Anger can have a negative impact on your life, your judgment, and your relationships. If you regularly struggle with anger issues and keeping yourself under control, you might be in need of anger management therapy. Keep reading to get more insight into anger management and how you can get your anger under control.
Debunking Anger Myths
Anger can be a volatile, uncontrollable, and all-consuming emotion, but that’s not all it is. Before you learn the steps you can take to manage your anger, it’s important to understand what it is, and what it isn’t.
- “Anger is a negative emotion.” Anger can be overwhelming, but it is a perfectly natural and healthy emotion. Anger is an adrenaline-fueled reaction to an unpleasant or threatening stimulus. Expressing your anger in a destructive way can be seen as negative, but the emotion itself isn’t.
- “Anger is violent.” Many people tend to associate anger with violence, and assume that non-violent anger isn’t an issue. Violence is simply one form of expressing anger, but there are many others—passive-aggressive behavior, being uncooperative and stubborn, and even isolation.
- “Controlling your anger means holding it in.” Bottling up your emotions is never healthy, and especially so in the case of anger. Anger is a responsive emotion, which means it is trying to tell you something. Suppressing your anger doesn’t make it go away. Instead, learn to channel your anger appropriately using anger management techniques.
- “Anger management counseling does not work.” People who are unable to control their anger might find that it takes a significant toll on their health, work, relationships, and more. Anger management therapy helps people recognize and understand the signs and stressors of their anger, as well as techniques and strategies to manage it better.
Tips to Control Your Anger
Learning to control your anger takes time, patience, and practice. The next time you start to get angry, try to remember these tips. The more you do them, the easier it will be.
When your anger starts to rise, take a pause. Anger makes people say or do things in the heat of the moment that they will regret later—so when you start to feel strong emotions like anger, aggression, or hostility, forcibly take a pause. You can try counting, taking deep breaths, or applying other anger management techniques. It’s likely that by the time 30 seconds are over, you will no longer feel the urge to do or say what you wanted to before.
If possible, engage in physical activity next time you feel angry. Anger and exercise both cause physiological reactions in the body, so running, going to the gym, or playing a sport can help your body’s reactions become stronger and then wind down.
Use “I” Statements
Using “I” statements helps to avoid placing unnecessary blame, as well as to shift the perspective around. Rather than scolding or shouting at someone, try to use “I” statements to tell them how you felt about the situation.
Sometimes anger can be controlled through books and other tools. Sometimes you might need expert help and guidance to help you get better. At Lifeworks Counseling Center, we help people explore the root of their anger, their triggers, and develop strategies to work through their anger positively.