• Madhura

How to manage anger?


Enough is enough. This is getting way out of hand. You know this is wrong, you know this outburst is making more damage than any good. You know, it was not that big of a deal. But still, you let yourself lose control, you let yourself freak out over some trivial things. You are so angry that even you are scared of yourself. It doesn't matter who did what wrong, it is you who needs help to manage that anger. Bursting out of anger is wrong on so many levels, but is there a way to manage that outburst? It does seem like there is no way out of this burst of emotions but trust me there is a way. Come join me today, let’s explore ways to manage that anger. Let’s change that explosion of emotions to a more controlled and calm, serene feeling. Shall we?

Welcome to yet another episode of Morning Cup of Sunshine. This week I am bringing you a highly requested topic. Episode 40 - How to manage your anger? Thank you so much Deepti for suggesting this topic. I know I am a bit late to pick this topic but I am frankly a bit nervous to even touch this topic. Do you know why? Anger is like a bottled up emotion for me. I don't get angry that often. Anger is something I can handle, but stress is my devil emotion. So I was not sure if I can really talk authentically on anger management. But then I realized that is the exact reason I can talk about anger management since I am able to manage my anger most of the time. The tips that I am going to share today might seem very trivial but trust me my friend I work on those every single day and most of the days I am able to handle my anger. I sincerely hope that this episode will be useful and uplifting on so many levels. Thanks again Deepti for suggesting this topic. I really had to come out of my comfort zone and ask myself some hard questions. It made me think inward and come up with useful tips for you. I hope you all keep suggesting topics as always. This brings me so much joy to talk about something that you want to hear.

Happy Moment of the Week

Alright, even my happy moment today is on the same lines. I am in love with this beautiful community that we are building here. Each one of you is so precious. I can’t express how thankful I am to each one of you. I can’t name everybody here, otherwise the episode will be like an hour long. But you guys are just amazing. I love this space so much. Each one of you contributes to grow this space. This week, I got a chance to talk to 4 of my listeners personally. I am amazed how a small podcaster like me can create a difference in one’s life. I had only one goal in mind when I started this podcast. It was to create a happy and positive space where my listeners should feel uplifted after listening to my episode. I wanted that space even for me. Because, I like to start my day on a positive note. I wanted to create that positive space for you. I am so proud to say that I am on track with my goal. I am nowhere done. I am always a work in progress. But if I am able to bring a smile, a positive thought in even one person’s mind, I will consider that to be a great achievement. I was so happy to hear from those 4 listeners last week. 2 of them I never met in person but they reached out to me over messenger. I was so overwhelmed with their feedback. It really gave me a boost to keep working hard and bring more and more useful content. Thank you so much for being there for me always. I say this every time but trust me I do not take this responsibility lightly. I am committed to my goal of bringing joy, happiness and positivity in your life and I am so happy to hear from you that I am on right track. That was definitely my happiest moment for the week. It really made my day. What about you my friend? What brought you joy this week? Just close your eyes and think of one thing that brought a nice smile on your face. I would love to hear all about your happy moments. Don’t forget to share those with me. I always have a post for happy moments on Sunday. Join my Facebook group, Morning cup of sunshine to share and spread happiness.

Alright, let’s start the heavy topic of the week. How to manage the anger?


