By Michael O. Smathers
Anger Management Tips and Techniques
Anger management classes and counseling are but a few of the tools available for controlling anger in adults and children. Before your anger gets out of control, try these techniques for dealing with the problem.
By Michael O. Smathers
Anger is one of the most natural emotions you can feel, and it’s perfectly healthy. In fact, not being angry if the situation calls for it is unhealthy. According to Harry Mills, Ph.D., anger is a response to physical or emotional pain. Everyone is bound to experience pain at some point, so becoming angry is unavoidable. However, learning how to manage your anger is within your control. If you find yourself acting aggressive toward people, bottling your negative feelings inside or being unable to find out what makes you angry, you may have problems with anger management. Knowing a few anger management tips and techniques can make you an overall happier and healthier person.Analyze the SituationWhen you get angry, situations often seem worse than they are. Getting stuck at a traffic light, while annoying, is ultimately a trivial thing. You feel like your own wants and needs are jeopardized, even though others are in the same position. Ask yourself how important it is that the traffic light changes in the next 5 seconds. Then ask yourself if there’s anything you can do about the situation. If you find a solution, make plans to implement it and do your best, but don’t punish yourself for not living up to your own expectations.Breathing & VisualizationAnger is as much a physiological response as an emotional one; if you calm your body, you’ll feel less angry. Breathing exercises are an effective way to slow the heart rate and relax the muscles. This sends a relaxation signal to the brain, and although you may still feel annoyed, you likely won’t feel as close to losing your temper. Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth, holding your breath for three slow counts in between.Alter Your ThinkingA common response when you’re angry is to claim that things always go wrong or never go right. According to apa.org, these thought patterns reinforce your anger because you feel it’s justified. Therefore, you make no effort to solve your problems. Not only are these thoughts a self-fulfilling prophecy, they can depress or drive away people who might have been willing to help you.ResourcesreferencePsychology of AngerreferenceAmerican Psychological Association – Controlling Anger
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