Controlling Anger Before it Controls You

Have you found yourself in a place where you have lost all sense of self-control? There are two types of anger and one may surprise you. 1) Anger is a human emotion that all of us experience at one time or another and can be “healthy” when matched with the appropriate circumstance and outlet. 2) Destructive anger is when the latter definition is detoured leading to problems individually, socially, relationally, and occupationally. Stop for a moment and consider your way of responding and reacting towards others. After considering your answer, does it add to or take away from your “quality” of life?

Who’s controlling who?

Have you found yourself in a place where you have done something you were not proud of? Said something you did not mean? Hurt someone you deeply carried about? Lashed out at yourself? Retaliated against another? Find yourself hostile and cynical toward others and society? Are you chronically irritable and grumpy? Or, maybe it’s just a low tolerance for frustration or withdrawing oneself from people, places, and things? Often times it feels like being at the mercy of an uncontrollable sleeping giant where any and everything has the potential to trigger the emotional response.

“Awareness” – Controlling the Sleeping Giant

Who’s controlling who? There is a necessary awareness that must take place in order to take back the rightful control of one’s emotions. The tricky part is in the identification of internal and external triggers. There is often an emotional root that has been left invalidated and malnourished that breeds a less than desirable emotional response. Instinctually we have a natural behavioral response pattern of reacting aggressively. How do you temper a natural learned response? Identify the triggers and incorporate an alternative behavior when responding. When responding do you express? Supress? Or Calm?

Healing and Restoration

One can express, suppress, or calm emotions in a multitude of ways. In order to express angry feelings in a healthy and non-aggressive way, it becomes a process in the understanding of self. What does this process look like (Note: This process is unique to you)?

1)      Willing to take the steps to control the internal dissonance

2)      Learn to identify needs by respecting self and others

3)      Learn how to meet needs without hurting others or being self-seeking

4)      Suppress, convert, and redirect destructive into constructive and healthy outlets

5)      Incorporation of strategies: Assertiveness training, relaxation techniques, cognitive restructuring, problem solving techniques, better communication, using humor, and changing your environment to name a few.

“Average leaders focus on results, and that’s it. Good leaders focus also on the behaviors that will get the results. And, great leaders focus, in addition, on the emotions that will drive these behaviors.” – Martin Luther King, Jr. 

Alexis M. Megahee