An Introduction to Anger Management
Anger…it invokes feelings of displeasure, irritability, and rage in the best of us.
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Yet, it is a normal human emotion. Furthermore, it can even be healthy in certain situations. However, when these feelings of rage get the best of us and become a controlling component of your everyday life, it can become destructive and cause major problems in many areas of life: work, relationships, and more.
Above all, it can cause one to feel out of control.
Anger is a powerful and fickle emotion. Managing anger will lead to a boost in self-confidence and a reduction of personal stress. For those of you who have created a personal development plan, this is a wonderful goal to work on.
This article was written for those who want to know how to control anger. It will help educate you on what anger really is, along with anger management techniques and tips to help you start dealing with anger the right way.
Anger Basics, Causes, & Disorders
What is Anger, Exactly?
It is a natural emotion that everyone feels throughout life. Feelings of anger come naturally when:
- We feel injured or mistreated by someone else.
- We feel injured or mistreated by ourselves.
These feelings typically come as a way to survive and protect ourselves from wrong-doings, often initiating the ‘fight or flight’ response, caused by an increase in Adrenaline.
Furthermore, anger can be an alternate emotion that comes about due to feelings of sadness, loneliness, being frightened, or threatened.
Anger causes an increased heart rate and blood pressure, which if left unchecked, could cause long-term health issues.
What Causes Anger?
Causes of anger may include both external and internal forces. Here are some common external and internal forces that might cause anger problems:
Anger Caused By External Forces
- A Specific Person – Family member, your boss, a close friend, etc.
- A Specific Situation – Your cruise get’s canceled, someone rear-ends you, etc.
- Physiological Needs Aren’t Met – Food, water, shelter, and clothing needs aren’t met.
Anger Caused By Internal Forces
- Your Personality – How you always think negative thoughts, or you have a strong addiction to something, etc.
- The Way You View Yourself – How you look, your weight, the way you dress, etc.
- Memories – Events or wrong-doings of others that we remember from the past that bring up anger emotions, etc.
Anger Disorder – IED
The most common anger disorder is IED (Intermittent explosive disorder). This disorder is characterized by sudden and explosive anger, often coming from nowhere. Hostility, impulsive, and recurrent aggressive outbursts are all common parts of this disorder.
This disorder typically begins in early teen years. Like most disorders, IED can be managed by addressing the issue through education, medications, and seeing a psychiatrists.
**If you feel like you have IED, please consult a medical professional who can help walk you through the treatment process.
Anger Management – A Goal Worth Striving For
What is Anger Management?
The majority of us aren’t within the scope of IED. But that doesn’t mean that we aren’t prone to having “bouts” of anger from time to time. The trick is learning how to deal with anger the right way.
Anger management is the attempt at lowering the emotional feelings and physiological awakening that comes about because of anger. No one can completely remove all anger, but learning how to control anger issues is possible…and is a goal worth striving for!
What Are Some Anger Management Tools?
Here are a few anger management helps. Start with these, then check out the “further readings” on the topic below:
- Check out the tips on managing anger (Below).
- Remember expressing, suppressing, & calming (ESC).
Expressing, Suppressing, & Calming
There are three approaches to dealing with angry feelings: expressing, suppressing, & calming. All of these reactions to anger are appropriate in specific situations.
The practice of using one of these approaches enable you to have some sort of response towards the situation and/or person in an appropriate way. When an individual chooses to not deploy one of these three methods, someone tends to get hurt.
First, the approach of expressing is geared towards letting the “cat out of the bag” that you are angry, but in a constructive manner.
Learning how to express your feelings in an assertive manner is the best possible solutions. In order to master this, you need to be able to express your needs and how to get them, without hurting the feelings of others. Don’t be pushy or demanding, but do it in a respectful manner.
The second approach to dealing with anger issues is to suppress the negative feelings.
Have you ever help in your anger, reflected for a time, and then redirected that emotion? If so, this is called suppressing. The idea is to suppress the anger and redirect it into an alternative behavior or way of thinking.
Be aware that suppressing can lead to hostility in the future, towards the given situation or person, purely due to not expressing the frustration during the situation.
Finally, calming is the third approach to dealing with anger. With this approach, you try to keep your cool and calm down!
