“Every time you get angry, you poison your own system.” – Alfred A Montapert
As an entrepreneur, you are under constant stress – worries about your business possibly consume your waking hours. And with stress comes anger. It could be because your business is not doing as well as you want it to. Your employees may not be able to articulate your dream. Your vendors could be holding up supply. You may not be getting that bank loan you want. You could be in financial straits. When helplessness and stress overcome you, chances are the anger will build up and you want to lash out.
But, as we all know, anger doesn’t make things better. It only makes matters worse. It’s bad for your health and can cause high BP, anxiety, depression and in the long run, even cardiac problems. Plus it’s not conducive to the workplace environment. By shouting at employees or suppliers, you are only going to ruin relationships and make the workplace environment fraught with tension.
So how do you control your anger?
When you are angry
1) Count to ten. Sounds cliched? Maybe, but it really does work. It helps you to stop yourself from saying something you will regret later.
2) Take several deep breaths. It helps to calm you down. When you slow your breath, you automatically cool down.
3) Walk away from the situation. If you find your anger is not subsiding, then tackle the situation when you are in a calmer frame of mind.
4) Take a walk. Either walk around the office or go out and get some fresh air. It will help you to get your emotions in check.
5) Listen to music. Go back to your cabin, plug your headphones in and listen to some soothing music.
6) Do progressive muscle relaxation. Once you are back at your desk, clench and unclench all your muscles, progressively relaxing them.
7) Indulge in some visualization. Think of things that make you happy or visualize places you love, people you love. It will help you to cool down.
8) Surf the net for happy videos. If you love puppies or cats or cute babies, just go to your favorite website and watch some endearing antics. Soon you will be smiling!
9) When you have calmed down, address the issue with the person concerned. Don’t raise your voice or get abusive. Be calm and firm. Choose your words carefully. Don’t blame the other person. Explain where they have goofed up and give them solutions.
Long-term strategies to control anger
1) Meditate: Meditation has been proven to calm people. If you don’t know how to meditate, go for a meditation program. Regular practice is a must for meditation to have an effect.
2) Exercise regularly: It helps to release those feel-good endorphins and will lift your mood.
3) Sleep well: Lack of sleep only makes you more anxious and on edge. And always makes one crankier. When you feel rested, you are so much calmer and are in a positive frame of mind to face the problems life is going to throw your way.
4) Try to keep work-related problems at work: Don’t bring your work home. That’s a tough one for any entrepreneur, especially if you work from home. Ideally, demarcate work and home/leisure timings. Once you are home, switch off from your work. Spend time with family and friends. Do stuff you enjoy – be it watching a movie, listening to music, going out for a meal or reading. Remember, you need a life outside of work.
Anger is corrosive. It harms you, your workplace and the people who are at the receiving end of your anger. Keeping your anger in check will make you and your employees happy. A happy workplace is a positive space where productivity is high. So chill!