We experience several emotions in a day. These emotions dominate our feelings and moods. Hence it is important to know how to control them in a healthy manner. Even when we experience happy emotions that put us in a good mood, we need to be mindful to not let them overwhelm us. We all know that negative emotions especially anger can do us no good, hence we need to definitely control them effectively. We can learn how to control anger and emotions in a healthy manner, once we have recognized them. It is quite possible to be experiencing a negative emotion but dismissing them as normal. Only once we recognize them, can be we learn to deal with them in an effective manner.
How to recognize and how to control anger and emotions in a healthy manner
1. Watch your breath
“When angry, count to ten before you speak, if very angry, count to a hundred”
- Thomas Jefferson
All anger management exercises include watching your breath. The breath is first to get affected when you get angry. Not just anger, even when we get consumed with any other negative emotion, it is the breath that gets affected. From a normal pace, you will notice that your breathing becomes rapid, shallow, and erratic. This breathing pattern in turn affects your rational thinking process. This is because the brain does not get sufficient oxygen to function effectively. As a result, our feelings and consequent reactions and actions get regrettable, sooner or later.
Thus the first step in learning how to control anger and emotions is to notice your breath. Once you have noticed its rapid pace, learn to slow it down by conscious breathing techniques. Learn how to control anger and emotions by just learning how to control your breath. Once you learn to control your breath, you can learn to control your reactions to situations and handle them in a better manner.
2. An effective anger management exercise - Notice your facial expressions
“Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured”
- Mark Twain
When consumed with anger, our facial expressions also undergo a change. Even before we say or do anything out of anger, our facial expressions reflect our anger. If you are good at hiding your anger, then others may not notice your facial expressions, but you will know. The tension is felt in your forehead, jaws, cheeks, and even perhaps your eyes. Different people may experience different signs of anger on their faces. It may not be the same for everyone. But an uneasy feeling is definitely experienced in your facial region when consumed with anger or any negative emotion.
Learn how to control anger and emotions by experiencing the sensations felt in your facial region. Release and let go of any tension. Unclench your jaws, gently close your eyes and relax your forehead and cheeks. Let a sense of peace and calm flow all over your facial region. This technique coupled with conscious breathing exercises will guide you on how to control anger and emotions in a healthy manner
3. Learn how to control your anger and emotions by feeling the tension in your body
“Where there is anger, there is always pain underneath”
- Eckhart Tolle
Next in line comes your body. When we hold anger inside us or bottle up emotions, it is felt in different parts of the body. One may not entirely be sure where we have a tendency to hold our bottled up emotions, but they are definitely hidden in the stiffness and rigidity in our body. This is not to say that every inflexible, rigid or tight body part is related to bottled up emotions. The inflexibility in the body can be due to several reasons, however, bottled up emotions also tend to get caught up in the form of tight joints and muscles.
So learn to stretch and release your anger. It may sound bizarre but a good stretch, walk in the park, or any form of exercise that includes dynamic movement of your body can help release bottled up anger and emotions. Of course, you just cannot rely on this technique as a standalone solution to your problem of anger. However, any physical activity releases endorphins commonly referred to as the body’s feel good hormones. Thus in this way, a little movement or stretch can teach you how to control anger and emotions in a healthy and productive manner
4. Observe your reactions
“Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret”
- Ambrose Bierce
Learn to respond, rather than react. Usually, when we are angry we react. We want to retaliate rather than rationalize. Along with erratic breathing, tight facial muscles, and rigid body parts, we reach a stage where we lose our rationality. No good can come when one reacts when consumed with any negative emotions. The best solution to this problem would be to take a step back, pause, and reflect. One can try any of the above 3 techniques which are quite effective to learn how to control anger and emotions.
Various anger management exercises and techniques also focus on learning to manage your reactions. Getting angry may be inevitable after all, however managing our reactions can be in our control. Sometimes our reactions can cause irreparable damage to the situation. Hence before we can react unfavorably, it will be better if we just pause and take a break. Rationalize the situation and then respond accordingly.
5. Another anger management exercise - Control your actions
“For every minute you remain angry, you give up 60 seconds of peace of mind”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Whatever you put out there will come back to you in some way or the other. If your actions are hurtful, damaging, and destructive because of your anger, you will suffer the consequences at some point or the other in your life. So instead of regretting the consequences of your actions, learn to control them, and effectively use them to your advantage.
Before you do something, ask yourself would you like this to be done to you? It is that simple. If you would not like something to be done to you, how would you feel like doing that to someone else? Let your conscience make this decision for you. If you struggle to control your actions because of your anger, you can always seek a life counseling session. Getting professional assistance in learning how to control anger and emotions can prove to be beneficial not just for you but also for your loved ones. Do not hesitate to seek help when required. Your anger can cause irreversible damage. Learn to take action, before it is too late.
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