Anger can be exhausting. It puts your brain into overdrive, kicks your pressure up, and the last thing you’d want to be doing is stressing your vocal cords to achieve a higher decibel to make a stronger point. Rather an unpleasant situation, don’t you think? Though anger is a common emotion which we all experience, there are several ways to tackle it smartly, and calmly as well.
1. Establish if you really have a problem
Just because someone, at some point, called you the ‘angry young man/woman’, doesn’t mean you necessarily have anger management issues (remember Adam Sandler in Anger Management?), because honestly, anger management is a real issue, not something that is ‘cool’ to have or justifies your low-level of patience. Understand if this is something that you’re really dealing with or something you’ve decided to bring upon yourself. You don’t need to throw a fit to maintain your ‘angry’ image — it isn’t something to be proud of. In either case, acknowledge it. The first step to dealing with anything is acceptance.
2. Identify your triggers
Maintain a log of when you’re getting angry. And we mean the noteworthy times. If you’re turning green like Hulk just because your trash missed the basket, you have issues. Identify what caused you to lose your temper. It varies from person-to-person. Some people have the most basic triggers like food, sleep or, considering the modern era, coffee. Others have more complex but very definite triggers (like Anne Hathaway’s dislike towards people who didn’t blink in The Intern). The key is to know what sets off your annoyance radar. You can then either avoid those situations or be consciously ready to tackle them.
3. Hold back the impulsive reactions
Remember coming back from an argument and then regretting all the things you could have said but didn’t. The list of ‘I wish I had said that’ keeps growing the more you think about it, doesn’t it? The trick is to actually not react when you’re angry because you simply end up missing half of those important points. Instead, take a strategic timeout when you feel confronted with something unpleasant. Make an excuse, go somewhere you can be alone and think it through. Then get back and address the problem calmly.
Sometimes, however, there is no fighting back and we’re left to deal with the anger on our own. Traditionally, they’d tell you take 10-20 deep breaths until you calm down. Though it’s supposed to be a good way to de-stress, it seldom works on me. Instead of the exhale-inhale strategy, vent out your anger elsewhere. Go for a run, call your best friend and scream, or even punch a bag — the idea is to release the anger and move on. Bottling it only aggravates the feeling.
5. Find humour
Ease the tension by taking a more light-hearted approach to things. Try thinking of something funny. If you feel the tension rising, without sounding offensive or sarcastic, crack a small joke. Not only does it break the flow, but usually even makes the other person realise it’s a petty argument. You can also calm yourself down by seeing the situation in a more humorous light. For example, if your boss is in a rotten mood and decides to pick on you, instead of beating yourself up about it, imagine a series of funny things that could have possibly messed up her morning — from tripping over her cat and landing in the litter tray to locking herself out of her own car. It can be hard to empathise with someone you’re mad at, so try this fun alternate instead.
Antara Bose is a model turned fashion and beauty consultant. A popular blogger, anchor, and voice over artist, she maintains a deep connection with the local fashion industry and is passionate about discovering and celebrating aspiring talent as well as promoting animal rights. For fashion updates with a side of humour and sarcasm follow Antara on instagram @antarabose and on Facebook: Antara Bose.