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Managing Anger

Do you get into frequent arguments or fights? Do you sometimes have angry outbursts or difficulty controlling your aggressive behavior? Has anger ruined your relationships at work or in your personal life? Do you blame others for your behavior or how you are feeling? Anger is a normal emotion, but when it takes control over you it can have serious consequences in your relationships and health. The following blog will hopefully teach insightful anger management tools where you can gain control over your anger.

It is normal and healthy to feel anger when you are being mistreated. Feeling anger is not the problem but how you exhibit these angry feelings can be the problem. According to Wellness Reproductions there are three main ways to dealing with anger:

1) You can “stuff” your anger– you may not admit your anger to self or others where you avoid direct confrontations. A person who stuffs anger has difficulty coping with strong emotions and thinks that anger is unacceptable or inappropriate. Stuffing your anger however can lead to physical and mental health problems.

2) You can escalate your anger- you may blame or provoke shame to the other person. This is to show power and strength while avoiding your emotions. This type of person often lacks effective communication.

3) You can manage your anger– you are open, honest, and direct. The focus is on the behavior that triggered the anger and is focused on the present. Past, unresolved issues are not brought into the current issue. This person uses effective communication skills, uses compromises, and avoids negative thinking such as black and white thinking. This person who manages their anger has a strengthened relationship, increased self-esteem, and improved mental and physical health.

Assertiveness is one of the key components for managing anger. Assertiveness makes it possible to transform anger into positive communication.

Ager Management Tips:

1) What is really behind your anger: Ask yourself if you are really angry or if you are covering other feelings like embarrassment, shame, or hurt. Ask if your needs are being met. It is likely that you may be covering your feelings and needs especially if you grew up in an environment where expressing your feelings was discouraged. It is important to be in touch with your feelings. Be aware of your emotions. If you are not aware of how you are feeling, your emotions may spin out of control into anger, isolation, or confusion. Feeling that you need to be in control (challenge to your authority), have power over situations, never leave your guard down or shame does not apply to you may mean that you have trouble expressing other emotions as well and may be using anger to cover those feelings.

2) Be aware of your anger triggers and signs: Become aware of your anger signs and triggers. Pay attention to the way anger feels in your body. Listen to your body before you start to get angry. Some people may say that they feel a knot in their stomach, they may breath faster, they may clench their fist, etc. These are the signs that your body is telling you that you are about to get angry. Also, it is important to identify the negative thought patterns that may trigger your anger. Some may include obsessing over “should’s” and “musts,” mind reading, jumping to conclusions, or blaming.

3) Learn to calm down: Once you identify your personal signs and triggers, it is important to find ways to calm down. Some ideas may be exercising, removing yourself from the situation, breathing deeply and slowly from the abdomen, listening to music, stretching or counting to 10 which may help you to focus and let your rational mind catch up to your feelings.

4) Find healthier and productive ways to express your anger: The key is to express yourself in a healthy way. Identify the real source of your anger and express yourself assertively. Work towards a resolution together. Express your needs while still respecting the other person. Remember to focus on the present, choose your battles, learn when to let things go (agree to disagree), be willing to forgive, and make the relationship your priority.

 

Image taken from shutterstock

 

Managing Anger


Helen Nieves

Helen Nieves is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Certified Attention Deficit Consultant Specialist. She teaches ADHD on line and is on the Advisory Board at The American Institute of Health Care Professionals. She also received advanced training in Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy and in Grief Counseling.


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APA Reference
Nieves, H. (2015). Managing Anger. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 25, 2019, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/mental-health-awareness/2014/12/managing-anger/

 

Last updated: 16 Apr 2015
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