If you struggle with a short temper then this can be a serious problem in many respects. While you might be excused for thinking mistakenly that it’s no big deal and is more of a comical problem in the vein of Basil from Fawlty Towers, the reality can actually be quite different – causing distress, elevating your blood pressure and heart rate to potentially dangerous levels, and leaving you without your usual good judgement which can very easily get you into trouble with friends or relatives or cause you to say or do things you would later regret. In the worst case scenarios chronic rage can make it impossible for you to maintain a healthy relationship or even hold down a job and can make you more likely to suffer a heart attack.
Learning to get this under control then is absolutely crucial. Here we will look at some techniques you can use to accomplish just that.
CBT stands for ‘cognitive behavioural therapy’ and this is essentially a form of therapy that looks at ‘reprogramming’ your regular thought patterns to help you replace your angry ruminations with more positive thoughts and self-talk. For instance then if you are constantly angry then it may be that you are having ruminations such as ‘it’s so unfair’ or ‘why does it have to happen to me’. These things of course only serve to make you angrier and more upset so it’s important to try and replace these with thoughts like ‘getting upset won’t help’ or ‘it’s just washing over me’.
One of the biggest mistakes we can make when we’re angry is to act quickly on our emotions and to vent them on whoever is around us. One way you can lessen the impact of rage on your decision making then is to simply take a moment out to breathe and calm down. Remove yourself from the situation, breathe quietly for a moment, and then return to the situation moments later.
Meditating can be a great way to bring your anger under control. Simple meditation means practicing taking control of your own thoughts and being able to quieten them – which in turn can help you to feel calmer and more relaxed. Meditation also involves a large amount of visualization, and if you can visualize yourself in a peaceful setting and really make it feel real then this can often be enough to help you calm down and feel more peaceful too.
Hypnotherapy is basically a technique that experienced practitioners can use to plant suggestions in our unconscious mind so that they act on us on an unconscious level. To accomplish this they will use scripts that walk us into a more relaxed state of mind and get us to drop our defences so that our thoughts and behaviours can be modified.
Biofeedback means using something like a heartrate monitor to get feedback regarding your physiological arousal and other physical features. This then allows us to see what it is precisely that’s getting us worked up, and which techniques are working to calm us back down. Ultimately the goal is to become innately more aware of our own psychic state and to be able to control it without the use of the monitor.
Featured image photo credit: Martin Dimitrievski