It’s not good to be angry all the time but we live in a stressful and crowded world, it can be difficult to stop things from creeping up on us and causing us stress. This page will offer some tips and advice on how to reduce the amount of anger in your life.
A good first step in controlling your anger is understanding why you are angry in the first place. Is your anger caused by another person? if so, understanding and objectifying the exact reason can be a great way of disarming the emotion. Often excessive anger is caused by a combination of events, such as things not working properly or breaking like house hold appliances, car trouble, unexpected bills, stresses at home or problems at work the list could go on.
Short term solution
Once you have identified one or more of the reasons why you are getting so angry you can work on eliminating them. For example if you are getting stressed because you keep leaving for work late, then you end up getting mad at other road users for slowing you down. You can avoid this stress by managing your time better and leaving for work early, therefore eliminating that reason for getting angry and stressed.
It may seem easy to attribute your anger to one or more external situations or people, however often the root cause of the anger goes a little deeper than just the above mentioned reasons. It’s important to find out if there is something deeper going on. An example of a deeper reason would be somebody having a low self image or low self esteem, this could cause somebody to take things, situations or comments personally. If the issue is low esteem then that is something they should work on once it’s identified.
Another reason why people can take things personally is due to egotistical thinking. Thinking everything is about us, when often it’s not. Self awareness and understanding can help with this.
Emotions are often connected and anger is often used to cover other emotions, for example fear and frustration. Anger is often an easier emotion to deal with than other emotions, it can make us feel strong which is often preferable and sometimes more useful than feeling vulnerable.
Reasons which could be causing anger
Hurt feelings – Rather than dealing with hurt feelings anger may seem like the better and easier option.
Manipulation – If some people don’t get want they want, they may get better results by getting angry at that person, therefore manipulating them with anger.
Jealousy – Whether jealousy comes from a relationship or seeing somebody with something that you want, or a lifestyle that you want, anger is often preferable to feeling jealous.
Out of habit – Sometimes reacting with anger just becomes automated, in other words it becomes a habit. This is a bad habit, however habits can be changed. See developing good habits.
Fear – this is the concept of fight or flight. Some people run off in fear, others get angry and stay and fight. What are you afraid of?
Past pain – Yes pain from the past can be a cause of anger. When past events are still affecting us even when we are not thinking about them, it causes a more general I hate the world type of attitude.
Frustration – frustration is closely related to anger and it can easily be triggered by it. Have you ever got frustrated about having to wait for something, perhaps waiting in line and how quickly that frustration turns to anger.
Being powerless – feeling powerless and lacking control is a direct route to anger. Being powerless can make us feel vulnerable like a victim and anger can develop as a way of trying to regain some kind of control.
Temperament – Some of us are temperamentally more likely to get angry or aggressive. People who are temperamentally low on a personality trait known as agreeableness and high on trait neuroticism tend to get angry more easily. See the big five personality traits for more on this.
Hormones – Testosterone is also linked to anger and aggressive behaviors. Men have higher levels of testosterone which is one reason why men tend to be more aggressive, and some people have higher levels of this hormone than others.
Whatever the reason is you have to dig deep to find the real cause of the anger. You have to understand it and then you can really make progress in preventing it, or at least reduce the control it has over your life. Objectify the route cause and pick it apart.