Step 1 : Think before you speak

Words are so powerful. They hold the power to make or break your day. One kind word, one word spoken with empathy is capable of turning your dull day into a bright and cheerful day. But when you use those words to say hurtful things they become impossible to forget. Kind words do not cost much but they accomplish a lot but one word spoken out of anger will scar someone's mind forever. It might be too hurtful to leave their mind. Always think before you speak. Just try to introspect quickly, what made you so mad? Why are you so angry? I know it is hard to think rationally when you are bursting with anger. That is why it's been told for centuries to count 1-10 when you get angry. In those 10 seconds, quickly take an inventory of your emotions. Are you really angry at the person in front of you or is there a different real reason? Just imagine, you had an extremely stressful day at work and the moment you came home you saw a completely disaster mode living room with toys everywhere, TV remotes lying on the floor. You could not control your anger and you start screaming at your kids for not cleaning up the room. I understand that you expect to have a clean room when you enter your home. But just imagine, had it not been too much of a stressed day at work will you react the same way like today? Or you will ignore the mess for some time, maybe have a cup of coffee and then think about cleaning up. Always think about three things before you let anger take over your emotions. Are you hungry? Are you tired ? Are you stressed? I guarantee you 90% of the time you get angry because of one of these three reasons. But without looking deep, you get angry at the first person that you see? Now let’s talk about the remaining 10%. You are really angry at someone and in your mind it is completely their fault, what then? Is it okay to let your words hurt them? It’s amazing how words can do that. They just shred someone’s heart apart. So, even if you are extremely angry, don’t let that cloud your judgement. You will say, how’s that even possible. Let me tell you one small technique. Just take a deep breath, as deep as you can. If you frequently get angry, then pick one small mantra for you. It can be Breath or relax or you are a good person and keep repeating that mantra in your head for a few times before you really react. If you find even that to be difficult, you absolutely tend to lose control over your words when you get angry then just do one thing. Just stop talking, Pretend as if your lips are glued , sealed and they have absolutely no capability to talk. Just don’t let a single word come out of your mouth. This is the last resort but I strongly recommend to just think before you speak. Remind yourself about the good in you and good in the person in front of you, even if you can’t see that in the moment. It is better to sit in silence than letting your hurtful words echo in their mind.


Step 2 : Never ever generalize -

I live by this step. I noticed this in my behavior a couple of years ago. I used to call out my son. I used to say, you never clean up your room, when he used to refuse to help me clean up. I don’t really remember if I noticed it on my own or I read in some book. But I remember noticing my words and I felt ashamed. I started slowly changing my statements. I started saying I am upset because you are not helping me clean your room. I am all about showing emotions, I never want anyone to suppress their emotions. My kids can fearlessly and openly tell me if they don’t like something about me. But I don’t advocate generalizing things. We don’t even notice it when we are locked in a fight. But so many times, we use words like, you always do that, you always hurt me or you never help me. You are so selfish or some other angry adjective. Don’t label someone based on one or few experiences. I urge you that in a fight, address the situation and not the person. Once you start arguing about the situation, you might even find some common ground as now you are not playing a blame game. You get angry at only those people who are close to you and trust me there is nothing in this world more precious than the people around you.


Step 3 : Find ways to deviate yourself -

Just think for a moment, is there a way to stop from getting too angry or is there a way to stop the escalating situation? I think yes there are several ways. We already discussed how we can stop getting angry or getting our anger out of hand by taking deep breaths or counting 1-10 or saying your mantra loudly. But what if you are already angry? You are fuming with resentment, then what? I would suggest taking yourself out of the situation as much as possible. Think of the ways you can distract yourself for sometime so that you can gather your thoughts and maybe have a conversation later instead of a heated argument now. Go for a walk around the block, listen to your favorite song for a few minutes. You can journal your thoughts. This will help you think it through. Find a creative outlet. Do you like to craft or paint? Have you ever tried adult coloring books ? They work wonders to calm you down. There are two things that always work for me. The first is of course, exercise. Whenever I feel angry at someone or sometimes when I feel not so good about myself, I just get on my elliptical, put my headphones on and listen to my favorite Bollywood songs. Those sweaty 30 minutes release all my worries, tension. All that bottled up anger is released in the form of my sweat. I am much more calm and clear in my head to talk about the things that bothered me. Another thing that works for me is taking a hot bath. It washes away all my worries and anger. I feel like a new person, all ready to face that hard conversation. I have another fun idea to calm yourself down. Prepare a calm down basket or a kit. Put all sorts of fun things in that basket. You can keep your favorite book, your favorite scented candle, your bath salts, your paint brushes, some paints and blank canvas, you can keep your yoga mat, CD of your favorite movie, photo album of your favorite people. Whenever you feel extremely angry and you feel like you are losing control, just remove yourself from the situation before you make it worse and just open this basket. Pick whatever you feel like doing at that moment. Then spend some time doing your favorite thing. I am sure it will calm you down. I know this sounds silly but trust me this will work. Slow down, calm down, don’t worry, don’t hurry , just trust the process.


