How to Manage your Anger – Guide with Tips & Resources8 minute
Anger is a natural emotion. There are times when feelings of disappointment, hurt, frustration, irritation, and annoyance can turn into anger. We’ve all experienced sudden outbursts of anger during an uncontrollable situation.
Well, let us start by telling you that getting angry is completely normal. It is only problematic when it is frequent, uncontrollable, and turns into a destructive rage. If you’re someone who tends to get angry often, this blog is for you.
Getting angry every now and then is not something to be proud of. In fact, it’s never too late to manage your anger. Learning different ways to control your anger can lead to fewer problems at work, better interpersonal relationships, and overall better quality of life.
A lot of people believe that anger is something that is linked to age. However, there’s very little truth in that. There’s nothing like women tend to get angrier than men or vice-versa. Anger is a human emotion that anyone can experience anywhere and anytime. It’s not something that gives notice and arrives. When an individual is faced with certain triggers, anger simply takes over. From the heart beating faster to breathing more quickly and clenching your fist and jaws, there is a myriad of trigger signs a person might experience.
In fact, not just teenagers, adults, or senior citizens, but children too experience sudden outbursts. Kids aged between 3-5 years can get very angry when their demands are not met, a certain toy hasn’t been given to them or if they don’t get the necessary attention from their parents. This can be extremely daunting because if you don’t nip it in the bud, it can turn into aggressive behaviour as they grow up.
Therefore, in this guide, we aim at talking about anger management, and steps to overcome and control it.
What is Anger Management?
In simple words, anger management is all about learning how to control your anger. By this, we don’t mean you suppress or internalise it. This can be more damaging in the long-run and lead to more frequent outbursts. Instead, understanding your temper, identifying triggers, managing your emotions and developing skills is the key to anger management. Once you learn the art of temper management, there’s no looking back. You’ll be happier and you will find your life more fulfilling, positive and meaningful.
5 Tips to Control your Anger & Temper
1. Identify the Trigger
The first step to controlling any emotion is understanding why it happens. Nobody likes getting angry. There may be certain situations that tend to shorten your fuse. Thus, even before seeking any anger therapy, knowing why it occurs in the first place is important. Ask yourself why you tend to get agitated. Is it a person or a scenario that arouses a feeling of anger in your mind? Long lines, excessive traffic, an annoying boss, or a bad marriage are just a few instances that can trigger the emotion. Triggers vary from person to person.
Negative thinking is also an offshoot of anger. It can in fact make your anger worse. During such a situation, you tend to overgeneralize things and jump to conclusions. Therefore, being aware of what makes you stressed can help you deal with the situations better. Some of the warning signs include:
- Clenching your jaws and teeth
- Pounding heart
- Tight chest
- Raising your voice
- Being irritable or snappy
- Arguing beyond reason
2. Reflect before you React
During a situation of distress, anger is an emotion that is often rushed. No matter how much you try to control it, it just happens and before you know, it’s blown out of proportion. Just as how quickly you get into a rage, that much quicker you can get out of it by practicing calming self-talk. Ask yourself whether the anger is reasonable or not. Try deep breathing, stop your angry thoughts and repeat calm words or phrases such as “relax” or “take it easy”.
When you’re feeling angry, use countering statements to talk back to yourself. Examples include the following:
- Did he/she do this to me personally or am I jumping to conclusions?
- How else can I deal with this situation apart from getting too personal?
- I am not going to think negative. Instead, I will try to control the situation by talking to someone.
- Maybe I have anger issues and the other person is right.
Rather than dwelling on what has made you angry, talk positive things to yourself to try and get out of that situation. Initially, it may be difficult. But once you start practicing positive self-talk, you’ll find yourself in a better place. You’ll realise your mistake and may even want to apologise to another person if you’ve done or said anything to them. Therefore, even before you react, pause and introspect.
3. Count to 10
This might seem really basic but believe us it works. Count to 10 before you speak and 100 if you’re very angry. This gives you ample time to gather yourself and your thoughts before doing anything. As you count, breathe out. When you’re angry, you tend to automatically breathe in more. By breathing slowly, you will be calmer and will be able to think more effectively.
4. Sweat it Out
Another way to manage chronic anger problems is by being on the move. Exercise is a great way to let off that extra steam. Go for a run, do something really high on energy, dance, or meditate, and you’ll instantly start witnessing feel-good moments. When one is angry, they tend to release excessive levels of cortisol and adrenaline. These are the same hormones produced during stressful situations. When you exercise regularly, your body tends to regulate these hormone levels more effectively and releases optimum levels of endorphins.
