Anger management

Anger management: Tips to help control your temper

Anger management can help you avoid angry outbursts. Psychiatrist Dr Sagar Mundada tells you more about the signs to watch out for, the ways to cope and also how to channelise your anger to avoid unnecessary confrontations.

Anger management: Do you need guidance to tame your temper?

You know you need help to control your temper if you tend to physically harm yourself or others during an angry outburst. If your raging temper compromises your day-to-day functioning and interferes with your personal and professional life, you should approach a mental health expert to help you control your anger.

To control a flaring temper, identify what makes you angry

It’s important to identify your trigger points, which can tell you that you are about to vent your anger. Make a list of specific situations that make you angry. Also, identify the people who trigger you, and observe your body’s reactions before an angry outburst. Grinding your teeth, clenching of fists, sweating profusely, experiencing a rush of blood and feeling your heart race are some common ways in which our body reacts just before an anger episode.

Managing your anger better

The above signs are a way for your  brain to tell your body, to get ready for some action. Anger if uncontrolled can become angression. The more self aware you become about the  triggers that anger you, you can try and control or manage your anger better.  There are various ways, which can help in anger management.

  • Use the visualisation technique

Visualise being angry.  However, instead of lashing out in anger, you channelise those feelings and emotions. Visualise walking away from a fight, taking a timeout and doing some breathing exercises till you feel relaxed. Visualise doing some grounding techniques to relax my mind. Your response has to be premeditated and you have to plant the idea in your brain so that when the situation arises you have some resource in your brain to cope with it better.

  • Use your five senses

When you feel you are about to have an angry outburst, use your five senses to ground yourself. Observe something in the environment around you that you were not able to before. Try and hear sounds that were there but you were not aware of earlier. Engage all your five senses to relax your mind.

Find better ways to express your anger

Use journaling as a way to vent out your anger. Take a timeout, relax and come back. In a relaxed atmosphere, explain things to the individual triggering you in an assertive way. Use some physical way of expressing your anger in a controlled setting. Use sublimation  where you are able to express your anger in a proper way without hurting anyone. For example using a punching bag to vent your anger in the confines of your room.

If all of this does not help you control your temper,  a mental health expert would have to investigate if you are  suffering from a mental health issue or a personality disorder, which may require medication and therapy.