Blog: Dealing with a short temper? 6 Ways to Outsmart Anger
by CynthiaMadison

Dealing with a short temper? 6 Ways to Outsmart Anger

Does your short temper affect your overall life quality?

Date:   5/27/2020 1:44:23 PM   ( 12 mon ) ... viewed 55 times

Does your short temper affect your overall life quality? Well, it might be worth knowing that you are not the only one facing these challenges. Anger is a normal, healthy emotional response, neither bad nor good. Anger, like any other emotion, conveys a message telling you that a certain situation is unjust, upsetting, or threatening. But if your short temper makes you explode, however, that message never has the chance to be conveyed. Thus, while it is perfectly normal to feel angry when you feel mistreated or judged, anger can easily become a hard to manage issue when you express it in a way that harms you or those around you.

In time, difficulty in managing your short temper can lead to a variety of problems, for instance, continually operating at a high level of anger and stress makes you more susceptible to diabetes, heart diseases, insomnia, a weakened immune system, and high blood pressure.

Moreover, not only that, anger can cause lasting scars in people you love the most and impede your career goals, but when left unmanaged, chronic anger consumes a great amount of mental energy, clouding your thinking and hindering you from enjoying life.

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1. Recognize it is your opinion that is making you angry

Anger is that one feeling that either can help you or hurt you, depending on how you react to it. When you react without hurting someone, anger can be a positive feeling, But, when you collect all those negative feelings inside, it can lead to a plethora of passive-aggressive behaviors like “getting back” or unexpected anger outbursts at people without telling them why or being hostile. While we might feel good while expressing anger, most of us do not enjoy being angry or being around those who are angry. Ancient Stoics like Seneca recognized anger to be a destructive emotion, saying that” No plague has cost humanity more”. Holding on to anger usually makes things worse, and there is nothing to prove otherwise. So how do we tame our temper?

Often, we think that the other person’s response or action is what stirs our anger. But, in fact, it is our opinion of their actions that is making us angry. Suppose someone insults you, calls you ugly, or an idiot. Instead of bursting out can just ignore him. At the end, that is just his opinion, which in turn cannot be true just because he believes it so. If you are angry because something insults, always remember that it is your belief that you should not be insulted that triggers your anger. Simply put, you can outsmart your temper by simply changing the way you perceive things.  

2. Do not forget that anger has consequences

Indeed, the first flush of anger might feel great. Whenever we express our anger, we feel righteous and ecstatic. However, what we fail to acknowledge is that anger always has consequences. Not only that it can damage your reputation, professional life and personal, but anger can lead to a series of material, legal and moral outcomes. Whenever you feel overwhelmed and in need of expressing your fury, give yourself a moment to realize the consequences of expressing those feelings.

3. Recognize Your Warning Signs  

Recognizing those warning signs can be a great way to act so you can calm yourself down and impede anger from controlling your life. An anger management counsellor can help you understand the source of your anger, showing you better ways to control those reactions.

Just think about the physical waning sign of anger. Perhaps your heart may increase, your face colour changes, or you begin to clench your teeth and fists. When you finally get to recognize those warning signs, you have the opportunity to prevent yourself from saying or doing something you will regret later.

Moreover, recognizing that the costs of being angry are higher than those of being calm can also be a great way to take control of your emotions. When you do this, you realize that anger actually adds to the damage you suffered way more than the reason that triggered your emotion.

4. Recognize that your anger may be unfair

Always bear in mind that justice requires accurate judgment, based on all steady facts. But, when we are angry, we do not usually remember all those facts. People act on their first “impressions” without analyzing them before responding. If someone seems apathetic when you greet them, that is because that person may have been just diagnosed with something severe. Or a colleague who ignores your friendly gestures in the office may not be unfriendly, but just shy.

5. Recognize that you have the power to endure

Whenever you feel overwhelmed and you “can’t stand it anymore,” remember that you have within all the necessary sources to cope with the situation without burning out. Bear in mind your internal resources such as patience, calm, endurance, and compassion. Make sure you use them. There is no need to act defenceless and be intimidated either, by your own anger or by what others have said or made.

6. Create a contrary habit

Once you have transformed anger into a habit, it gets easier to get angry next time. But how do we avoid making anger a detrimental habit? The Greek philosopher Epictetus has great advice in this situation: We should develop a contrary habit. For instance, whenever you get angry, start laughing as you cannot be angry and laugh at the same time. Thus, whenever you feel angry, identify the comic in your situation and try to laugh about it. Or why not, you can laugh at your own arrogance expressed as anger.

Because we can physically lash out on every object or person that annoys or irritates us, we can use a wide range of both conscious and unconscious processes to deal with an angry state. Some of the most common approaches are expressing, suppressing, and calming. Thus, expressing your feeling in an assertive and non-aggressive manner is the healthiest way to express anger. In order to succeed, you will have to identify what your needs are and how to get them met without hurting those around you.

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