Anger Management 101
Everyone, no matter their age, gets angry at times. It is unavoidable. What is important is that you recognize that you are angry and take steps immediately to stem it. Anger is not all bad. It is a natural and adaptive response of the body to threats. This means, a certain amount of anger is necessary for survival. But how you express it, makes all the difference.
Three approaches to tackle anger
There are three approaches to anger- you can either express it, suppress it or calm down.
- Expressing anger- Try to express your anger through assertiveness and not aggressiveness. Being assertive does not mean that you have to be demanding or pushy- but putting your thoughts across respectfully.
- Suppressing anger– You can also suppress your anger by converting it or redirecting it. Rein in the anger, don’t think about it and focus your thoughts on positive things. Try to convert it into positive behavior.
- Calming yourself– The final method is to calm yourself. Calming down means controlling both your outward and inward responses and letting the feeling subside. When none of three approaches work, that it when people get hurt.
More tips to manage anger
- Learn relaxation – When you think you are going to get angry, take deep breaths (from your diaphram) and think about relaxing imagery. Repeat a calming word or a phrase like ‘calm down’ or ‘relax’ to yourself when you breathe.
- Cognitive restructuring – Cognitive restructuring is changing the way you think. When you change the way you look at things, the things that you look at change. Angry people tend to swear, curse and speak in colorful terms, which is a reflection of their inner thoughts. Replace these words and thoughts with more rational thoughts. Tell yourself that anger won’t change anything, it won’t fix anything and it certainly won’t make you feel better.
- Better communication – Angry people are more prone to making inaccurate conclusions. The first thing to do when you think you are going to get angry is slow down and think about what you are going to say. Think carefully before answering and at the same time, listen to what the other person has to say.
- Problem solving – Sometimes, we are angry because of some real problem. Anger is not always misplaced. In such cases, don’t focus on finding a solution. Focus on the problem and how to face it. In most cases, you will find that this is the solution. Create a plan and keep track of your progress towards your goal. Tell yourself that you will give it your best. This way, you won’t punish yourself when you don’t get results right away.
- Change your environment – Sometimes, our surroundings can cause irritation and even fury. Our responsibilities and problems weigh on us in these surroundings and make us angry. If you are know that you are susceptible to this, give yourself a break. Schedule some personal time for yourself when you know you are prone to stress, like when you are just back from work.
Need more help?
The therapists at Agor Behavioral Health Services are available to assist adults and children who need help managing anger issues. Contact us today for more information or to schedule a free 20 minute consultation to discuss your situation. Schedule an appointment by calling 630-621-5824 or send us a message.