Add more tools to your arsenal of anger-management techniques.
Anger is a perfectly normal emotion. It's so powerful that it can move people to do great things. But misplaced or frequent anger can destroy your relationships, limit your creativity, and even damage your health.
There are lots of potentially anger-inducing situations at work: from the frustration of your computer not working properly to the bitterness of losing your job.
So, how do you manage anger? This is where Drs Redford and Virginia Williams' 12 Strategies for Controlling Aggression are very useful. When you have these strategies in your toolbox, you can lessen your chances of getting angry, and manage your emotions when you do.
So, let's look at how you can control anger more effectively.
Sometimes, the hardest step is to acknowledge that there is a problem, but it is important to do so, as this helps to strengthen your intention to better manage your anger.
Next, download our Hostility Log worksheet and use it to identify what makes you angry.
It's also a good idea to let the important people in your life know that you're trying to change your behavior, and ask them for their support. So, whenever you find yourself getting angry, interrupt the moment by thinking, "Stop!" Focus on the facts of the situation, or force yourself to picture something calm and enjoyable. Then, use empathy to see the situation from the other person's perspective. And you could even learn to laugh at yourself to defuse the tension!
Help prevent yourself getting angry in the first place by relaxing. Habits like exercising regularly and getting enough sleep keep us centered, and more able to deal with difficult situations. Anger is also less likely to flare if you're true to your word, listen effectively to your co-workers, and set your boundaries clearly. This way, you'll avoid irritating misunderstandings and prove that you can be trusted.
Finally, modify your thoughts and beliefs about what's really important to you. For example, if you live each day as if it's your last, you're unlikely to allow anger to steal your and others' happiness. Similarly, don't hold onto resentment. Instead, forgive and forget.
The long-term benefits of simply choosing not to get angry are excellent working relationships, good decision making, and a healthier life.
For more information on Williams' strategies, and for a link to our self-test on anger management, see the article that accompanies this video.