People who are prone to outbursts of anger can find working in professional environments especially challenging. Whether you – or somebody that you work with – have trouble controlling your temper it is especially important that you learn how to control anger before it becomes a bigger problem.
We all know that keeping control of your emotions can be challenging at the best of times. And it can be particularly challenging in a corporate environment where you are constantly dealing with multiple personalities and stressful situations.
It can be the perfect environment to aggravate you – especially if you are already someone who struggles to maintain control and tend to have angry outbursts. However, maintaining control is vital for a healthy working environment.
One of the first steps to controlling anger is identifying your stressors. This guide will help you identify different types of anger as well as anger triggers. I’ve also put together some useful tips on dealing with your own anger or dealing with a colleague who struggles with anger issues.
Types of anger issues
Before we start, let’s look at anger and how it can manifest itself in people. Essentially there are three different types of anger issues people can suffer from.
This is the most common anger type. Outward anger is where a person expresses their rage in obvious, external ways. For example, a person suffering from outward anger issues might express it by shouting, cursing, throwing things, or being verbally abusive towards others at the office.
Alternatively, anger can be directed inwards. With this type of anger, an individual directs their rage toward themselves. For example, they might express their anger by harming themselves, denying themselves happiness (including denying basic needs such as food, etc.) and isolating themselves from colleagues at their workplace.
When a person suffers from passive anger, they use subtle and indirect ways to show their emotions. For example, sulking or refusing to speak to coworkers.
Impact of anger issues
Being angry and out of control can have a negative impact on both your professional and personal life, not to mention your physical and emotional well-being. It can have adverse effects on your relationships with colleagues, family, and friends.
On a physical level, not dealing with your anger appropriately can lead to heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and a weakened immune system.
While on a mental level, unmanaged anger can lead to various mental health problems, including stress and depression.
What causes anger issues in a person
While the reasons that people suffer from anger issues can be varied, there are several well-known reasons that can trigger anger in people. These triggers can occur on a personal or professional level and the ramifications can be seen at home or the work environment regardless of where the problem started.
- Family/ personal issues
- Financial issues
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Bipolar disorder
- Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD)
- Intermittent explosive disorder (IED)
Signs that someone is suffering from anger issues
It is possible that a person can suffer from anger issues, and they may not even realize it. There are, however, some key indicators that you can look out for to help identify anger issues in yourself or a colleague.
Physical symptoms cause changes in your body, including the brain, heart, and muscles. Anger can also cause changes in hormone levels by increasing testosterone levels and reducing cortisol levels.
Some physical symptoms you can watch out for include:
- Increased heart rate
- High blood pressure
- Muscle tension
Anger also goes hand in hand with your overall emotions and feelings. For example, a person suffering from anger issues will likely also experience the following emotional symptoms:
- Feeling overwhelmed
Tips on how to control anger
Now that we have discussed how to identify anger and what can cause it, let’s take a look at some tips on how to control anger. You can use them next time you feel like you are losing control of your temper in a corporate meeting or event.
- Take slow and deep breaths.
- Count down from 100.
- Say the word ‘relax’ or ‘calm down, repeatedly.
- Stretch using some yoga-like movements.
- Calm down and visualize yourself in a relaxing scenario.
- Listen to your favorite music.
- Note down your feelings in a journal.
- Take a break and move away from others to a quiet room to reflect on yourself.
- Speak to a friend or colleague.
- Watch a comedy or something funny and laugh.
- Reflect on your positives and be thankful for them.
- Practice empathy.
- Find a creative way to release your anger and control your emotions. (e.g., gardening, painting, etc.)
How to deal with someone who has anger issues
The tips above can be especially helpful in controlling your own anger, but what if your problem is an angry colleague? Well, I’ve got some tips to help you deal with that too. If you know someone who is dealing with anger issues and doesn’t know how to control anger, Here are a few things you could do to manage the situation.
- Stay calm.
- Give him the space that he requires.
- Try listening to what he has to say.
- Help him identify why he gets angry by speaking to him and asking questions.
- Assist him in seeking professional help to manage his anger.
It’s also crucial to identify what causes anger in a particular person. Identifying the reason for anger could be helpful in finding the solution.
How to control anger: Treatment options
If your anger problems are worsening or the above techniques are not alleviating the problem, it might be time to seek other treatment options. There are several professional counseling and therapy options you could try to cope with your anger.
Counseling and professional help
Counseling is a type of short-term treatment where you speak to a professional about your issues. A certified professional counselor should be able to help you by identifying your problem and suggesting solutions.
Many workplaces, educational institutes, and healthcare institutions have professional counseling services to help manage emotions in clients, students, and patients.
There are also therapies and treatments such as Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to help cope with anger. More on this later.
Anger management programs
There are various online anger management programs or courses available. These programs teach you the cause of your anger and how to control anger, in a professional and personal setup.
The programs sometimes use a combination of counseling and therapy to help employees manage their temper.
Here are a few anger management programs you can try.
- Anger Masters
- Open Path
- Anger Management Training Institute
- The Logan Group Int.
- Ultimate Anger Management Course
Seek help from colleagues, friends, and online forums
If all else fails, you can try to get assistance from colleagues, friends, and family. This is a relatively cost-effective way to help deal with your anger. Another option is to seek help for similar anger issues posted on online forums, boards, etc.
They are made by like-minded people suffering from the same issues. A counselor or related professional heads the group or forum, where you can get assistance and learn how to control anger.
Here are a few things they do in these anger management local support groups and forums.
- Talk openly about each other’s feelings.
- Get practical solutions on treatment options.
- Improve your ability to cope with challenges.
- Gaining a sense of self-control, empowerment, and hope.
Therapy options for anger management
Additionally, there are a few anger management therapies you can try to control your rage in the workplace.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
CBT is the most commonly-offered therapy for a range of emotional issues. It involves talking therapy in which your feelings, thoughts, and behaviors and their impact on others are examined.
CBT teaches you how to manage your emotions using practical skills. You’ll learn how to calm your mind and relax your body, which will help you control your anger.
Psychotherapy goes much deeper into a person’s inner feelings and lasts longer than counseling. It goes into your past to help you identify the root cause and why you get angry the way you do.
Psychotherapy also helps you identify if certain situations specifically make you angry and, if so, why it happens.
More often, people don’t address their anger issues, which makes it stressful for colleagues at the workplace. How do you manage a colleague who is constantly in a rage with just about everything?
The role of food and nutrition in anger management
Lastly, food and nutrition play an essential role in your anger management plan. Making simple modifications to your diet can make a difference in your mood and emotions. Here are a few tips on nutrition to control your rage.
- Eat many dopamine-building foods, including poultry, eggs, fish, and leafy greens.
- Eat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids to help fight off depression and mood swings. These foods include flaxseeds, chia seeds, walnuts, and fish.
- Eat foods high in magnesium that promote sleep, including spinach, sunflower, pumpkin, and almonds.
- Limit your sugar intake. Eat some fruits for desserts to limit having desserts that are high in sugar.
Learn how you can get a complete and nutritious meal with the above nutrients.
Having anger issues can have a detrimental effect on a person’s professional development as well as their physical and mental health. That’s why it is extremely important to know how to manage anger and identify your triggers before it becomes a bigger problem.
Is having anger issues a mental disorder?
Anger isn’t a mental disorder, but it could be a symptom of a mental health condition.
What is the best therapy for anger management?
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is an effective treatment for anger management.
Why does someone get angry over little things?
Someone could get angry over little things due to stress, anxiety, depression, feelings of grief, personal issues, or financial issues.