5. Focus on Relationships
Anger is an emotion that doesn’t come alone. With it comes, grudges, bad behaviour and negative feelings towards someone or something. This trait can hamper existing relationships. In a rage of anger, one often doesn’t realise what they’re saying and whom they’re talking to. Try and change this attitude. Instead of focusing on the immediate issue, focus on your relationship with that person. Being resentful and holding grudges will only worsen the situation. You have to accept that everybody is different and have their own way of dealing with things. When you change how you interact with others and focus on positive things, you will be able to control your anger.
As an adult, these are some tried-and-tested tips you can put to use to control your anger. However, as mentioned earlier, it’s not always adults who have anger management issues. Children too can get very angry at times.
Anger in kids can be pretty destructive. As a parent, you might be tempted to lock your child in a room or yell at them, but wait a minute, you might be doing more harm than good. As they say ‘teach them young’. When you teach your child anger management therapy, they’ll develop the ability to cope well in a stressful situation. For example, if someone snatches their favourite toy, they may cry loudly, get angry and even throw tantrums. Instead of hitting them, getting physical or screaming at them, chalk out strategies that will make them realise they’re at fault.
To make it easier for you, we’ve shortlisted a few ways that will help in dealing with a child with anger issues.
5 Proven Techniques to Deal with Angry Child Outbursts
- Set the Rules: A lot of families set the rules about what behaviour is acceptable and what’s not. Do that with young children. Explain to them that they cannot go about throwing or breaking things, lashing out verbally, calling out names or resorting to physical aggression when they’re angry. Create an anger management workbook for them.
- Cultivate Healthy Coping Skills: Children’s anger can get out of control if you don’t teach them early. Instead of just leaving them to cry when they’re angry, help them. As a parent, you can create a calm-down kit for them. Fill it with items that will help them calm their nerves such as crayons, books, their favourite stuffed toys, or anything else that pacifies them.
- Be a Good Example: Young children tend to mimic adults in every possible way. Make sure you don’t use cuss words in front of your child. They may start saying the same when they’re angry. The trick and idea are to model positive coping skills. If you’re fighting with your partner, make sure you do so behind closed doors. Even if you’re angry at something, calm yourself down so that your kids can learn how to deal with a frustrating situation.
- Start a Rewards System: Children love receiving rewards. The best way to motivate your child to use their anger management skills is by following them with a positive consequence such as a reward system. If they follow the rules set by you, gratify them. You could give them extra playtime or even their favourite food. However, don’t make that a habit. On the other hand, if your child becomes aggressive, tell them that they will face a loss of privileges.
- Give them a Hug: We feel like hugs are pretty underestimated. A warm hug during a fit of anger can make your child feel loved and accepted. Toddlers and adolescents often feel comforted by the physical presence of their loved ones. Therefore, express affection and care about their situation.
When you instill such anger management skills in your child, they will turn out more resilient when they grow up.
Anger Management Resources: Seeking Help
Getting angry often is something that can ruin your or your child’s life. When it goes beyond control, it may be time to seek professional help. Anger management therapy is something that actually exists in today’s world. Licensed mental healthcare professionals, psychologists and therapists work closely with you to understand your individual needs and then roll out techniques and strategies that will help you cope with anger.
Sometimes, medicines such as antidepressants, low-dose antipsychotics and anticonvulsants are given.
If you plan to seek help, here are few routes you can take:
Hope Care India’s Anger Management Workshop
If you or someone else needs a fool-proof way to deal with anger issues, you can check out the anger management workshop offered by Hope Care India. Their therapists aim at helping the concerned person deal with their thought processes and use various techniques to drain out the anger and stress within them. Spearheaded by the best psychiatrists, they try and understand the deep-rooted reason behind the anger and offer the best solution for it.
Instant Anger Management Book by Aaron Karmin
If you’re someone who struggles with problem anger, knowingly or unknowingly it can hurt your relationships and get in the way of your happiness. The book ‘Instant Anger Management’ is based on proven, effective cognitive behavioural therapy. It is literally an anywhere guide to manage your anger. The book highlights tried and tested techniques that will help you identify triggers, stay grounded and balance your emotions. It will also help you deal with frustration and regret.
Get an Anger Management Workbook
Believe it or not, anger management workbooks really help. There are different variants available online for kids as well as adults. They not just give you various tips and tricks to deal with your anger, but also have interactive exercises, colouring sheets, puzzles and other fun formats that will help you learn how to communicate your needs and wants, and take control of anger outbursts. You can check out this anger management workbook for kids.
If you have temper issues or problem anger, it isn’t something to be proud of. Speak to people, get help and you’ll experience more happiness personally and professionally.
If you know of any other techniques or resources that will aid with anger management, mention them in the comments section below.