Calming your outward behavior is one thing, but controlling the internal reaction is a lot harder to do. Learning how to calm yourself and let the feelings subside is key to employing this response.
ACTION STEP: Use ESC and the tools listed to start working on your anger management.
FURTHER READINGS – ANGER MANAGEMENT
Anger Management Techniques – Tips & Advice
If you want to know how to deal with anger issues, start by learning these techniques, which are a few beginner tips for anger control. By applying these anger management exercises, you will be able to one day control your anger the way you want to be able to!
1.Don’t Speak Until You Think
Sometimes, it’s hard not to stop yourself from saying something you might eventually regret. In the heat of a situation, pause, take a few moments to gather yourself and your thoughts before you say anything. You’ll be grateful after the heat is gone.
2. Get Calm First
Get calm before you speak next. Take a walk, listen to some relaxing music, or talk it out to no one but you before you walk back into the situation you were in. Once you are in a better frame of mind, express you frustrations in a non-confrontational way. Try to not hurt others when you clearly and directly state your needs and concerns.
3. Consider Exercising
Getting regular exercise is important for a lot of reasons, but one of those reasons is to help reduce the stress that can convert into anger. This is especially true during the heat of an argument. Get yourself away from the situation and go for a walk or do some push-ups. Anything, that is physical exercise can help reduce the anger levels.
4. “Me” Time
Make sure that you are getting enough “me” time. Take breaks and timeouts throughout the day, especially when you are in the midst of a stressful situation or day. Read a book, listen to music, or something else just for you.
5. Identify Possible Solutions
Regardless of the situation, you always have a choice to be angry and irritated. Stop focusing on the situation or person, and instead try to identify a possible solution to the problem. Keep in mind…
Anger doesn’t fix anything. Often times, it makes it worse. But finding a solution can solve the anger and make things better.
6. Grudges Are No Good
When you allow yourself to have anger and negative thoughts and feelings towards someone else, without expressing it, you have the possibility of keeping a grudge. Forgiveness is the only answer. Giving up your negative thoughts and feelings, by sharing them in an appropriate way may help both parties to forgive and forget.
7. Make Sure You Laugh!
Laughing is a powerful tool and can be used to lighten any mood. When you are most angry, consider laughing at yourself! Tell yourself that you are only human, you make mistakes, and this is such a silly problem!
8. Take Time to Practice Relaxation
Make sure you take time out to relax. In the heat of the moment, practicing deep-breathing exercising, listening to music, writing in a journal, or another relaxing tasks will help you to remove the anger from within.
9. When Should You Get Help?
We all struggle with different things in life. If you are struggling with your anger,and these tips aren’t helping, then it’s time to get some help. This is warranted especially for those who feel like their anger is out of control, or you consistently do things you regret and you keep hurting others in your life.
10. Become a More Active Communicator
In the heated moment, consider asking yourself if you understand the situation completely. Oftentimes, sticky situations arise because of a lack of communication.
Take a minute and review what has been said, and make sure to listen intently to the other party. What are they actually saying, especially inadvertently?
Avoid getting defensive, especially when you are getting criticized. It would be easy to fight back, complain, or get angry, but avoid letting yourself get offended. Listen to what the other party is truly saying and meaning, as it may not be something to be defensive about at all.
Keeping your cool by learning how to be a more active communicator can go a long way to helping remove the sticky situation.
11. Learn to Change Your Environment
If you are having repeated anger coming from an external force, then consider changing your environment. If it is a specific problem, try to not spend time with them. If that isn’t entirely possible, then try to learn how to be a better communicator and understand what they are saying.
Make sure to change your daily routine with exercise, breaks, and “me time” to help control your day in general.
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ACTION STEP: These tips can be applied into your life. Consider starting with 1-3 of them, then adding additional tips when you have mastered those.
Final Thoughts on Controlling Anger
Learning how to handle anger doesn’t need to be hard. We are all prone to experience anger in this life, but coping skills for anger can be learned, developed, and applied into your life.
Start by learning where you stand on the anger issue today. Then, consider our tips and tools to help you succeed!
Learning how to control your anger is a key life skill that puts YOU in control…and once you have that control, then you truly have POWER OVER LIFE!
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