Do the stops sometimes go completely through for you?
Do you sometimes feel spidery and often lead to tantrums?
Do you often burst out in anger because of small things?
Glad you discovered this article! With a little help, it’s possible to handle tantrums better.
What is a tantrum?
A tantrum is an uncontrolled outburst of pent-up anger, frustration, fear, or stress.
If you find it difficult to deal with certain emotions, this can lead to a tantrum.
Tantrums can be verbal, physical, or both. For example, you can scream or cry quite loudly, slam doors or smash something, kick or throw things.
Some people will immediately let you know that you are going too far. Others will tolerate your tantrums—often out of fear. You probably understand that this is not a healthy situation. A tantrum can be hard on others, especially if a tantrum involves verbal or physical abuse.
Symptoms of a tantrum
Just before a tantrum, you often realize very well that the intensity of your emotions is becoming unbearable. You don’t know what to do with yourself anymore to deal with all the pent-up anger.
How a tantrum manifests itself varies from person to person.
In some people such a tantrum expresses itself verbally:
Other people tend to be destructive during a tantrum.
A combination of verbal or physical violence is of course also possible.
If you often get tantrums, then you probably want to know what the causes could be.
Why do I have tantrums?
We live in a stressful society. More and more is expected of us and that causes a lot of stress.
The more stress you experience or the less well you can handle stress, the greater the chance that all the pent up emotions will lead to a tantrum.
After a busy day at work you pick up the children from school. You do your shopping quickly and you prepare dinner.
You’re not quite there with your thoughts: that deadline for a presentation of your company is haunting your head, you expect another phone call from a customer and tomorrow you have to be at the office by 8 o’clock.
The children need help with their homework, your husband is hungry and wants to eat, the dog runs off with the chicken legs… it all becomes too much for you.
All the frustrations and stress bubble up in you, you scream that you are always solely responsible for everything and out of frustration you throw the cutting board on the floor.
Anxiety also plays a major role in tantrums. Often it is about fear of losing control.
If you are afraid of something, then not only does the object of your fear scare you, but you are also afraid of losing control in certain situations.
you suffer from arachnophobia (spider fear). Such a great fear of spiders that you immediately lose all control of yourself if you notice one.
You know very well that such an animal will not harm you at all. However, it is the lack of self-control that instills the greatest fear in you. You may have an anxiety attack or hyperventilate when confronted by a spider.
One of your friends knows about your fear of spiders and decides to play a prank. He has hidden a giant plastic spider in one of your closets. While you are looking for something tasty, he keeps a close eye on you.
You open the cupboard and in a corner you discover the spider. Immediately you are scared and you feel the rage rising up in you and you start yelling at your friend. You burst out in anger…
Controlling tantrums: the sooner, the better
You may feel shy when it comes to another tantrum. You may also feel guilty if you haven’t been able to control yourself.
You would of course prefer to avoid such a tantrum, but often it all becomes too much for you and you have no control over your emotions at all.
Annoying for yourself, but just as good for people around you. Often they don’t know what hit them at all when you start yelling or express your anger in a physical way.
An additional problem is that anger is a contagious emotion. Yelling at someone or acting aggressively often triggers a similar response from others.
You will probably understand that constructive communication is no longer possible in the event of mutual anger or aggression. Often the fence is completely off the dam. Many a relationship has already been killed on the basis of anger.
From a social point of view, it is therefore very important to control tantrums.
However, this is not the only reason!
A 2014 study by the Harvard School of Public Health found that tantrums significantly increase the risk of heart attacks, strokes and other cardiovascular diseases.
Mary A. Fristad, a psychiatrist at Ohio University , even states that tantrums caused by stress can significantly shorten your lifespan.
Tantrums are very bad for your general health!
That said, I probably don’t need to tell you how important it is to manage tantrums.
I have put together a few tips to help you with this.
10 Tips to better deal with tantrums
It can be quite frightening when anger overtakes you. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to make sure it doesn’t turn into a tantrum right away.
Tip 1: Identify what triggers anger in you
If you often burst into anger, the first step is to find out what these tantrums are causing you.
This can be daily stress, comments and nagging from colleagues, friends or relatives or even from people you don’t know very well at all, etc…
Practical matters can also be the basis of tantrums. Just think of traffic jams, public transport, long queues in the supermarket, etc…
Keep in mind that you can never blame others or external circumstances for your tantrums.
