Having strategies to either head off explosive outbursts or stay in control when anger grows is necessary. Here are some ways to help tame that temper.
#1 Identify and act on the warning signs
Recognize the early feelings of irritability, agitation and annoyance before they develop into full-blown anger or aggression. Try and discover why you’re having these feelings by asking yourself: am I upset about something? If so, what is it and why? Did I get enough sleep? Did I take my medication? Am I depressed? This self-awareness can be key to intercepting potential trouble.
#2 Redirect your thoughts
Anger is full of energy and naturally increases your adrenaline, and with that comes a strong urge to act immediately! Redirecting your thoughts takes practice. The old strategy of counting to 10 has endured because it works. For others, singing the words or melody to an inspirational, soothing or funny song does wonders to avert an episode. The trick is to have this go-to refrain at the ready!
#3 Find a positive outlet for your feelings
Some have found that when things escalate, taking a pen to paper (or fingers to a keyboard) to journal these emotions helps. Others find relief by getting out in nature or dancing to favorite music. Physical exercise stimulates feel-good endorphins. Studies prove that when you exercise your brain releases a protein called BDNF, which influences vital functions like staving off accelerated aging, depression and even Alzheimer’s.
#4 Recognize when you are predisposed to becoming angry
When you are feeling irritable and annoyed, this is not the best time to pursue a discussion on a sensitive matter. Often there is no “best time” to discuss such serious topics; however, it helps if you can identify a time during the week when you are at your best to tackle potentially upsetting issues. Sometimes keeping a journal to record your feelings and what you’re doing at the time will help to look for common themes.
#5 Ask family members to participate in helping to manage your anger
Bring family members to your next therapy session and work together to identify collective anger management strategies for these bipolar symptoms. By planning ahead, those closest to you will be able to recognize triggers, and help you cope with potentially volatile situations. The key to any management strategy is to agree on a plan in advance.
#6 Talk with your doctor
There may be medication strategies that can help manage bipolar symptoms that also decrease the intensity and frequency of anger explosions. Cognitive behavioral therapy can help you learn and deal with the triggers for angry explosions. It’s also key to remember that sleep is a significant early marker of a shifting mood and can set in motion feelings of irritability.
#7 Consider your health
Studies show that rage can have very serious effects on your health. Anger triggers the release of the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline because our bodies go into a fight or flight response. Over time, elevated levels of stress hormones affect all our body systems, from our immune system to an increased risk for heart disease.
via bpHope – bp Magazine Community