What is Anger Management And How to Control It
Anger is a basic human emotion that is experienced by all people. Typically triggered by an emotional hurt, anger is usually experienced as an unpleasant feeling that occurs when we think we have been injured, mistreated, opposed in our long-held views, or when we are faced with obstacles that keep us from attaining personal goals.
Anger can be constructive or destructive. When well-managed, anger or annoyance has very few detrimental health or interpersonal consequences. At its roots, anger is a signal to you that something in your environment isn’t right. It captures your attention and motivates you to take action to correct that wrong thing. How you end up handling the anger signal has very important consequences for your overall health and welfare, however. When you express anger, your actions trigger others to become defensive and angry too. Blood pressures raises and stress hormones flow. Violence can ensue.
Tools and techniques can help people come to terms with anger triggers and respond to these in healthier ways.
What is Anger Management?
Anger management involves a range of skills that can help with recognizing the signs of anger and handling triggers in a positive way.
It requires a person to identify anger at an early stage and to express their needs while remaining calm and in control.
Managing anger does not involve holding it in or avoiding associated feelings.
Coping with anger is an acquired skill — almost anyone can learn to control the feelings with time, patience, and dedication.
When anger is negatively affecting a relationship, and especially if it is leading to violent or otherwise dangerous behavior, a person may benefit from consulting a mental health professional or attending an anger management class.
However, there are initial, immediate techniques to try. Some people find that they can resolve these issues without seeking professional assistance.
How to control anger for the long-term benefit?
There are three major steps for controlling anger:
- Recognize the early signs of anger.
- Give yourself time and space to process the triggers.
- Apply techniques that can help you control the anger.
Ways to control your anger
- Count down
When you are angry, start counting down or up (From 10 – 0 or from 1-10). You should know better what is the intensity of your anger. If you are really out of control – start with 100 and count down slowly till 1. In the time it takes you to count, your heart rate will slow, and your anger will likely subside.
When you’re angry, your body becomes tense. Therefore, breathing deeply helps you learn how to calm down by lowering your internal anger meter. Take three deep breaths and just concentrate on your breathing. Clear your mind from anything else.
- Picture a stop sign
Picture a red stop sign in your mind. The universal symbol to stop can help you calm down when you’re angry. It’s a quick way to help you visualize the need to halt yourself, your actions, and walk away from the moment.
You can also wear a rubber band on your wrist and snap it whenever you find your anger beginning to boil. Then, take a few minutes to put the issue into perspective and ask yourself if it’s worth the humiliation that comes from becoming overtly angry.
- Go for a walk
When you get really angry, walk away from the source. A five-minute walk outside or another calming activity like yoga or listening to good music are both great coping strategies for dealing with anger. The idea is to create a mental and/or physical escape from the situation.
- Relax your muscles
Very gently shrug your shoulders straight up towards your ears. Don’t strain. Feel the tension for a few moments, release, and then feel the relaxation. Repeat. Notice the difference between the tensed muscles and the relaxed muscles. Focus on the neck muscles, first tensing and then relaxing until you feel total relaxation in this area.
This exercise calls on you to tense and slowly relax various muscle groups in your body, one at a time. As you tense and release, take slow, deliberate breaths.
- Escape mentally
You can do this anywhere. Either walk out of the place and then try this or if you are in a situation where you cannot move, just start visualizing there. All you need to do is close your eyes and start visualizing yourself into some place relaxed. Concentrate on that place – make observations. You can choose to visualize your happy place if you have one. This practice can help you find calm amidst anger.
- Stop talking
You never know what you might blurt out when you are shaking with near. It’s something not in your control really. You will be tempted to fly harsh words out of your mouth at this moment but DON’T. Shut your lips and control your thoughts. This moment without speaking will give you time to collect your thoughts.
- Write it down
Writing has been considered is one of the most soothing exercises for mind. It helps you clear your head and get clarity over the thought. It lets you express freely without the fear of any damage. You can be yourself here. Put down your feelings towards the situation in your journal. It will help you calm down and reassess the events leading up to your feelings.
Anger is a normal emotion that everyone experiences from time to time. When it grows out of proportion or out of control, however, it can become destructive and undermine a person’s quality of life, leading to serious problems at work and in personal relationships.
These tips are a sure way of calming yourself and dealing with it in a better way. If you don’t feel the change, you may need to visit a doctor about the same to get a better perspective.