Failing to control your anger can lead to many things which you could regret later like yelling at your kids, saying things you regret, threatening your co-workers, developing health problems or even resorting to physical violence. Your anger might also involve things like wasting time overthinking about upsetting events or getting frustrated in the traffic or venting about work.
Anger management doesn’t necessarily mean never getting angry. It just means that we learn to cope with your anger and express our anger in healthy and productive ways. Even when we think that we have our anger in control we should know that there’s always room for improvement. Anger management is a skill that everyone can learn.
WHY MANAGE ANGER?
Anger is an emotion that can range from mild irritation to intense rage. While most of the people label anger as a “negative emotion” it can be positive. Anger may stir feelings which may make you stand for somebody or they may lead you to create social change. When left unchecked the feeling of anger can lead to aggression in ways like yelling at someone or damaging property.It may also lead to you withdrawing from the world and turn your anger inward which can impact your health and well being.
Anger becomes problematic when it’s felt too often or too intensely or when its felt too often or too intensely or when it’s expressed in unhealthy ways, which can take a toll physically, mentally and socially. For this reason, anger management strategies can be beneficial and can help you discover healthy ways to express your feelings.
ANGER MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES:
Research consistently shows that cognitive behavioural interventions are effective for improving anger management. These interventions involve changing the way you think and behave. They are based on the notion that your thoughts, feelings and behaviours are all connected. Your thoughts and behaviours can either fuel your emotions or they can reduce them.so if you want to shift your emotional state away from anger, you can change what you’re thinking and what you’re doing. Without fuel, the fire inside you will begin to dwindle and you’ll feel calmer.
The following are the strategies that you may include in your management plan.
- IDENTIFY TRIGGERS: If you’ve gotten into the habit of losing your temper, take stock of things that trigger your anger. Long lines, traffic jams, snarky comments or excessive tiredness are just a few things that might shorten your fuse. While you shouldn’t blame people or external circumstances for your inability to keep you cool, understanding the things that trigger your anger can help you plan accordingly. You might decide to structure your day differently to help you manage your stress better.
- EVALUATE YOUR ANGER: Before you spring into action to calm yourself down, ask yourself if your anger is a friend or an enemy. If you’re witnessing someones rights being violated or you are in an unhealthy situation, your anger might be helpful. In these cases, you might proceed by changing the situation rather than changing your emotional state. Sometimes, your anger is a warning sign that something else needs to change like an emotionally abusive relationship or a toxic friendship.
- TALK TO A FRIEND: If there’s someone who as a calming effect on you, talking through an issue or expressing your feelings to that person may be helpful. It’s important to note, however, that venting can backfire. A common misconception is that you have to vent your anger to feel better.If you’re going to talk to a friend make sure you’re working on developing a solution or reducing your anger, not just venting. It’s unfair to use them as your go to sounding board.Instead, you might find that the best way to use this strategy is to talk about something other than the situation causing you to feel angry.
- MANAGE YOUR THOUGHTS: When you find yourself thinking about things that fuel your anger, reframe your thoughts. You also might develop a mantra that you can repeat to drown out the thoughts that fuel your anger. Say things like,”I’m OK. Stay calm” or “Not helping”.
- FOCUS ON RELAXATION: There are many different relaxation exercises you can utilise to reduce anger.The key is finding the one that works best for you. Breathing exercises and progressive muscle relaxation are two common strategies for reducing tension.The best part is, both exercises can be performed quickly and discreetly.
- EXPLORE YOUR FEELINGS: Sometimes it helps to take a moment and think about what emotions might be lurking beneath your anger. Anger often serves a a protective mask to help you avoid feeling more painful emotions, like embarrassment, sadness and disappointment.
For many people anger outburst serve a purpose. Yelling at someone may get them to comply with your demands.But while aggressive behaviour may get your needs met in the short term, there are long-term consequences. Your words might cause lasting damage to the relationship or even lead to its demise. If you’ve been using your anger as a tool, you may benefit from learning healthier strategies such as asking for helping or speaking up in an assertive, but not aggressive, manner. Talk to your doctor about your anger management issues if you need more assistance.