Anger is an emotion that we all experience. However, this powerful emotion can be destructive and lead to violence if it isn’t managed. Farming, like many occupations, can be stressful. When things go wrong you may feel rage and anger. We often take out our anger on those closest to us, our partners and families. Learn to understand your triggers, recognise and manage your anger.

Look at the situations that make you angry, what can you do to avoid those things happening? Often they are due to a high level of demand on you and a loss of control over the situation.  This may include machinery breakdown, broken water pipes, and people not doing what you think they should be doing.

Machinery will break down, commodity prices may drop, storms can damage farm buildings, gates may be left open—but how you react can have a profound impact on your own and your family’s health. There are many things in life that are beyond our control, and recognising this is important to wellbeing. However, how we react to anger is something we can control.

Learn simple ABC strategies:
A.    Be aware of how you are feeling: Some signs of anger include tightening muscles, pressure building in the head, feeling hot or flushed in the face, raised heart rate, rapid breathing or increased sweating.
B.    Breathe and allow yourself some time: Step away from a situation that makes you feel angry, spend a couple of minutes focusing on deep breathing and return after a break with a cool head and a fresh perspective.
C.    Take control of your emotions and respond safely and non aggressively: Use helpful self-talk such “I am not going to let this situation get to me” or “Just stop and take a few breaths”. Try ‘releasing’ your anger through visualising an image in your mind e.g. releasing a bird.

Anger – how it affects people

Anger is a powerful emotion. Uncontrolled anger may cause increased anxiety, high blood pressure and headaches, and trigger fights or abuse. Anger can also be ‘contagious’, particularly in family relationships. If you can manage your feelings of anger, you can help break the cycle of extreme emotion. Anger management strategies include regular exercise and learning how to relax. People may even be less prone to anger when they are physically fit, with recent research suggesting that cardiorespiratory fitness may help to reduce stress reactivity (e.g. becoming angry) in high stress situations. Understanding and managing your anger takes effort and practice—but the rewards are worth it.

Find out more about this topic on Better Health Channel

Fast facts:

  • Anger is a powerful emotion, which can affect your health and may lead to violence and abuse.
  • When you feel angry take some deep breaths and walk away from the situation until you are calmer.
  • Do something physical to release the tension (for example, go for a walk or dig in the garden).
  • Find ways to fix the things that make you angry where possible, and learn to accept things that you can’t change.