Managing the red mist of anger

Anger is a normal, healthy emotion. However, it can be a problem if you find it difficult to manage it or keep it under control.

The signs you are going to lose your temper are there to warn you that you need to do something. Everyone has a physical reaction to anger. Be aware of what your body is telling you, and take steps to calm yourself down,” taking responsibility for your own anger is the first step to taking control.

Recognise your anger signs!

As your heart beats faster and you breathe more quickly and that so familiar red mist starts to descend, preparing you for action. You might also notice other signs, such as tension in your shoulders or clenching your fists. “If you notice these signs, get out of the situation if you’ve got a history of losing control. It’s far better to just walk away and deal with the problem later than to lose your temper and end up feeling bad about what you have said or done.

Count to 10 and breathe slowly

Counting to 10 gives you time to cool down, so you can think more clearly and overcome the impulse to lash out.

Breathe out for longer than you breathe in, and relax as you breathe out. “You automatically breathe in more than out when you’re feeling angry, and the trick is to breathe out more than in. “This will calm you down effectively and help you think more clearly.”

Exercise can help with anger

Bring down your general stress levels with exercise and relaxation. Running, walking, swimming, yoga and meditation are just a few activities that can reduce stress. “Exercise as part of your daily life is a good way to get rid of irritation and anger as you will burn of a lot of the chemicals that the body produces as part of the fight or flight response when you are feeling anger. If you are interested in learning to meditate then you can use the free guide on my blog to get started. http://andrewnortonhypnotherapy.co.uk/short-meditations-to-help-with-stress/

Looking after yourself may keep you calm

Make time to relax regularly, and ensure that you get enough sleep. Drugs and alcohol can make anger problems worse. “They lower inhibitions and, actually, we need inhibitions to stop us acting unacceptably when we’re angry.

Get creative

Writing, making music, dancing or painting can release tension and reduce feelings of anger. Basically anything that allows you to express yourself in a safe and constructive way.

Talk about how you feel

Discussing your feelings with a friend or a therapist can be useful and can help you get a different perspective on the situation.

Let go of angry thoughts

“Try to let go of any unhelpful ways of thinking. “Thoughts such as ‘It’s not fair,’ or ‘People like that shouldn’t be on the roads,’ can make anger worse.”

Thinking like this will keep you focused on whatever it is that’s making you angry. Let these thoughts go and it will be easier to calm down.

Try to avoid using phrases that include:

  • Always (for example, “You always do that.”)
  • Never (“You never listen to me.”)
  • Should or shouldn’t (“You should do what I want,” or “You
  • Shouldn’t be on the roads.”)
  • Must or mustn’t (“I must be on time,” or “I mustn’t be late.”)
  • Ought or oughtn’t (“People ought to get out of my way.”)
  • Not fair

Anxiety, fear and anger

Sometimes when people talk about “anger” what they actually mean is aggression. Often when people experience or appear to show anger, it’s because they are also feeling fear or perceive a threat even though they may not realise this themselves, and they are responding with a ‘fight’ response to this.

“Asking yourself, ‘What might I be scared of?’ can give you a different set of choices about how to respond. You might be angry that something has not gone your way. But you may also be scared that you might be blamed or hurt as result. Recognising this might allow you to think and act differently.”

Managing anger in the long term

Once you can recognise that you’re getting angry, and can calm yourself down, you can start looking at ways to control your anger more generally. This can be easily achieved through the use of hypnosis, this is achieved by giving you a new set of strategies for coping with anger and teaching you the ability to just relax and calm down in general all whilst under hypnosis, and also by learning to meditate which has the ability to calm the mind and give you the space to think more clearly and make better decisions.

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