Anger is a complex emotion, caused by both external and internal events. We all feel angry at times, whether it is because of the driver who is driving too slow in front of us or because a friend lied.
It’s good to feel angry about some things because it motivates us to take action and make changes. Take social injustices for example. If people were not angered about things like bullying, there wouldn’t be a zero-tolerance policy in schools.
Everyone experiences some anger in their romantic relationships, whether you are married or in a dating relationship. We are not going to get everything we want or have everything go our way, which is the core of most common marital fights. Sometimes anger can be used for good in relationships, again to motivate a change that needs to happen.
But anger can also be dangerous, hard to manage, and destructive. It can be used to manipulate and create toxic environments. It can vary from mild irritation to intense rage. If you or your partner struggle with anger management, we want to help you control the emotion before it controls you. Below we have listed some tips to stop anger if you and your partner believe that anger has become a problem
What Is The Trigger?
The best way to begin managing your anger is by thinking of examples of when you became angry and reflecting on what the common triggers are. Once you find out what causes your anger, you can then develop strategies on how to respond to the triggers before you respond with anger. You may need to sit down with your significant other to figure out what your specific triggers are.
Find A Way To Relax
If you do not begin to immediately relax when the feelings of anger start to creep up, the anger will come out and it will be hard to stop. So, it is best to try to relax as you feel the triggers coming. There a several ways to relax and refocus your mind.
- Take deep breaths from your diaphragm. For this to help relax you, picture breathing from deep within. If you just take small chest breaths as many people do, you will not feel relaxed. While breathing, choose a calming word to repeat to yourself.
- Picture yourself relaxing or having a calming experience.
- Participate in slow exercises, particularly yoga, to relax your muscles and calm your temper.
- Walk away. Sometimes the best thing you can do to calm down is to remove yourself from the situation so you can breathe deeply and focus your mind. If you are in a discussion, however, make sure the other person understands that you are not being rude but trying to control yourself.
Change How You Think
When we become angry, we tend to blow things out of proportion. This is because our brain exaggerates the situation and we convince ourselves that it is worth getting angry over. So, to fight this feeling, you will have to change your thinking. Replace the angry thought with a positive thought about the same situation. For example, if you are thinking “I can’t believe he forgot to take out the garbage again!” you can instead think, “he had a lot on his mind, and we all forget things at times.” Or, if you are upset that something is ruined and you are thinking everything is terrible, replace that thought with “this really is frustrating, and it did not go as I had hoped. But I can’t change what happened and getting angry will not fix anything.”
It’s important to remember that you are allowed to feel angry. Feelings themselves are neither good nor bad. It is what we choose to do with the feelings that make them good or bad. But, since our brains are very intelligent and are used to working the way we programmed them to, we will have to restructure our thinking in order to help us react calmly. It will also help to avoid thinking generalizations and using the words “never” or “always” as those incorrect thoughts just add fuel to the fire. You can train your brain to think more logically and positively to avoid the angry feelings from coming out with a negative response.
Find A Way To Handle The Situation
If you are feeling angry because of a problem you are facing, try to refocus your energy onto coming up with a solution. However, sometimes there aren’t solutions to problems. In that case, formulate a plan on how you will handle the situation. Again, this will call for new thoughts and different thinking. Our brain has to unlearn its natural response to anger with a better way to solve issues.
Avoid Jumping To Conclusions, Walk Away, and Listen
When people become angry, they tend to think inaccurate thoughts and then jump to conclusions. A good way to avoid this is by slowing down and taking time to think before you respond to a conversation.
If you are in an argument, it would be best to walk away so that you can think through your answer before responding in a way you may regret. Once you return, make sure you are really listening to what the other person is saying. Communicate calmly with each other and be sure you clearly understand one another.
Take A Break
Perhaps you are becoming even angrier because you are getting burnt out. Make sure you take time for yourself. Rest, participate in activities you enjoy, and do whatever helps you to unwind.
Find the Right Timing Or Avoid
If you tend to become more irritable (and then angry) at a specific time, find a different time to address certain issues or conversations with your significant other. If you continue to have important conversations or try to tackle problems while you are already irritable, the situations are just going to be intensified. Find the right timing.
Similarly, if you know something at home aggravates you, avoid it. For example, if you know that you get angry when the kitchen is a mess, make a plan with your spouse to have a clean kitchen consistently. If you know that your wife is a loud chewer, either go to another room while she eats or find another way to distract yourself from the noise. There is no sense in putting yourself in situations that you know trigger your anger.
Spend Enough Time Together
This is not so much how to help with anger, but how to avoid it. I personally have found that when I spend enough alone time with my husband, I am less likely to be frustrated with him or overreact. Instead, I can remember that I love him, we have fun together, and I want to find a better way to deal with my feelings than unleashing them on him.
Talk Things Through
Sometimes anger builds up in a relationship because someone is bitter over an event. Instead of allowing bitterness to build, talk with your loved one about what happened. It is not necessary to discuss every little mistake, but ones that are really bothering you or are affecting the family. You have to communicate with one another, even if you one of you does not like confrontation. Communication will help you better understand each other; therefore, you can think logically and decide how to respond to the angry feelings you have. Be clear and concise when you are talking with each other. Try not to be defensive and avoid pointing fingers at your spouse.
I hope these tips can offer you some help in deescalating your anger. Once you find something that works, it is important to practice it daily. Practicing it will not only make you more comfortable with it but will help it to become more automatic when the situation calls for it.
It’s Okay To See Someone
As previously mentioned, anger can be a serious and damaging feeling. If you feel that your anger has become a frequent problem in your life or that it is out of control, it would be best to see a counselor. A licensed professional would be able to help you with your specific triggers and situations to gain victory over them. As you talk through your emotions, you might find that the anger is a symptom of another underlying problem, such as personal anxiety or pain from a traumatic event. The counselor would then be able to help you address those issues.
When seeing a counselor, be sure you are developing plans of action rather than just talking about your anger. Many people have had success when getting help, and there is absolutely no shame in doing so. It will help you to enjoy your life more, help you to think more clearly, and positively impact those around you.
I hope that this advice can help you and your significant other today as you try to put anger behind you.