Taking stock of these triggers can give you an insight into the causes of your tantrums.
Tip 2: Evaluate your tantrums
Only when you are aware of the causes of your tantrums can you start controlling them.
For example, you can organize your day differently so that you are confronted with less stress.
If you often break out in anger because you feel you are being wronged, try to change the circumstances.
Whatever the cause of your tantrums, keep in mind that you have to accept certain things. And also deal with this in a calm way.
If you get furious because your train is late yet again… too bad, but erupting in anger really won’t make it come any faster. That is something that – no matter how angry you get – you have absolutely no control over.
Tip 3: Recognize the warning signs
There are probably signs that you recognize when a tantrum occurs. Maybe your heart rate immediately spikes, maybe you start sweating, you breathe faster or all kinds of annoying thoughts arise.
The better you recognize the warning signs, the faster you can intervene to prevent a tantrum.
Anger management techniques in advance – such as slow breathing or counting to 10 in your mind – can also prevent you from reaching the boiling point.
Tip 4: Step aside
You can take a step aside figuratively, but also literally.
Trying to win an argument will only fuel your anger. Figuratively step aside and accept that the discussion is going nowhere. After all, it is impossible to have a productive conversation when anger is bubbling up in you.
Taking a literal distance can also prevent you from exploding at some point. Does it all become too much for you, then take it off for a while to come to yourself again. A time-out certainly helps to prevent a tantrum.
During a meeting, if you feel like you’re going to explode in anger, stand in the hallway. If the kids or your partner upset you, go outside and go for a walk.
Tip 5: Get moving
Stress, fear and anger release stress hormones in your body. Removing these stress hormones from your body in time can prevent a tantrum.
The best way to do this is exercise. If you sense that a tantrum is coming, go for a brisk walk. If necessary, go for a run to get rid of all the stress hormones.
Tip 6: Control your thoughts
Research shows that cognitive behavioral therapy is very effective at managing tantrums.
This form of therapy teaches you to better deal with negative thoughts, so that you can manage your mood (in this case, anger) more efficiently.
Should you immediately consult a therapist for this? That is possible and that is allowed, but you can also perfectly direct your thoughts yourself.
The more often you think about anger, the more it is fueled. The more often you think: ‘I can’t take it anymore’, the greater the chance that you will indeed fall.
If you find that certain thoughts are fueling your anger, try reformulating them.
“I’m having a bit of a hard time right now, but tomorrow is a new day and I’m sure I’ll manage to be a little calmer in life tomorrow.”
“Okay, the train is late, but while waiting I very consciously take the time to relax.”
Tip 7: Switch channels in your brain
When a talk show on TV gets boring, what do you do? Exactly, you change the channel.
If it all becomes too much for you, change the channel in your head.
Continuing to think about that stressful day at work only fuels your stress and anger. Change this channel and focus on something else. Distract yourself with things you enjoy so that the stress of this boring day doesn’t take over.
Tip 8: Put together a ‘calm down’ package
A particularly nice tip to relieve stress and prevent tantrums is to put together a ‘calm down’ package.
You probably know that after a stressful day at work, there’s not much you can do and it doesn’t take much to rage if something goes wrong. To alleviate the effect of these frustrations, putting together a ‘calm down’ package is a great idea.
Think especially about things that influence your senses so that you can change your emotional state: a scented candle, spells that give you courage, some of your favorite snacks, a fleece blanket, some calm music, a moment of meditation, etc…
Tip 9: Concentrate on relaxation
There are, of course, many relaxation exercises. It’s about finding the technique that works best for you. Breathing exercises and autogenic training are two commonly used techniques to control anger.
If you practice these techniques on a regular basis, they can certainly help you live your life with less stress and manage your temper tantrums.
Tip 10: The Stress-Free Secret
I saved the most special tip for last. It’s probably clear to you by now that tantrums go hand in hand with stress.
In my e-book ‘The Stress-Free Secret’ you will find out why stress is so dangerous for your health.
The most important thing I discuss in this ebook is how to prevent stress from taking over completely. Once you understand this, it will be a piece of cake to control rage attacks.
Curious how this book can help you? If you send me your e-mail address, I will ensure that you receive this special book in your mailbox completely free of charge: