How to be Less Reactive
How often do you get annoyed or irritated by other people’s behavior? How much time does it take for you to calm down after being upset?
We all experience anger from time to time. Anger is a natural emotion that helps us deal with stressful situations.
However, it can cause problems at home and at work when it becomes chronic.
Anger management is essential because it affects our relationships and productivity. If you want to become calmer, try these five simple strategies.
Anger Management Tips For You: 5 Steps To Control Your Emotions And Stay Calm
#1 Know the triggers of your anger
What makes you angry? Is there anything about your family life that causes you stress? Do you feel like your boss mistreats you?
Are you frustrated because you don’t have enough money to pay off your debts?
Does someone insult you in public? Try to pinpoint the underlying issues behind your anger. Once you know where your anger comes from, you can better control it.
#2 Practice patience
When you are angry, it will make everything seem more difficult. This will only compound your problem.
Instead of reacting immediately, think first before doing something rash.
The best way to resolve an issue is to calmly talk through things together.
Don’t let emotions get out of hand. Take deep breaths and count slowly to ten if needed.
#3 Get support
Having a friend or family member who understands your feelings may help you cope with anger.
Ask them what they think you should do about any situation. It could also be helpful to talk to a counselor or therapist.
They can help you identify the root of your anger and teach you practical ways to handle different situations.
#4 Learn body language
Be aware of your own body language. Your posture and gestures will show this whenever you feel uncomfortable or angry. For example, slouching and stiffening up might suggest a lousy mood.
An easy tip is to practice keeping your shoulders relaxed, sitting straight, and standing tall while talking.
#5 Keep it real
Avoid comparing yourself to others. Let go of perfectionism and stop worrying about making mistakes.
Always remember that everyone has weaknesses.
When you accept yourself, you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else.
Therapy can help you learn new coping skills, so you can manage your anger effectively.
Therapists can teach you how to change negative thoughts into positive ones and reduce your anxiety levels.
The good news is that anger doesn’t last forever.
With some self-help techniques, you can keep your emotions under control and enjoy a happier life.
There are several methods available to help you deal with anger.
One way involves learning to say “no” to demands that create conflict. Another technique is to develop assertiveness skills.
Assertive people can express their opinions without fear of getting rejected.
In addition, they recognize their rights and those of others.
If you tend to lose your temper over minor conflicts, consider taking anger management classes.
Many schools offer anger management courses as part of their counseling program. Online programs are also available.
You can use meditation or yoga exercises to help you stay focused on the present moment instead of focusing on past or future events.
You can also listen to soothing music that reduces tension and increases relaxation.
Take care of your physical well-being. Exercise regularly and eat healthy foods to boost energy and decrease depression symptoms.
This technique works by teaching individuals to respond to stressors calmly.
CBT is based on cognitive-behavioral principles such as acceptance, which means being willing to look at stressful events objectively.
The goal is to break cycles of the stress response. CBT focuses on replacing negative thoughts with realistic alternatives and challenging irrational beliefs.
The cognitive restructuring includes setting goals for oneself.
For example, one might set a goal of practicing mindfulness and accepting their feelings.
This approach emphasizes personal responsibility for action. DBT teaches patients to live in the present and avoid rumination.
Patients find a sense of freedom through an awareness of choices and learn to take charge of their lives by managing distress.
Mindfulness helps you focus attention on the here and now. It can be difficult to relax if you have been stressed out all day.
A common way to start a mindfulness meditation session is to close your eyes and pay attention to your breathing.
Pay special attention to each breath going in and coming out of your nostrils.
Focus only on the sensations associated with breathing—not on thoughts that come to mind. This exercise creates distance between yourself and your ideas.
If attempts to fix problems don’t work, medication may be necessary. Antidepressants can be used but must be monitored because they affect blood pressure.
Other remedies are available, including beta-blockers and antihistamines. In addition, there are antianxiety drugs such as Xanax.
Medications aren’t necessarily the answer, though. They often have side effects or interact with other medications.
If you decide to take them, talk to your doctor about what he recommends.
Avoid alcohol. Alcohol makes it easier to become angry. It also tends to make existing anger worse.
In addition, drinking even a single drink can significantly increase the risk of a heart attack or stroke.
Practicing yogic poses or positions is another effective form of relaxation. Yoga helps you become more aware of your body and its movements.
When you practice these moves, you will feel better about your appearance and improve your overall health.
Meditation is also considered a form of relaxation. Meditation is a process of becoming more centered and relaxed.
It helps you detach from distractions around you and allows your mind to clear itself of negative thoughts.
Another form of relaxation is mindfulness. Mindfulness is the ability to bring your full attention to what you are doing in the present moment.
Doing this can ease stress and make you feel calmer and more peaceful.
Physical activity has proven benefits for people with depression. Studies show that exercising improves moods and lowers anxiety levels. Try exercising 30 minutes five times per week.
Make sure to check with your doctor before starting any new physical activity.
Incorporate better lifestyle habits into your daily routine. Eat a balanced meal every three hours to keep blood sugar steady, and drink plenty of water and other fluids throughout the day.
Avoid caffeine and alcohol to prevent sleep problems. Get proper restful sleep 7–9 hours each night. Relax after work at least once per week.
Take the time to enjoy the outdoors and get enough sun exposure.
As unpleasant as it may seem, try not to think negatively about yourself.
Negative thinking and self-criticism cause you to doubt yourself, making you feel worse.
Anger management isn’t always possible – sometimes, someone else’s actions cause us to become angry.
However, if you’re feeling frustrated, try not to take things personally.
Instead, focus on what you can do to make changes in your life. Make sure you get enough sleep and exercise daily.
Eat a nutritious diet and drink plenty of water.
Get regular medical checkups to ensure that your heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, and other vital organs function correctly.
If any of these areas begin to fail, seek prompt medical attention.
Finally, find ways to relax, relieve stress, and talk with loved ones about coping with difficult situations.
Anger management doesn’t need to be complicated.
Taking simple steps like those listed above will go a long way towards controlling anger in yourself and others. Use this information wisely!
Author: Michelle Landeros, LMFT
Michelle Landeros is a Licensed Marriage Family Therapist (LMFT). She is passionate about helping individuals, couples and families thrive.
Last updated: September 24, 2023