How to Deal with Outbursts of Anger
Anger is a normal and healthy emotion that everyone experiences from time to time. However, sometimes anger can become overwhelming and lead to outbursts that are harmful to oneself or others. Outbursts of anger are sudden, forceful expressions of emotion, especially anger, that can be triggered by various factors, such as stress, frustration, injustice, or pain. Outbursts of anger can have negative consequences, such as damaging relationships, hurting one’s reputation, or causing physical or emotional harm.
Fortunately, there are ways to cope with outbursts of anger and prevent them from happening in the future. Here are some tips on how to deal with outbursts of anger:
- Recognize the signs of anger. Before an outburst occurs, there are usually some warning signs that indicate that one is becoming angry. These signs can include feeling tense, irritable, restless, or anxious; having a fast heartbeat, sweating, or breathing heavily; clenching one’s fists, jaw, or teeth; or having negative thoughts or feelings. By noticing these signs early on, one can take steps to calm down and avoid an outburst.
- Take a time-out. When one feels an outburst coming on, it can help to take a break from the situation that is causing the anger. This can mean walking away, going to another room, or doing something else that is relaxing and distracting. Taking a time-out can give one a chance to cool off and think more clearly about the situation.
- Use relaxation techniques. There are many ways to relax and reduce anger, such as deep breathing, meditation, yoga, listening to music, reading a book, or doing a hobby. Relaxation techniques can help one lower their blood pressure, heart rate, and muscle tension; release endorphins; and improve their mood and well-being. By practicing relaxation techniques regularly, one can become more resilient and less prone to outbursts of anger.
- Express your feelings in a constructive way. Sometimes an outburst of anger is a result of bottling up one’s feelings for too long. Instead of suppressing or exploding with anger, it is better to express one’s feelings in a constructive way. This can mean talking to someone who is supportive and understanding, such as a friend, family member, therapist, or counselor; writing in a journal; or joining a support group. Expressing one’s feelings can help one vent their emotions, gain perspective, and find solutions.
- Seek professional help if needed. If outbursts of anger are frequent, severe, or interfere with one’s daily functioning or relationships, it may be a sign of an underlying mental health issue, such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or intermittent explosive disorder (IED). In such cases, it is important to seek professional help from a mental health provider who can diagnose the problem and provide appropriate treatment. Treatment may include medication, psychotherapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), anger management classes, or other interventions.
Outbursts of anger are not healthy or helpful for anyone. By following these tips on how to deal with outbursts of anger, one can learn to control their emotions and cope with stress in a more positive way.