Anger Management - 7 Tips to Help You Keep Your Anger in Check
The term, anger management, refers to the use of various techniques to help people keep their anger under control. It also allows people to learn how to express how they feel in healthier ways.
When a person’s anger is not managed well, it can result in a lot of interpersonal issues that can impact their family and their professional life. But managing one’s anger does not mean never getting angry. Anger is an emotion that everyone experiences, and it can be healthy when it is expressed appropriately. The goal is to learn how to control it in order to avoid things like lashing out at co-workers or even ruminating about situations beyond one’s control.
When people learn how to control their reactions to situations that frustrate them, they experience a better quality of life in almost every area. We want to discuss some tips that can help people learn better anger coping skills and even get treatment if needed.
Tip #1: Pause Before Expressing Anger
Parents are known for giving their children time-outs when they need them. But sometimes adults need to take time-outs too; especially those who have anger issues. It is very easy for people to say something that they might regret saying later.
Taking the time to think about the situation before responding can take some practice. But it can give people fresh insight into the issue they are angry about and help them to respond in a manner that is reasonable and focused.
Tip #2: Use Humor to Lighten the Situation
When people are facing situations that make them angry, using humor to lighten the mood is always a good idea. This can take some practice and being funny does not come easy to everyone.
People may find that making the other person laugh will diffuse their anger quickly and allow them to focus on fixing the situation rather than making it worse. Also, it is a good idea to avoid sarcasm because being sarcastic can hurt the other person’s feelings.
Tip #3: Focus on Solutions to Problems, Not the Problems Themselves
Sometimes people have a hard time controlling their anger because they are focusing too much on the situation at hand and not enough on the solution to their problem. For example, if a woman gets angry at her husband for coming home late for dinner every night, it might be a good idea to move dinner to a later time.
Continuing to get angry at the same situation over and over again does not solve anything. In actuality, it can destroy important relationships and cause animosity between the people involved.
Tip #4: Practice Forgiveness
Forgiveness is very powerful, and it should be extended willingly to people, no matter how angry they make a person feel. When it is withheld, in time, those angry feelings can build up and turn into bitterness.
When a person forgives someone for something they did wrong, it can help to strengthen their relationship with each other. Forgiveness also reinforces the positive feelings they have for one another and creates a clean slate.
Tip #5: Use “I” Statements During Discussions
A person who is angry will frequently express that anger by using accusing statements that start with “You…” For example:
- You never listen to me when I’m talking.
- You never do anything around the house.
- You leave me alone with the kids all day.
Statements like those only place blame; they do nothing to really express the way a person feels and can only make situations worse. Learning how to use “I” statements can help people get more in touch with their own feelings, and they are less likely to result in defensiveness from the other person.
The above “You” statements can be changed to:
- I feel like you do not listen to me when I’m talking.
- I feel like I am the only one who does anything around the house.
- I get tired and frustrated when I am left alone with the kids all day.
Tip #6: Practice Relaxing
People who are prone to get angry easily and lash out at others can benefit greatly by practicing their relaxation skills. There is a lot they can do, such as:
- Writing in a journal.
- Taking some deep breaths or practicing meditation.
- Imagine a relaxing scene.
- Repeating a calming word or phrase, such as, “it’s all going to be OK.”
Once learned, many relaxation skills can be called upon when a person’s anger flares up. For instance, taking deep breaths or repeating a calming phrase can be done during time-outs to help the person get refocused and diffuse their anger before it gets out of control.
Tip #7 Consider Talking to a Professional About Anger Management
In most cases, anger can be controlled by following the tips listed above. But there may be some instances when it cannot, such as:
- Getting into legal trouble.
- Frequently having intense arguments with family members, co-workers or friends.
- Getting into fights with others or having physical altercations.
- Threatening violence against people or their property.
- Breaking things during an angry outburst.
- Becoming reckless when driving after losing their temper.
Anger management therapy can be done in a group setting or in one-on-one therapy sessions. It can help people to:
- Identify their anger triggers and learn how to handle them properly.
- Learn how to respond in constructive ways.
- Change any irrational or extreme ways of thinking.
- Stay calm and peaceful instead of lashing out.
- Express their needs and feelings assertively, but calmly.
- Focus on problem-solving and not on getting angry.
Do You Need Anger Management Therapy? We Can Help
At Mindful Care, we have worked with many clients who were in need of anger management treatment. For many of them, getting professional help was the catalyst that changed their relationships, their workplaces, and their friendships.
If you have been struggling to manage your anger, try the tips we listed above. We are here to help you if you need a professional approach. Please contact us today to schedule your appointment.