How often does anger impact your life? Is anger a problem for you?

Anger is one of the basic human emotions and is related to basic survival and has evolved throughout the history of the human. Anger is related to the “fight, flight, or freeze” response of the sympathetic nervous system.

Although anger is sometimes required in most instances, anger will cause us numerous problems including increased anxiety, blood pressure and headaches.

So, what can you do next time anger takes over?

Some of the best advice on anger management comes from Stoicism and in particular, Seneca, who is one of the best known stoic philosophers. Several strategies are identified below:

  • Reflect on situations that may cause you anger and work out a strategy before the event.
  • Be self-aware and identify what happens to you when anger starts to take over. Stop the “anger rise” before it gets out of control.
  • Be mindful who you spend your time with. Relaxed and calm people are preferred to those that are angry and easily irritated as moods can infect you.
  • A relaxed mind does not get angry, so, find activities that help you to relax.
  • Be aware of your physiological state as tiredness will see your more irritable and this can easily develop into anger.
  • Don’t start discussions when you are thirsty or hungry, for the same reason.
  • Practise cognitive distancing or create space so you can delay your response when tensions are high.
  • Change your body language to what a calm person would be doing

If anger is a problem for you, it is possible to decrease the negative impact, but it will take discipline and self-awareness. There is no doubt being able to manage your anger will have many positive outcomes, and the reward will be worth the effort.

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