‘Emotions’ has been the topic of so many blogs, conversations, and posts, the longer we experience and adapt to the pandemic.  Oftentimes, you may hear things like ‘anger is an unhealthy emotion.’ Truth is, it can be a positive emotion, and bottling it up causes way more harm than good. Anger Management is essential to help you avoid saying or doing things you may regret later on. To understand your triggers and act accordingly, you have to be Self Aware, and with AIESEC, this can be developed through our Leadership Development Model.

Being the first of six children, I can tell you first-hand that I’m not new to the feeling of anger. Do you know how they say siblings can be annoying? Mine are 10x more! I’ve lost control of my temper more times than I would’ve liked, and I can say for sure that anger is hard to manage, you have to put in a conscious effort. Oftentimes we need to pause, where is this stemming from? How can I control it? In this blog, you can find some ways to manage your anger for your health and better relationships.

Mayoclinic defines anger as a natural response to perceived threats. Anger management, on the other hand,  is defined as the process of learning to recognize signs that you’re becoming angry and taking action to calm down and deal with the situation in a productive way.

You may agree that there are a lot of valid reasons to get angry, and I can’t agree less. There is no secret recipe, some tips can help.

1. Express yourself

The Harvard School of Public Health has evidence that shows that people who openly express their feelings are healthier than those who regularly suppress strong emotions. You have to figure out the best way to express your dissatisfaction. Ever escalated a situation because you didn’t get the right information? That can turn out embarrassing, right? Say you put all your effort into a task, and other people get the credit but not you; that’s a valid reason for anger. But calmly expressing yourself will give you a better understanding of the situation. This in turn prevents things like conflict, hate, sadness, and so on.

2. Take control of your breathing

Your breathing increases when you become angry. You may find yourself breathing quick, shallow breaths when you are upset. You can learn to reverse this increase by making a conscious effort to slow your breathing. Relaxing in this manner will help you to maintain control. Here is a simple how-to.

3. Write in a journal

Write as you feel it. You can make it conversational by asking yourself questions and answering them. Sometimes, to feel better, all we need is to talk to ourselves, and journaling is a great way to do that. 

4. Turn on your creative lamp

Research overwhelmingly indicates that feeling angry increases creativity.  Next time you’re feeling anger, you can tap into your creative genius. Channeling it to something creative like photography, drawing, painting, music, dancing, and so on, you tend to feel better. When anger is properly handled, it can also yield productivity in a team. This way, you’re transferring the energy from your feelings and thoughts into a beautiful, healthier form.

5. Break free Mentally

When you feel angry, create mental images of beautiful things. You can think about the aroma of your favorite dish or the cuteness of your favorite pet. Find something to make you laugh. When you laugh, your mood improves, and forgiveness becomes easier. Thoughts about things you love will suffice and you’ll feel better. You can also do this by repeating a mantra in your head. Try to talk to yourself in a way only you can. Repeat phrases like ‘I am OK,’ ‘I shouldn’t let this get at me’, ‘I can do better’. Talking to yourself in this manner helps calm your nerves.

Anger and sadness associated with stress have been on the increase in recent years. Trying to navigate intense and pressuring situations, especially as a young leader can be difficult, and emotionally draining. As a leader, identifying your triggers and applying anger management tips is very important. The change to a healthy way of managing anger is not sudden and not perfect, it is a journey and the more you practice the better you get at it. Why not start by trying the tips above?

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