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Home / Marriage Advice

I have a lot of anger towards him

 Is there something I can do to become more cool-headed and calm? (Image: Shutterstock)

Hi Chris,

I get angry far too often, especially with my husband. I don’t really know why, but one thing for sure. Once I start to lose my rag, I just can’t stop. And nothing my husband says or does helps at all.

I suppose that my outbursts are all a result of stress or something, and I’m doing all I can to lead a less pressured life. But is there anything else I can do to become more cool-headed and calm?

Far Too Angry

Chris Hart says,

The key to controlling anger is learning not to get swept up by your emotions. Because calm people experience exactly the same feelings as you do.

But they respond to them differently. They observe their emotions rather than being driven along by them.

That means becoming more aware of your moods, and figuring out what triggers them. Start learning that habit by deliberately thinking about your feelings from time to time, and identifying what sets off each one.

Because it’s difficult to control an emotion once it’s begun, especially anger. Seeing a trigger coming is easier, because then you can choose how to react to it. Consciously being aware of your emotions also improves how your brain handles stress.

When the temperature’s rising, visualising being in control will also help keep you calm. Rehearsing cool, confident approaches to conflict also helps.

For example, imagine responding to something annoying about your boyfriend’s behaviour by seeing what he’s doing as a cry for help, rather than thinking things like ‘You can’t talk to me like that!’

None of this is about suppressing your emotions, or keeping quiet about something annoying. Remaining calm just means you’re considering whatever’s happening from a different perspective.

Because while you can’t control your circumstances, like being stuck in a traffic jam, you can choose how you respond to them.

Try to avoid asking too many ‘What if’s…?’ Because the more time you spend worrying about possibilities, especially things that might never happen, the less you’re able to focus on taking positive action.

Limit your caffeine intake, because it increases the production of ‘fight-or-flight’ hormones. And get plenty of sleep, because your self-control is reduced when’re tired.

Turning off your phones and email for a short while is also calming. You’ll be amazed at how refreshing even a half hour communications break can be.

Understanding and controlling your emotions has other benefits. You’ll start to develop better judgement, and begin to see challenges as opportunities rather than problems. You’ll start seeing the world as it really is, appreciating more of the beauty around you, and begin to uncover the meaning in your life.

All the best,

Chris

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