Do you experience difficulties in trying to control your anger? Have you been in situations where you wished that you were controlling emotions rather than be controlled by it? Such as when you lost your temper over a misunderstanding? Or when you got upset over little things.
When dealing with anger, don’t ignore it, avoid it, dismiss it, and especially don’t suppress the emotions. Instead, acknowledge its existence, and take note of what it is trying to tell us (the message).
Here is a quick four step process to help you control anger.
1. Break Out Of The State
Whenever you feel a surge of anger coming over you, immediately break your state. Disassociate yourself. Become a 3rd party observing what is happening. Like watching a movie, or playing a computer game where you are controlling the character. What is happening isn’t really affecting you, but rather the character you are playing in the game.
The key is to break your pattern immediately. One split second is all it takes for us to get sucked into the anger. Emotion builds on momentum. The more you let it dwell, the stronger it gets.
Break the state by saying or doing something that is totally bizarre and unexpected. The more bizarre the better. Make it so weird that it jolts even yourself. That your brain doesn’t know what to make of it.
Doing this will help drain the initial intensity of the anger. By sticking to this you will gradually get yourself into a neutral state of being.
There will be an urge to give in and let the anger take over. Think of it as swimming against the direction of the current in a river. Initially it is easier to give in and go with the flow. Just keep pushing. Once you start to get some momentum, it becomes easier and easier. After a while the current disappears and you will start to feel neutral about it.
2. Next, get curious about the anger
Next, neutrally just observe what is happening to you and why you are feeling angry. Do this in a very objective and curious manner. Don’t make it personal, rather try to observe yourself from afar.
Be curious and really wonder what is going through that person you are observing right now. A tip would be to use a questioning or curious tone while mentally asking. This helps a lot in taking the energy and focus out of the emotion and replacing it with a genuine curiosity to know more. You can ask yourself the following questions;
‘So why is he feeling that way?’
‘What does he want instead?’
‘What would make her feel better?’
By doing this you will find the answer to why you are feeling that emotion. You will be clear on why you feel that way, and what you would want instead. Observing it objectively will give you a clear answer.
3. Decide what actions to take
The final step is deciding how to respond & what action to take.
Now that you are in a more neutral state of being, think about and decide the best way to respond to your current situation. What should you have done instead? What can you do now that you are in this situation? What are the learning points to take home from this experience?
By going through this process, you ensure that you get yourself into a neutral and objective state first so that you know how best to respond to the anger, and the best course of action to take. It ultimately helps you focus on the solution instead of you continuously dwelling in anger.
Author Ethan Beh is a business consultant and self improvement enthusiast who spent the good portion of the last decade finding, learning and practicing the best self improvement techniques available.