But was it really 'out of nowhere'? Or did you miss the warning signs before this explosion? Did you maybe miss the small signs your body was giving you all day prior to this inevitable meltdown?
Here are 10 signs you are about to completely lose your temper:
- Fast heartbeat and breathing
- Tense shoulders
- Clenching your jaw and hands
- Feeling hot
- Churning stomach
- Feeling agitated
- Rapid intrusive thoughts
- Loss of concentration and focus
It is easy to dismiss these thoughts or ignore them because they all overpower each other and come on so quickly before you realise it you've already lost it.
So what should you do if you start noticing these symptoms?
First, take a deep breath and become aware of your breathing and how your chest rises and falls with each breath, then walk away from the situation; you won't be making anything better by reacting rashly to the situation that triggered your anger and it will still be there when you come back and you can calmly deal with it. You can go wash your face, drink some water or anything that you think will allow you to think clearly. Then you can go back, clear headed and resolve the matter.
Another thing to remember is that anger is hardly ever sudden, usually it accumulates over time due to other triggers throughout the day that you have suppressed and have now reached the point at which you feel completely out of it. It could have even started earlier on in the day, while putting the kids shoes on and they were taking too long, or they got muddy at the park and ruined their nice new clothes, or you felt embarrassed at the restaurant as they made a lot of noise or kept rejecting the food, or they had a tantrum at the toy shop or didn't like the ice cream flavour (which they had previously loved) which you graciously offered them. It could have been anything and at each moment you chose to repress that anger so not to ruin your mood and the 'fun' day you are trying to have. What you must remember is that in each moment it is okay to express yourself and deal with your feelings to avoid it accumulating. You can say,
'let's get your shoes on quickly, mummy doesn't like it when we are late'
'it makes me feel sad that you don't like the ice cream I got you, remember when we talked about saying Please and Thank You'
This also teaches your kids that it is okay to express our feelings which is a lesson that will stay with them their whole lives.
We are all human and anger is a natural, healthy emotion if managed carefully. There is no shame in feeling angry and it doesn't diminish your efforts or value as a parent.
Remember to express yourself, watch out for the warning signs and take regular breaks for yourself and your sanity.
What are some of your anger coping mechanisms? Comment below.