Anger is a completely natural and, more often than not, healthy emotion that many deal with on a regular basis. It ranges from minor frustrations to intense fits of rage. There is nothing wrong with feeling anger—until those feelings get out of control. Anger can lead to aggression, emotional outbursts, and acting rashly and irrationally. Learning to manage your stress doesn’t mean that you are never going to experience feelings of anger. Instead, when you do feel those angry emotions, you will better know how to recognize and express your anger in a rational way. It’s important to learn how to control your anger before it starts to control you.
What is Anger Management?
Anger management is the process of developing skills to better cope with feelings of anger. Being able to properly deal with anger in a productive way requires a lot of practice, but it is something everyone can achieve if they set their minds to it.
Tips for controlling anger:
Figure out your triggers
The first and most important step when learning to control your anger is identifying your triggers: what is making you angry? Understanding what your triggers are allows you to avoid the situation entirely, or helps you better prepare yourself when put in stressful situations.
Remove yourself from the situation
If things get too heated and you feel you are losing control, don’t hesitate to take yourself out of the situation. Give yourself a chance to calm down and look at the problem calmly, rather than responding in anger.
Imagine a Stop Sign
Seeing red? Imagine a stop sign. Stop, look both ways, and use the moment to calm yourself down.
When you have calmed down, express yourself
Once you have allowed yourself distance and perspective, make sure you express your anger in a collected manner. Try not to attack the other person while you are expressing yourself; stick to “I” statements, and give others a chance to speak their perspective as well.
Come up with solutions that may help resolve your anger
Find positive solutions for the situations or triggers that are angering you. Feeling stuck in an angry mindset can make it much more difficult to overcome. What can you do to be the solution to your problem, rather than stewing in a sense of anger and anxiety?
Get some exercise
If you can’t shake off your bad mood or angry emotions, exercise can help clear your head. Something as simple as a walk around the block can drastically change your mood, and help you see things in a more progressive mindset.
Practice deep breathing
A simple technique that you can practice when experiencing anger is deep breathing. When you are angry, your heart rate skyrockets. Deep breathing can help bring your heart rate down to a regular pace, releasing stress and bodily tension. Practice breathing in through your nose, allowing your belly to fill up with air, and out of your mouth slowly.
If anger continues to cause problems in your life, it might be time to consider seeking some professional help. Learning to control anger can be extremely difficult, and there should be no shame in asking a professional for guidance. A therapist can help you properly identify your personal triggers and explore the reasoning behind your intense emotions.