Don’t Let the Hulk Out: Tips to Curb Your Anger
Imagine this scenario. You’ve poured your heart and soul to complete a school paper on Canadian Heroes, and you’re sitting on the living room couch putting on the finishing touches on your laptop, when all of a sudden, your older brother and his friends enter the front door and think it’s the best time to play indoor football. Next thing you know, you’ve been tackled by one of them and you’re lying on your back on the floor, with your laptop beside you, and you hear it suddenly turning off. You rush to sit up and turn it back on, but it’s completely dead. What’s worse, your sibling and his friends merely laugh at the whole situation, even teasing how you’re not a good football player.
Of course, this scenario will make anyone angry, and when people are overtaken by anger, most of them lash out at the cause of their fury and say hurtful things that they will regret later. However, if something does cause you to fly off the handle, remember there are ways for you to keep the Hulk inside and respond to the circumstances calmly and without any casualties of hurtful words. Here are suggestions to keep in mind:
Do relaxation techniques.
It’s a cliché, and most of the time, those who have been provoked are most likely to act even more outraged when people tell them to “calm down.” However, calming yourself down is something you can do yourself when you’re infuriated. Breathing exercises can help, as well as counting from 1 to 10. Another strategy is to picture yourself in a relaxing scene, like lying on a pristine beach and getting a suntan or being atop of a quiet hill where only greenery and colourful blossoms surround you. Once you’ve managed to calm down, you can move on to the next step. Remember, no one can think clearly when they’re gnashing their teeth.
Assess the situation.
Give yourself time to think and assess the situation. So your brother and his friends unknowingly made you a part of a football play which eventually led to them damaging your laptop and you possibly losing your paper. If you let anger take over and you let yourself explode, you’ll react in a way that could worsen the situation—throwing your laptop on the floor in anguish, making it completely unsalvageable, or even worse, throwing your laptop towards your brother or friends, possibly causing harm to them. Evaluate what really happened first and then move to the next step.
See it from the other party’s perspective.
People who find themselves in a dire situation often automatically act as the victim and then it becomes all about them or “Me, Me, Me!” With this mindset, you’ll fall into the quicksand of self-pity quicker and quicker and you’ll never get out. Try to see the point of view of the other party and understand where they are coming from. Based on the scenario above, your brothers and his friends probably didn’t know you were working on something important. In addition, you were in the living room, a common room. This doesn’t mean to give them a pass for what they did, but you need to understand they are not 100% to blame. After this step, there’s only one more.
Work together to find a solution.
Learn to prioritize and instead of directing all your fury and negative anger towards the cause of your anger, focus on what’s more important to you at that given moment. Channel your energy instead to working towards a positive outcome despite of what happened. If it was your paper in danger of being lost, ask for help on how you can fix it. Maybe they can suggest a computer whiz who can bring a dead laptop back to life. Or maybe you can’t have a workable laptop but you can still recover the disk and also all your files saved in it.
Getting mad is a normal response when something bad happens, but don’t let it control you.