Anger LDS Life Skills

9 Ways to Control Your Anger Instead of Letting It Control You

The Natural Man Choice

When our fears are triggered, our natural instinct is to react, giving our self-control over to our anger. But do we really want to live at the mercy of our own anger? To change our natural instincts, we first need to understand our own fears. Do we fear failure, or do we fear loss, such as the loss of the life we were hoping to build, losing a child, losing respect, or losing something very meaningful in our lives? Most often when we are angry, we fear either failure or loss.

Anger can be very corrosive mentally and physically. It releases a flood of cortisol and adrenaline, causing our muscles to tense and our heart rate to increase. High levels of cortisol and adrenaline can destroy the judgment area of neurons in the brain and our short-term memory. Anger can also weaken our immune system.

So why do we allow this emotion to be part of our life? In reality, we should not make room for any destructive anger, but that is a tall order. So, let’s start small and progress from there. Here are some steps to help you turn anger into love:

1. The first step toward turning anger to love is to ask yourself in the moment if you’re angry, sad, feeling rejected, or some other emotion.  Pause and identify what you are actually feeling. Just because you paused it will start to bring that anger under control.

2. Once the actual emotion is identified, search for what triggered your reaction. Was it a tone of voice? Poor timing? A situation that made you feel attacked? Or was it the person? If you know what kind of situations tend to bring your anger to the surface, you can be better prepared to manage that emotion.

3. Think about what actually happened and what you can learn from it. Often we become angry and defensive because we are afraid that we are the problem or we feel out of control or hopeless. It is easier to blame than make the effort or even to recognize that we do have some power to change. None of us intend to be irritating or hurtful and, yes, we all make mistakes. Yet acting in anger can be a permanent mistake if we don’t learn from it and improve our understanding and habits.

4. Assess how to change triggers that anger you. There is no reason you should let a situation or circumstance have power over you. Many times, we just need to make ourselves aware of what is going on inside of us so that we can find ways to let our anger go and replace it with understanding, patience, or love.

5. Don’t blame others for your feelings. Naturally, it is easier for us to believe that we didn’t start the fight and to blame others for our pain, however, in truth, we always have the power to choose our reaction. We can also choose how we are going to feel about the situation.  Remember that your feelings are a choice also.

6. Have compassion for yourself and for others. All of us have hard days and frustrating moments or we are struggling to make our lives happy and feel more connected. We all are of great value to this world and the people around us. Including the person pushing our anger triggers. Just understanding that concept can help us calm our angry emotions.

7. Remember that anger can often be lessened if we are communicating effectively. Here are a few tips for improving your communication, even if you are struggling with anger.

– If dealing with someone who is angry, state that you see they are struggling.

– If you are angry, tell the person you’re talking to that you are struggling.

– Invite the person who is angry to share their feelings or thoughts if they are able or willing.

– Ask the person who is angry what you can do to help.  Showing concern to others who are angry will help them calm their fight or flight response.

-Ask if you can share your ideas, but do not give unsolicited advice. Think about how much angrier it makes you when you receive unwanted advice.

– Consider setting up a later time to finish your conversation if one or both of you are too angry to talk together calmly.

8. Don’t forget that anger brings a lot of energy with it. Use that energy to do something good, such as a hobby, house cleaning, exercising, or fixing something that is broken. When you are physically busy, your mind has time to find solutions and answers.

9. View your experiences as a lesson. Pick one trigger situation at a time and change your view or habit around that trigger.

Why do we have to suffer the overpowering emotion of anger? One answer might be that anger highlights our weakness, allowing us to become strong. It is the emotion that can teach us the most about living a life we have been living to a life with more power to be the person we want to be and have that life we want, because when we learn to use anger to grow and love stronger, then we can master most other things in our life. The hardest situations in life can be the ones we learn the most from if we let ourselves learn from it.

If you or someone you know has a hard time with anger issues, please seek help

Take the Free assessment to find what your triggers are. Click here

Kristena Eden

You can reach Kristena, who is a personal coach,  by email at