Learning to tame your temper

In Blog by Celine Redfield2 Comments


“I lost my temper today. Fuck it. Whoever finds it can keep it.”
Jarod Kintz

We all have a hard time sometimes and can become angry. It is when it becomes a pattern of relating to others that it can cause problems in our relationships. So here are 5 ways that you can work on reducing your temper.

1) Identifying what thoughts, feelings and sensations proceeds your anger

This step is imperative. Our bodies always tell us what is going on with them if we take the time to listen to them. Most people have lost their connection with their inner selves. If one really wants to change the way that they interact with their anger, noticing what sensations are going on in the body can help them to see when they are beginning to simmer instead  of being at the boiling point with their temper.

In a study in 2013 which was published by Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences,  Finish researchers found that people experience anger in the top half of their body from the head, to the torso and through out the arms. Is this your experience? Notice when it occurs, are their any other sensations or textures that you notice in your body when this happens? Take notice so that you can begin to catch your temper before it gets you into trouble.

2) Take a break

When our amygdala has been hijacked by the stress hormones in our brains it takes from 20 minutes to 48 hours for the hormones to flush out of that persons system. So when one is triggered it is best to take a break. Make the choice to leave the situation so it does not escalate any further.

Here are some self care ideas to care for yourself:

  • Go for a walk.
  • Do breathing exercises.
  • Hold your middle finger with your opposite hand and make the sound Ahhhh. Do this for two minutes.
  • Try holding these acupressure points to help tame your anger: GV20 at the crown of your head and CV17 at your breast bone anger-points1 copy

3) Acknowledge that you have been hurt.

Be compassionate to yourself after losing your temper. Judging yourself just makes the situation worse. We are all human and loose our temper.  Remember we are perfectly imperfect. Give yourself the love and compassion you deserve. Forgive yourself for lashing out and take steps to manage your anger. Think about if you owe an amends to the person you may have lost your temper at. Try to be willing to apologize and begin to build a different relationship with your anger.

4) Looking at what actually is going on/ Assess the situation
So since we have the amygdala we are primed to see where we are being taken advantage or threatened. Try looking at your anger as a warning symbol. After your initial anger has passed, be willing to take a look at what triggered you. Write down what triggers you so that you can be cognizant of them. Knowing what your triggers are will help you in at a future time, then you can begin to practice assessing a situation instead of reacting to it.

In psychology there is an iceberg theory that anger is a secondary emotion and it is caused by underlying primary emotion(s). It is is imperative to practice naming what these emotions are an creating a language of what a person is experiencing so that you can vocalize how you are feelings instead of reacting. Want to learn what those emotions are? You can download the sheet here.
5) Practice releasing your anger in a healthy way.

Anger is a learned emotion from those that you interact with most. Patterns of dealing with anger begin in your family of origin. It is possible to find healthy ways to express your anger. Finding a routine that helps you to manage your anger and release it from your body is very important. Here are a few suggestions for possible ways to release your anger in a healthy way:

  • Learn to meditate and sit with your anger. Try this guided mediation about forgiveness.
  • Learn breathing techniques
  • Do aerobic exercise to release your anger
  • Learn to communicate your feelings, take responsibility for them and be vulnerable about what upsets you

How do you manage your anger in a healthy way? Please comment below or send me an email to share your thoughts. Do you need  more help with managing your anger? Please feel free to contact me 323.515.2278 or celine@innergrowththerapy.com.  May you be well and enjoy this blessed week.  Until next time take care.






Image: Scream and Shout by Mindaugas Danys


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