Practical Approaches to Reducing Workplace Anger
Have you ever felt like you were going to explode at work? Have you ever wondered how you were going to make it until the end of the day? Well it turns out that you are not alone in those feelings. Many of your coworkers share your frustrations at the office. The question is why are we getting so angry, and what can be done about it?
The first thing to acknowledge is that EVERYONE occasionally gets mad at the office. We can’t help ourselves. Whether you are being micromanaged by your supervisor or promised a raise or promotion that never materialized, we all share common moments of experiencing intense rage in the workplace.
So the question is…why is everyone getting so livid? Anger as a feeling does what it was meant to do, which is to protect us. It is an emotion that elicits action whenever someone feels like they are INTENTIONALLY being mistreated. For example, remember that time when you discovered someone doing the same job as you are, but at better pay, or how about when the boss set a project’s expectation too high or continually changes them? The point is that EVERYONE gets upset at work, but how do we manage our anger at the office?
Take a breath. The first thing to do is just breath. Learn to control your breathing by taking in air through your nose. After you have held it for several seconds, you can release it slowly through your mouth. This will add some needed oxygen to your body and start the process of calming you down.
Share with a colleague. Locate a trusted confidant and share what is on your mind. It is always nice to be able to vent to someone who personally knows your workplace environment.
Take a break. If it’s possible, remove yourself from the frustrating surroundings. Take a short walk over to the elevators or the bathrooms. The idea is to give yourself a short break from the “noise.” The temporary distraction can help you to regroup and refocus.
Reach out to your emotional support. Connect with a friend or family member through a call or text. Meet up with someone over lunch. The point is to connect with someone who is part of your emotional support network. This will provide you with the feelings of appreciation and validation that we crave when we are upset.
Identify personal triggers. Acknowledge when you start to feel upset. Take a moment to step back, even if you can only do it virtually in your head. Put some mental distance between you and the trigger that is beginning to upset you BEFORE you become angry.
Being angry at work is a common experience that everyone has. However you can control it, before it controls you. Learn to identify your personal triggers and plan ahead for dealing with potential problems. By doing this, you not only avoid a potentially embarrassing situation, but you also maintain your sanity and composure.
If you have any questions or comments that you would like to share with me, send me (Daryl Gessner) an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit my website for other articles concerning the workplace or mental health issues at www.cartersvilecounseling.com.