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  • Is My Anger Normal? 10 Ways To Manage Your Emotions To Avoid Outbursts

    Learn how to handle your emotions so you don't do things you won't regret later.
    by R.M. Mauhay .
Is My Anger Normal? 10 Ways To Manage Your Emotions To Avoid Outbursts
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  • We all have days when we feel so vulnerable that one wrong word or tone of voice is all it takes for us to snap. It's like we woke up in the wrong side of the bed and we are one nag away from an emotional outburst.

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    What is an emotional outburst?

    Emotional outburst is a rapid change of emotion where strong or exaggerated feelings occur. They can either feel extreme anger, sadness, anxiety, or fear. It usually happens because an individual is unable to control his or her emotions, often responding in a disruptive manner to the trigger.

    What causes sudden emotional outbursts?

    It's normal to feel angry every now and then. But when you are prone to lashing out and you don't understand the reason, it might be a red flag that your emotional and physical needs are not being met. For example, you might be hungry, exhausted, or sleepy.

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    It can also be a stress response that manifests as rage. Most of the time, emotional outbursts are temporary and can easily be resolved by addressing the triggers.

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    How to manage an emotional outburst

    Angry exchanges are bound to happen between intimate partners, since two individuals naturally have differences. "For couples to successfully resolve their differences, they must stop using unsuccessful angry exchanges," writes Randi Gunther, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist and marriage counselor, in her column for Psychology Today.

    Rather than uselessly out-shouting each other, it is better to understand what underlying emotions are driving that anger, how each of those emotions are expressed, and what effect it has on your partner. Emotional outbursts are reactions to another's actions.

    The effect of anger on relationships is based on the frequency and intensity of emotional outbursts. Uncontrolled anger interferes not only with our daily lives but the growth of our relationships, according to ReGain, an online relationship counseling platform. Here are anger management options for your relationship:

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    Have a clear understanding of one's feelings 

    Sometimes, anger occurs when a person feels attacked by their partner, without understanding why they reacted with intense emotion. Wait until both of you have calmed down before asking for clarity.

    Watch out for red flags

    Why did your partner become angry? There are many emotional and physical signs to look out for, which suggest the reason for their lack of anger control. For example, they may be feeling overwhelmed, anxious, and irritable.

    Physical manifestations of anger include headaches, increased blood pressure, tightening of the chest, a tingling sensation, and heart palpitations. 

    Work on your anger issues

    What were the reasons that made you upset? Is it because your partner failed to address your needs? Sometimes, the reason may be more about you than your partner's shortcomings. Be responsible by taking control of your anger.

    The first step to controlling your emotions is by accepting them. Embrace your vulnerability.

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    Be objective

    Though it's easy to put the blame of your emotional outburst on your partner, it is better if both of you learn practical communication skills and become active listeners. Be objective — hear their thoughts and be considerate of their feelings.

    Seek professional help

    If you feel that your relationship is taking a toll because of your emotional outbursts, consult with a couples counselor or therapist so that your anger issues can be addressed. Working with a specialist allows emotional growth, plus you get the help you need to manage your emotions so you can have a healthier relationship with your partner.

    How to avoid an emotional outburst

    Be assertive

    You may have feelings that you want to express but don't bother talking about it because you prioritize your partner's feelings more than yours. This can become problematic because it can trigger arguments.

    Learning how to communicate assertively will make it easier to meet one another's emotional needs. Stand up for yourself and control your emotions without attacking your partner unnecessarily.

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    Do not belittle yourself

    An emotional outburst happens because of anxiety and fears. This can lead to irrational thoughts that can affect your response to the outburst. Do not dwell on the negatives, exaggerate, or jump to conclusions. Focus on the positive — this helps you rationalize your anger and take control of it.

    Know your triggers

    Take note of the "whys" that lead to your emotions. You can write it down in a journal or a note-taking app on your phone. Make sure to capture the scenarios and the resulting emotions once you experience them.

    For example, "I became frustrated when my partner was late for our meeting. I felt down when he ignored me. I felt lonely when my husband refused to become intimate."

    Take a break

    An emotional outburst may be triggered when you are doing activities or tasks that you no longer enjoy. High stress levels and tension also contribute to it. Take a breather or engage in another activity that you find interesting.

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    Pause before replying

    Your partner might be testing your patience, but before you get triggered, take a step back and dwell on what is the more appropriate response. For example, instead of looking down on him, ask him a question so you have a better understanding of where he's coming from. Instead of reaching for the alcohol, talk with him with a clear mind and tell him how you really feel.

    Our emotions make us humans, but losing control of it can lead to scenarios that will only make us regret. So take a deep breath and pause whenever you feel intense feelings rising to the surface. You alone can take charge of your emotions!

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    This dad with anger issues managed to save his marriage with the help of online counseling. Click here to read his story.

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