Anger is a perfectly normal emotion that we all experience from time to time. However, getting angry in the workplace is frowned upon, and for good reason. That’s why learning how to control anger at work is so important.
Whether it’s poor performance from a colleague or a rude customer, getting angry at them will likely make matters worse. But that’s not all. It could lead to being severely reprimanded, potentially even risking your employment.
So, what can you do to manage your anger in the workplace? What will you do the next time you get really mad at work? Keep reading if you’re ready to learn how to deal with anger & strengthen your anger management skills.
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Learn how to control anger at work & protect your mental health
- Leave. Remove yourself from the person or situation that is causing the anger. Giving yourself distance will give you time to cool off. For instance, go for a short walk, or just go somewhere quiet while you compose yourself. This is one of the most healthy ways to deal with anger whether you are at work or at home. Chances are once you return to the situation things will be a lot calmer.
If you’re unable to physically leave the situation, try to make some space in your own head by doing another task for a minute or two. Learning how to manage anger puts you in control of the situation instead of letting the situation control you.
2. Count to 10 while taking deep breaths. This is a tried and tested method of mindfulness. It’s one of the best stress management techniques for achieving instant calm. Taking a few deep breaths while counting to 10 will give you a few moments to reflect on the situation and decide to respond instead of reacting.
This method of breathing also slows your heart rate while giving your cells an extra boost of oxygen. This also relaxes your muscles.
So, this breathing technique gives both your mind and body a chance to calm down. So learning how to control your anger could be as simple as learning how to control your breathing.
3. Talk to someone you trust. Simply telling someone what has happened will help calm you down and put things into perspective.
We all have that one work colleague that we trust above all others, whose opinion we value. Seek them out and talk to them.
Your colleague will understand the office dynamics and will be able to see your point of view. They may also be able to offer sympathy and suggest some alternative solutions that you may not have thought of.
Journaling can help to control anger and stress
4. Write down how you feel. Rather than losing your temper and exploding at someone, would it not be better to walk away and write down how you are feeling?
Writing down how you feel can help exorcise some of your demons. Just ensure that you don’t send the email, message, or letter to anyone.
When you’re feeling a bit calmer, you can reread the letter and then destroy it.
5. Get some emotional support. If you’re feeling pressure at work, tell your loved ones or close friends about it. They may be able to help. When you feel wronged by a work situation, your loved ones can uplift you and help you feel valued by someone you respect.
6. Recognize your triggers. What is it that causes you to get angry? Once you recognize your own personal triggers, then you can learn when to take a step back and break the cycle before your emotions overcome you.
7. Give yourself a reward. If you keep your calm during a particular situation where you would normally get angry, then reward yourself. Buy yourself a new desk accessory, inspirational desk decor, or this motivational pen set. This is a mental reminder that good behavior will be rewarded.
Put these tips to good use. Practice them every chance you get and soon, your workplace anger will be a thing of the past.
Learn how to control anger at work so you can see more clearly
Try this reflection and affirmation.
I know that strong emotions impede logical thinking. I know that strong emotions cloud my perception. Anger is a strong emotion that harms my judgment, so I resolve any angry feelings that I may experience.
Whenever I feel anger, I am immediately aware that I am intellectually compromised. My ability to see the situation accurately is severely limited when I am angry. Consequently, my ability to make sound decisions is also limited. When I make poor decisions, the quality of my life suffers.
I value the ability to view life accurately. To do that, I must be calm and peaceful. I avoid making important decisions when I feel strong emotions. When I am emotionally neutral, I am wise. My wisdom is one of my greatest strengths, and I choose to use it daily.
Viewing the world through the eyes of anger is a huge mistake. Anger limits the quality of my life. I decide each day to release my anger and see the world clearly.
Today, I am experiencing serenity. Today, I allow my anger to fall as quickly as it rises. I allow myself the ability to see situations as they actually are. I let go of my anger so I can see more clearly.
Self-Reflection Questions For You To Answer
- When have I allowed anger to cloud my judgment at work? What was the result? If I had made a wiser decision, what would the result have been?
- How would my life change if I never made decisions while angry?
- When am I most likely to become angry at work? What can I do to better contain my anger?
Practice Mindfulness at Work to Enjoy Greater Peace & Productivity
You probably know that mindfulness gives you inner peace, but is it safe for work? You bet. Major corporations are conducting mindfulness programs, and it’s part of the curriculum at Harvard Business School. See how greater awareness can transform your work life.
Benefits of Mindfulness
- Feel happier. Happiness depends on your state of mind rather than material possessions or external events. You experience more contentment when you stay in the moment and give your full attention to what you’re doing.
- Live healthier. The advantages of mindfulness aren’t just in your head. Studies show that cultivating awareness can boost your immune system and lower your blood pressure.
- Strengthen communications. One of the most obvious signs of practicing mindfulness in a group setting is that conflicts become easier to prevent and resolve. As we become more compassionate, we want to cooperate and help others. We listen to each other and speak tactfully and directly.
- Increase your productivity. In addition to making you feel good, mindfulness sharpens your thinking. Your cognitive abilities grow and you perform better even when you’re under pressure.
How to Encourage Mindfulness in Yourself at Work
- Meditate daily. Sitting meditation is one of the most powerful ways to train your mind. Start each morning with a short session, and increase the time gradually as your ability to concentrate increases.
- Focus on your purpose. Ask yourself what makes your work meaningful to you. You might find satisfaction in helping customers or expressing your creativity.
- Slow down. Take a step back when you’re feeling overwhelmed. Clear your mind and review your priorities. Pause between tasks so that you start off feeling refreshed. Give yourself time to sort out your options before you respond to a challenging situation.
- Connect with your senses. All your senses are involved in how you experience your environment. Close your eyes and listen to the sounds in your office. You might want to spruce up your cubicle with a relaxing aromatherapy candle or a jar of cinnamon sticks to create pleasant textures and scents.
- Ring a bell. Naturally, your mind may start to wander while you’re attending staff meetings or filling out expense forms. Create a trigger that will remind you to focus. If a bell is too noisy, post an inspiring picture on your wall.
- Seek instructions. Controlling your emotions may not come naturally for you. Many find it helpful to receive help and guidance. Read this book or sign up for a class.
How to Encourage Mindfulness in Others at Work
- Respect differences. Some of your colleagues may have been meditating for years, and others may be reluctant to try. Accept that each individual needs to find their own path.
- Provide inspiration. Setting a positive example may be the most effective thing you can do. Let your actions speak for themselves.
- Answer questions. As your mindfulness develops, you may discover that others want to know your secret for staying calm and cheerful. Share your insights and practical tips for how to start a practice. Offer lists of books and websites that you find helpful.
- Talk with your boss. If you think your boss or human resources department would be receptive, suggest establishing a mindfulness program at your company. It could be as simple as gathering in the conference room before work to sit together and chat about a pleasant topic for a few moments.
There’s a good reason why companies like Google and General Mills are incorporating mindfulness into their company culture. Greater awareness enhances individual happiness, and the bottom line.
For greater peace and productivity, learn how to control anger at work, practice mindfulness at work, and share your positive vibes with your colleagues.