Anger is a natural emotion that can help you recognize when things are going wrong. However, if your reactions to becoming angry are violent or aggressive, you need to understand why you become angry and what your anger triggers are. Anger, itself, isn’t bad. It’s your behavior to your anger that causes the problem. You can modify your behavior especially if you know the triggers that cause you to become angry. That way, when you’re in certain situations that cause you to become angry, you can either avoid the situations, or you can develop a more constructive plan for how you will behave when you are angry.
If you’re not sure you are getting angry, the first step is to recognize your anger. Are you getting aggressive, angry thoughts such as calling people idiots or jerks? Are you feeling your body tense up as if you’re ready to spring? Are you frowning, glaring, or feeling like your chest or jaw is tight? Are you yelling or wanting to yell? Do you feel like hitting something? These are all signs you are angry.
If you’re always getting angry and reacting poorly to the anger, it’s time to understand what triggers the anger. Most people do not get angry for no reason. Usually there are things that cause people to get angry, known as triggers. These triggers are often things in the external environment that cause us to react in an angry manner. Those triggers include:
When you are able to recognize a particular trigger, you should make note of it and form a plan of action on how you can deal with it in a healthy manner. When you see a particular trigger, you can then use the ACE strategy for handling your anger. That is, Assessing, Choosing, and Executing. By assessing your triggers you can then choose the appropriate, nonviolent reaction toward that anger and then execute the reaction.
If you’re able to, sometimes avoiding situations that will cause anger is often the best choice. While you can’t avoid certain people such as your parents, spouse, or boss, you can avoid getting into situations that will stir up the anger. For example, if you know that leaving your clothes on the floor will cause an argument between you and your parents, why not just pick them up and avoid the confrontation altogether? In this way, you avoid a confrontation and a possible loss of control.
When you recognize the triggers in your anger, you can start making plans to control your behavior and even avoid situations which will cause anger. That way, you can deal with your anger in a positive and constructive manner.