How Can I Control My Anger at Work?

Control anger at work

Our overall well-being depends not only on our physical health but also on our emotional health.
Our overall well-being depends not only on our physical health but also on our emotional health.

Our overall well-being depends not only on our physical health but also on our emotional health. There are several kinds of emotions, such as happiness, fear, sadness, disgust, surprise, anger. Happiness is the emotion everyone seeks, but anger is often considered the most repulsive emotion. When in control, anger is not a bad emotion. It is a way a person expresses themselves in response to someone or something they feel has deliberately done wrong to them. It is an expression of antagonism toward perceived threats.

Getting angry or showing any other kind of emotion is not wrong. The problem arises when the person is not able to manage the anger in a healthy way. When a person gets angry, there is a release of the chemical called adrenaline in the body. It is associated with muscle tightness, increased heart rate, and a rise in blood pressure. Thus, repeated and excessive anger to even the slightest provocation can cause undesirable effects, such as high blood pressure and heart diseases. Uncontrolled anger can take away your peace of mind and hamper your decisiveness. Moreover, showing extreme anger at inappropriate places, such as at work, can even harm your reputation and put your career at risk. If you think that you get angry often and for unreasonable matters, you must take the help of a psychologist or a mental health expert.

Some of the ways you can train yourself to manage your anger at work are:

  • Find out what makes you angry: Many times, anger may be a response to hide other emotions, such as grief, shame, vulnerability, or insecurity. Question yourself about what makes you angry or irritated. You may discover that your anger is masking some other emotion. For example, problems in personal relationships or a sense of underachievement in your career may make you unreasonably irritated and angry. Once you discover the reason behind your anger, you will be in a better condition to tell yourself that anger is not the solution. It is rather making things worse. Accept the underlying emotion and work upon it rather than being angry.
  • Get some “time-out:” If a person or a situation infuriates you, distance yourself from it for a while. Do not stay to confront the situation when you feel you are getting angry. You may go for a walk, have some water, or eat a healthy snack. This will give you time to realize that the problem does not need an aggressive reaction.
  • Breathe and let go: Every situation does not need your response. When things seem to be overwhelming, stop and breathe deeply. Feel the air going into your lungs and the negative emotions disappearing as you breathe out.
  • Think before you respond: If a colleague or your boss says something that you don’t agree with, do not respond in a haste. Think and process the statement in your mind. They may not have the same perspective as you have. Give people the benefit of doubt for your good. Talk politely or ask gently for a clarification. You can be gentle even when you disagree with someone.
  • Talk to someone you trust: Do not hesitate in seeking support from your close ones. It may be your colleague, partner, or friend. Express your concerns and emotions to them. You may plan a small meet-up with them to have a conversation. Remind yourself that you are not alone.
  • Write how you feel: Whenever you feel irritated or angry, write it down. Pour all your feelings on a paper or type it. Read what you wrote as often as you feel. This will make you feel better. It may also help you find a solution to the problem rather than getting angry.
  • Remind yourself of the consequences: Uncontrolled anger can never do any good to you. It can rather do immense harm to your health, reputation, and peace of mind. Keep reminding yourself that you won't do serious damage to yourself because of a temporary emotion.
  • Engage in regular physical activity: One of the best ways to manage stress and anger is taking a walk every day. It boosts great health as well as gives you time to think about yourself. Engage in regular physical activity by doing things that make you happy. It may be playing a sport, dancing, or lifting weights. A healthy body helps build a healthy mind and vice versa.

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American Psychological Association. Controlling anger before it controls you.