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Manage anger effectively

Sometimes stress can snowball into a raging outburst. Identify the triggers, stay calm report Samir Parikh

education Updated: Oct 20, 2010 09:22 IST
Samir Parikh

Who does not experience stress today? Time is always a constraint. There are always multiple things that need to be handled at one time. Everything moves at a fast pace and keeping up can in itself be a significant source of stress. Many times when things don’t go as planned or when our ideas get thwarted, we feel frustrated. This can trigger raging outbursts and often acts as a source of conflicts and distress amongst individuals. Taming this rage by gaining a sense of control over the stress one experiences in day-to-day life is extremely important.

Gain control, prioritise
Gaining a sense of control is of paramount importance. But how does one do that? The first and foremost thing you must do is step back and start taking things easy. It does not mean that you need to go lax on the responsibilities and duties you have as a student. Rather, it indicates that you need to pick your battles. You need to be able to focus on the things that are important and let go of those that are not.

Focus on the subjects you are weak in and give these more time. If you need extra coaching for a subject you find hard to handle, speak to your parents about it. When in doubt, ask a thousand questions about a problem till you get a grasp on the solution.

Anger happens
In the course of a long day when some things may go your way and others may not it is impossible to not feel angry. Remember anger is an emotion like any other and it needs to be treated like that. Recognising it is important and giving space to it is needed.

What is it that made you angry? Did you not get the bus to college? Was a senior in school particularly nasty to you? As long as there is a way out… such as complaining about the bullying senior to your teacher, or being well in time the next day to catch the bus, you have nothing to worry about. You can also make amends for coming late to class by taking a friend’s notes.

Identify your triggers
The precursor to any feeling of anger involves some triggers and being able to identify what are the potential situations, responses and behaviours that anger you would be helpful in being aware of them. The knowledge is the essential first step which would certainly help you to be able to avoid situations in which an outburst may be likely. If you are a habitual slacker and lazy, then chances are that you are getting stressed out because you are doing things at the last minute such as cramming desperately at the last minute for your exams, or rushing to catch that bus because you got up late. Changing your life, being organised, ensures you have ample time on your hands to manage things

Know the signs
Know the signals that indicate you are getting angry. This could be physical sensations like the pulsating of veins, faster heartbeats or sweating. Once a sign presents itself try and control your anger. The simplest way could be to distract yourself. Go for a little walk, take time out to call and chat with a friend. You can move away from the situation. Or you can use self-statements to reinforce that you should not get angry. And finally, counting to ten has been a tried and tested method.

The author is a psychiatrist, and chief, Department of Mental Health and Behavioral Sciences, Max Healthcare

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