Recognizing Your AngerFebruary 3, 2017
There is an old saying "he who angers you controls you, " and there is much truth in that adage. If you are always giving into the whims of your anger, you will spend your precious energy fighting fights that don't need to be fought instead of focusing your energy on making a difference.
Do you have a reputation for being a hothead or "telling it like it is" in any and every situation? These could all be signs that you are letting your anger control you, which can lead to embarrassing, if not disastrous, results.
To take back your emotional reactions, you need to learn how to recognize your anger. Sit quietly with the emotion and get to know it. You should be able to acknowledge the warning signs, the slow build, the quick flares and the after effects of your rage.
When you take the time to recognize your anger, you are taking the first step in regaining control over your emotional state.
It's important to realize that anger first shows itself with physical symptoms. Some people feel a warm flush rise to their cheeks or a racing heart while others experience sweaty palms or a clenched jaw. Other physical symptoms may include trembling, dizziness or a tension headache that may trigger a migraine.
These physical signs of anger are a key component to controlling your anger, as there are steps you can take to counter the physiological changes as they happen in your body. If you clench your jaw, as soon as you notice it happening, you can consciously unclench your jaw or practice relaxation techniques. Embracing relaxation techniques will help you distance yourself from the flood of anger hormones as they flood through your body so that you can act with logic and rationality, instead of emotion.
Fight or flight isn't just for scary situations; the theory applies to anger too. Are you a confrontational person who can't let anything go or are you apt to flee at the first sign of disagreement with your love interest? As with the physical symptoms, understanding your natural tendencies will help you step out of the anger in the moment so that you can have an informed reaction not based on pure emotion.
Even deeper than your flight or fight response is to understand how your anger make you feel? Do you feel aggressive and outspoken or do you retreat within yourself with feelings of guilt, shame or depression? Understanding how anger makes you feel is one of the keys that will open the door to improved anger control.
At its heart, anger is an uncontrolled emotional reaction that can lead you to make rash decisions in the heat of the moment. When you take the time to learn how to recognize how you experience anger, you will gain more control over your emotional reactions.