7 Ways to Manage Anger
It’s ok to get angry. It’s not a bad emotion. The key is knowing how to deal with anger. It’s been said that women are not comfortable with anger and they find it hard to handle. June Price Tangney disagreed, as stated in her book ‘Conscious Emotions.’
“Women are just as able to acknowledge anger as men are. We’ve also found that women are more likely to take constructive approaches to handling anger, like sitting down and talking it over, than men are.”
Anger is dangerous if left to fester. It releases adrenaline, thumping heartbeats and many other physiological reactions. I’ve seen angry people smash things up, start fights, use bullying tactics to intimidate, hurt themselves and others physically and verbally.
Anger can even drive a person to kill. Anders Breivik a right-wing extremist, took his anger out on innocent people. He was angry about the influence foreigners had on Norway. So, he went on a killing spree which resulted in at least 93 deaths.
There are ways of managing anger. I’ll give you some strategies that should help with anger management. I have actually used some of these techniques to help me manage my anger.
- If you don’t think you will be able to control your emotions, stop when you feel anger start to rise up in you. Losing your temper will make things 10 times worse and intensify your stress level. Don’t do anything rash until you’ve had some time to think. That doesn’t mean you should ignore the problem. Stop, think and then address the problem.
Don’t Bottle Up Your Anger
- Holding on to anger can make you feel resentful. Internalising angry feelings can increase your risk of heart diseases, lead to high blood pressure, chronic aches and pains and other health problems. Express your anger reasonably. Take the necessary steps towards resolving any issues that makes you angry. Control anger, don’t let it control you.
- When you’re in a situation that makes you angry, physically walk away or leave the scene mentally. Go somewhere where you will be able to calm yourself down. If you find it hard to calm down, get rid of the tension by slamming a door, hitting a pillow/cushion or go to an isolated place where you can scream to get it off your chest. Going for a walk helps to clear your head and releases tension.
Get a Perspective on Things
- Talk to yourself. Ask yourself what made you angry. Weigh up the situation. Did your actions contribute to the problem? Take time to think about it. When I think about a past volatile relationship I was in, I am now able to see how my actions added to the angry arguments. At that time however, I didn’t want to take responsibility for my part in the disagreements. I was too wrapped up in angry emotions that I couldn’t even think clearly. In my angry state, I just wanted to lash out and hurt. Now I am able to control anger by controlling my tongue. I also take time to consider the other person involved in the angry scene.
Talk About It
- After you’ve managed to calm yourself down, have a civil discussion about what made you angry. Blaming the other person will make them defensive and it will be harder to resolve the problem. Choose your words carefully. If you find it hard to talk face to face, send a text message or phone them. Sometimes all it takes is simply saying ‘I’m sorry.’
Reason With Yourself
- A lot of the time we take out our anger on people who didn’t make us angry in the first place. Maybe you had a bad day at work, or a driver cut you up. You wait until you get home and take it out on the person closest to you. Remind yourself that the person you’re angry with had no control over what happened to you earlier in the day. You need to get past the angry feeling you’re carrying and don’t let it escalate at home.
Work it Off
- Anger triggers a powerful physical reaction in us. It will help if you work your muscles to release angry feelings. Physical exercises like aerobics, jogging, dancing or going for a brisk run will prevent tension building up. Some women withhold sex from their partner after an angry argument. But having sex can revitalise closeness between you and take the edge off. Laugh your anger away. Watch a funny film or listen to some good jokes. Laughing reduces stress levels and produces a physical emotional release.
Useful Organisations to Help Deal with Anger
If you get angry often and you’re not able to control it, you should seek help from professionals. There are organisations out there that you can go to for help with anger management. One of those is the website.
Some other helpful organisations are:
BAAM (British Association of Anger Management)
Telephone: 0845 1300 286
They offer support and training for men, women and children needing anger management and those who have to deal with someone else’s anger.
PO Box 1596, Ilford, Essex IG1 3FW
hHelpline: 01708 765 200
Helpline for problems, including child abuse, bullying,
depression, anxiety, domestic violence and sexual assault.
Photo credit: David Castillo Dominici
Have you got a problem with anger? Do you have a special way of dealing with it?