If someone argues with you, how do you react? Are you calm and reasonable, or do you feel your blood boiling? When someone cuts you off on the road, do you shrug and say “that’s life,” or shout, honk your horn, and flip a bird or five? We all get angry from time to time, but if you find yourself fuming on a regular basis, it might be time to try and control your temper. Anger has a negative effect, not only on your loved ones, but also on your health.
If you’re ready to try and control your anger, try our top 6 techniques for Anger Management.
1. Go and take a time-out
If you feel your anger rising, leave the situation you’re in, go outside into the fresh-air (or at least into another room) and take a minute. Sit down, and take some deep, calming breaths. A moment away from the situation will calm you, making you better able to cope when you return.
Feel angry and stressed? Go for a jog, do a workout with a punch-bag, or power-walk. Not only will that give you time away from the situation, it will also get the feel-good endorphins pumping, which will help you feel better. Every time you feel your anger build, do a physical activity that you find enjoyable.
3. Think of simple solutions
Rather than allow yourself to become irate, think of the simplest way to solve the source of your anger. Your teenager is never home on time after school; give them a later time to be home. Your partner’s office looks like a bomb-site; close the door. By removing the cause of your anger from your sight, you make it easier to be calm.
4. Talk about it – when calm
After you’ve taken a time-out to calm down, talk about your anger to a loved-one, such as your partner, calmly and rationally. Avoid making “you” or “they” statements, sticking to “I” statements. Don’t be accusatory or condemning. Going back to our teenager, who’s never home on time; if, having altered the time for her to be home, she’s still never home on time, you could wait until you’re calm and then talk to her: “I feel that seven o’clock is a little late to be home from school. I don’t feel it leaves enough time for homework.” and then let her respond.
5. Practise relaxation techniques
Look up deep-breathing exercises, learn how to imagine positive visual images, and practise simple yoga techniques. Writing a journal or listening to soothing music also helps to calm you. Practise relaxation techniques when you don’t feel angry, and that way you can put the skills to use when you are feeling your fury beginning to rise.
6. Seek help
If you find that you can’t control your anger with the techniques above, find a therapist who will be able to help you curb your anger with a managed program. If, in addition to anger, you are also suffering with general low-mood, physical aches and pains, or changes in sleep and appetite, you may be suffering from depression (anger, irritability and even violence can all be signs of depression). Consult a doctor, who can advise you about the best help available to you.
Anger can destroy families by making you do things you wouldn’t ordinarily do, causing you to hurt your loved ones. It can be difficult to overcome, but with perseverance, you will get there.