and justified and what’s unhealthy and needs attention.
Keeping Your Emotions in Check to Regulate Anger
Since the dawn of time, people have had a hard time getting their emotions in check. Even back in Biblical times, Cain killed Able, his brother, over jealousy in Genesis chapter 4, and it was the first recorded murder of all times. It just shows that humans are faulty regarding the emotional arena. But there are healthy ways to deal with this surge of rage.
If you’ve ever been to therapy, you will recall them saying that you need to count to ten, breathe, and take a walk when you feel like your emotions are out of control. While these are all great strategies, they may not work when you’re about to blow your top. Some people have enough self-control and restraint to keep from exploding, but others have little control and can be dangerous when their rage gets to a certain point.
Now, the strategies of counting to ten and so on can be effective when you’re dealing with simple matters like stress from work. However, when you feel like your emotions are in a pressure cooker all day, you’re going to find that breathing and taking a walk is less productive. How can you keep yourself from reaching your boiling point?
Avoiding Meltdown Mode as You Try to Regulate Anger
There are many ways to defuse your explosive behavior, including effective conflict resolution. Some people have poor coping skills, and you throw a mental health issue like anxiety in the mix, and you have the perfect storm. It would help if you learned to be flexible and tolerant, as these vital skills will keep you from reaching meltdown mode.
Right now, in the world, emotional tensions are imminent. Some people have good coping skills, but all the stress from the past couple of years has blocked these abilities. The world, in general, is chronically stressed, and the part of your brain that can use engaging skills like tolerance is damaged.
According to Harvard Medical School experts, you develop chronic inflammation when you find yourself under intense stress. While you’re concerned about your anger, you should also focus on the inflammation surging through your body that can cause more than rage.
Inflammation is linked to cancer, heart disease, and even type 2 diabetes, all of which can wipe you out without proper management. The Harvard report suggests that another thing to consider is how the inflammatory response impedes your coping skills.
If you’ve raised children, you know the temper tantrums they throw all too well. However, adults have these tantrums, too, mainly occurring when things don’t go their way.
Four Science-Backed Steps to Regulate Anger
It would help if you had tips, tricks, and tools to help you regulate anger immediately. When you’re at work, and someone rubs you wrong, or you’re at home, and one of the kids won’t settle down and behave, you need practical skills you can employ to keep yourself from a meltdown. Thankfully, here are four tips to regulate anger immediately that you can consider.
1. Stop Jumping to Conclusions
Why do people assume so many things before they have the whole story? Let’s imagine that you pass by a restaurant after work hours and you see your spouse’s car parked there. The problem is that they told you they were working over at their job but didn’t say anything about going out to eat.
Naturally, your mind starts racing because you don’t know the whole story. Your spouse has never cheated on you, so this fury is not warranted. You’re not in a positive mindset because of the day’s stresses, but you jump to conclusions and think the worst.
Your partner was talking to a new member of management who wanted some ideas about implementing changes. You automatically assumed they were dishonest and cheating during a business dinner with several people. It’s so easy to create scenarios in your mind due to a lack of a positive mindset, and your negativity will cause you to think and believe things that aren’t true.
If you would ask questions and get some reassurance before jumping to conclusions, it will help you to regulate anger. Another issue is that this can break down the trust between you. Your partner might not be so happy about your speculations.
2. Learn to Engage Active Listening
Your communication skills may be top-notch, but do you regularly listen actively? When you’re in a conversation, you should always repeat what someone says. First, it will give you validation that you heard things correctly, and second, it shows them that you’re listening.
Do you know how many arguments spark because people don’t know to listen clearly, or they put their interpretation on things? According to the CDC, when you listen actively, you’re giving someone your full attention, looking them in the eyes, and getting down to their level. Additionally, when you repeat back parts of the conversation, you let them know you hear every word they say.
These skills can reduce tension and stress, as it’s easy to interpret things like you heard them. However, when you learn to repeat stuff back, they can correct any tone variations or phrasing that might confuse you and answer any questions.
3. Assure Folks You’re Resolution Minded
When a situation causes your blood to boil, you need to ensure everyone knows your intentions. You want to show empathy and understand the problem, and you need to state this upfront. Take on the attitude of being more curious than furious, and it will help you in your attempt to regulate anger.
Ask yourself what the person wants, what’s driving them at the moment, and how you can help the situation. When you are resolution-minded, it keeps you from hitting those explosive levels in your emotions.
4. Understand That Everyone’s Doing Their Best
One of the most important things to remember is that everyone is just trying to survive. Over the past few years, everyone has coped with so many new circumstances. Everyone wants to make it through the day. Maybe you’re expecting too much of a person or the situation, and you might need to adjust your expectations.
Don’t be so quick to tell a parent in the store to calm their screaming child just because their cries are causing your nerves to be on edge. Remember, that parent doesn’t want that child to cry either. While dealing with this sobbing kid, they are doing their best to get their shopping done.
When you start looking at the world by realizing that everyone is trying, it will help you regulate anger and reassure you it’s not personal. It’s a powerful tool to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and view the world from their lenses for a minute. It will change your perception.
Final Thoughts on Things to Regulate Anger Immediately
When you become more empathetic in situations, you will stop looking at things from your point of view and switch the way you view things. It can change how you react by simply altering your perceptions. When you remain calm, you can learn to build your tolerance to frustration.
Most people become angry because they don’t have the whole story or misinterpret things. Keeping yourself calm and avoiding exploding is a significant feat. However, the more you practice regulating anger, the better you will become. Once you master this technique, you will also learn to calm others and manage your emotions.
If you blow your top, it will have a domino effect, and the entire situation could turn volatile quickly. Thankfully, you can avoid stress and keep yourself from the melting point by practicing the four tips listed above. Having empathy is all the reassurance you need to regulate your anger.