We have all felt anger at one time or another in our lives, with over 45% of staff losing their temper at work and 64% of those in office jobs experiencing ‘office rage’ *. Feeling anger is an extremely powerful emotion and can cause many issues- especially in the workplace.
Anger is a vital emotion. It typically stems from feelings of frustration, annoyance and resentment and it has helped us survive up until now. According to Mental Health Forum, anger is made up of three main component—physical, cognitive and behavioural. The physical effects of anger can include a rush of adrenaline, increase in heart rate and blood pressure and also tightening of muscles. The cognitive side of anger typically includes the way in which we think about the thing that is angering us. Think back to the last time you were angry about anything, were you thinking about it realistically or were you exaggerating the issue because of our anger? Finally, the behavioural aspect includes how one may act when angry, this can include shouting, slamming doors etc.
While it has been throughout the history of humanity a valuable contributor to survival anger can be very harmful both to ourselves and others when we don't manage it well. In a professional environment behaving in an angry way is not acceptable. There are many reasons why you may feel angry at work, but you need to find a way to prevent an outburst that could hurt your career or reputation within a company.
Here are some easy ways to keep calm at work:
Keep a trigger diary. Make notes of everything that frustrates you throughout the week during work—this way you will understand what makes you angry and you can begin to avoid triggers.
Take a break. One of the best ways to remain calm when something angers you is to remove yourself from the situation, even if this means stepping outside of the room for a couple of minutes.
Think before you speak. Breathe deeply and think clearly about the situation before you voice your opinion, prevent an outburst at all costs. Some people distract themselves for a little while to achieve this by either focusing on their breathing, counting or simply pausing to look out the window.
Practise deep breathing exercises, this is a quick and effective way to calm down which can be done anywhere for however long you need.
Think positively. Thinking about the situation which has made you angry in a negative light will make things worse, think about whether it is even worth getting angry about. Also make sure that you give people the benefit of the doubt, they may not be doing things for the reasons you think. Their intentions might be good, but maybe they are not thinking clearly or they do not know what you know.
Imagine a relaxing place. Close your eyes and think of somewhere relaxing such as the beach or the countryside for a couple of minutes. It may help you clear your mind and be more rational about what you want to do next.
Use humour. Using humour can help you to diffuse the anger you feel, try to make some jokes out of the situation. Ensure they are not bitter and spiteful.
Meditation. Learn to meditate, meditation can quite simply be sitting letting your thoughts flow without engaging them. Focusing on your breath or your senses can help you shift your attention away from what is making you angry.
Share your feelings- If you begin to feel frustrated, confide in somebody you trust. Expressing your feelings may allow you to calm down, particularly if the person you are talking to can help you see things from different points of view.
- Download Feel Stress Free. Our app consists of clinically proven techniques which help build resilience to prevent stress, anxiety, mild depression and other negative emotions such as anger. The app consists of activities such as deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, building your own zen garden, monitoring your mood and more.
By following some of these tips you should find yourself remaining calm during work.