Step 4 : Defuse the situation -

Let’s assume even after all this the situation is still bad. Everybody is in a bad mood. Nobody is backing down. The temperature of your home is still rising. Now think of a way to defuse the situation. If you can’t take yourself out of the equation then try to be part of the solution. I have never seen a problem being solved by an argument. It is always resolved by having a conversation. But when everyone is angry and everyone is speaking to blame each other, there will never be a solution. Think of the ways to defuse the situation. Can you use humor? This always works out for my kids. If you are really angry at them for some reason and neither you nor they are backing down, then see if you can make it into a game. They forget easily that they have been arguing over the same thing if now that thing is a fun game. If you are having a fight with your partner or a friend then try to remember the good in them and see if you can calm them down by mentioning the good things and then explaining your point. We need to focus on a solution rather than a problem. Nobody really wants to have fights, arguments but sometimes we get into the situations where these angry moments become inevitable. But it is our duty towards our own mental health to not let those few angry moments ruin our beautiful memories together.


Step 5 : Don’t shy away from apologizing -

Finally, I love this step. I think this step is very crucial. I firmly believe that there should not be any shame in accepting your mistake, apologizing for it. To err is human, right? Nobody is perfect. Everyone has some good, some bad and some ugly. But when a person is in your life, he or she is in your life with all their blacks, whites and grays. If you keep looking at the qualities that you don’t like, you will love that person. I strongly recommend that you accept that person the way they are and in the same way, accept yourself the way you are. I understand sometimes, you really dislike some qualities in a person and when you get angry those small dislikes start looking like huge flaws. But remember he or she is a person too, there are going to be some qualities that you like and some that you don’t like. Try to hold on to good in them. Try to remember the good experiences you had with them. If you are locked in a fight, and you know deep down that you can solve this situation by apologizing but your ego won’t let you do that. I suggest, keep that ego aside and just say sorry. You do not become a less of a good person if you apologize. It is easy to let it go if that is not a big of a deal. If nobody is getting hurt, then just let it go. Don’t sweat the small stuff. I have 2 episodes on how to choose your battles. I highly recommend you to listen to those episodes. Those episodes are filled with the tips and tricks that you can use to choose your battles. I will put links in the show notes for you. Nobody has ever benefited from holding a grudge and keeping that bitter taste of friendship. We all want a happy life with lots of friends and loved ones right? Are you going to get more more friends or are you going to keep your existing friends by constantly having fights? Sometimes it is better to let it go. Feel what you want to feel but then let it go, don’t let that consume your mind. Just close your eyes, clear your thoughts and let it go.


Recap

On this note, let me recap this episode. Today, we discussed how to manage anger. It is one of the hardest emotions to control. Lives are ruined by anger. Today, I gave you the tools and ways to manage your anger. Let me repeat the steps that we discussed today.

Step 1 : Think before you speak

Step 2 : Never ever generalize -

Step 3 : Find ways to deviate yourself -

Step 4 : Defuse the situation -

Step 5 : Don’t shy away from apologizing -

I understand that sometimes it is extremely hard to control that fuming anger. It looks like an impossible situation but trust me, if you just do some inward thinking you will recognize how small and insignificant that situation is. But again we all are human and we are filled with all sorts of emotions so if you feel angry, don’t beat yourself up for that. It is just one emotion out of thousands of different emotions that you feel every single day. Don’t let it overpower you. If you feel angry even after following all these steps, just give yourself some grace and decide to do better the next time. Be prepared to find your triggers and work on them beforehand. Just remember not to live your life with anger and hate in your heart. You will only be hurting yourself more than you hurt your loved ones. A heart filled with anger has no room for love, so let that anger go and make room for some love, right?


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