The current blogspot will be based on the question “what is anger management?”. We will discuss the reasons why anger management is important in our life. We will also learn the various strategies to manage anger across various situations.
What is anger management?
Anger management is the term used to control the feelings and the physical arousal that results out of anger among humans. The goal behind anger management is the understanding that an individual can not change other people in surroundings or get rid of the people that make you feel angry or escape every situation that enrages you. The only possible thing in such circumstances is to manage your own impulses and behaviors.
Anger is a routine normal emotion that we feel in our routine life. Anger is often expressed in negative behavioral states or through yelling or verbal expression. Anger is usually triggered by frustration, irritation, anxiety and catastrophizing. Anger is experienced in conflicts in our daily routine in our personal life and professional life.
Often, we can not control what makes us angry. In such scenarios, we need to work on our emotional management and regulation to work with anger and not let ourselves be at the mercy of a negative and unpredictable emotional state. Getting angry at people is easy. However, to get angry at the right person, for reasons that sound justified and to the degree that is of minimal intensity is not very easy. Through anger management we learn the skills to get angry at people to the right degree and for justified reasons. That does not compromise our relationships.
Anger is an emotional arousal to negatively perceived states that include :
- Stressful situations
- Extreme emotional arousal
- Low tolerance level
Why is anger management necessary?
Anger management is necessary as it helps us understand our negative emotional states that lead us to anger. Since anger can range from a bare minimum response to a maximum response, it is necessary to have a check on anger so that it doesn’t go untamed. Learning and practicing anger management makes us strong enough to control our impulses, to tame our reactivity and avoid the risks associated with anger that is suppressed.
Anger management is necessary because :
- Unexpressed anger often leads to anxiety and depression
- Suppressed anger leads to various negative health issues including blood pressure, cardiac issues, headache,skin disorders and digestive problems.
- Suppressed anger also increases our irritability, negative thinking, judgement, decision making and routine life functioning.
- Unchecked anger can aggravate reactivity resulting in murder, viollence, harrasment and criminal acts.
- Anger can lead to anxiety and further negative emotional states.
- Anger is often a cause of increased risks of substance abuse.
- Due to anger outbursts we often compromise our relationships
- Due to anger, we often tend to get back on people with a higher intensity.
- Due to behavioral issues associated with anger, there is a constant guilt and resentment.
- An angry person focuses more on the negative consequences that trigger more negative feelings and behaviors
- An angry person is more prone to impulsive behaviors like reckless driving, throwing stuff, getting into fights, damaging property and hurting himself.
- The anger outbursts often leave a person with less number of friends and frequent termination from job.
- The relationship history of such individuals is poor and unhealthy.
- There are increased chances of personality disorders among people with anger issues
- There are increased chances of problems with following rules and regulations and thus falling a victim to law
What are some strategies to manage anger?
Anger management is based on various strategies that involve both behavioral strategies and managing perceptions in order to overcome the reactivity and arousal that may hinder the routine pleasant functioning of an individual.
Anger management strategies include :
- Identify your triggers
- Evaluate your anger
- Recognize warning signs
- Step away
- Talk to a friend
- Change the channel
- Focus on relaxation
- Explore your feelings
- Learn better communication
- Use humor
- Physical activity
- Professional help
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Identify your triggers
Anger is always a response that is aroused in reaction to a triggering event. The most important step in managing anger is taking notes of the things that trigger your anger. Understanding the various situations and scenarios that often trigger your anger can help you manage your responses when in contact with such scenarios.
Some of the obvious and most common triggers behind anger are :
- Routine frustrations
- Traffic jams
- Excessive tiredness
- Exam stress
Evaluate your anger
Examining and evaluating your anger is another important step for anger management. It is not always that anger is negative. At times anger helps us to be in a more positive scenario. For example witnessing someone being harassed or being voided of their rights leads to anger that is positive and enables you to stand for the rights of the other person.
Before acting on your anger, take a moment to consider the reason behind your anger and justify if anger is the only possible response to that situation. At times our anger is a red flag that makes us aware that something else in our environment needs to change like an unhealthy relationship or a toxic friendship.
Hence anger could be a source of negative or positive change. The positive change is related to any situation that justifies being angry inorder to alter the outcome that is otherwise more negative and unjust. The negative change due to anger are unwanted situations that arise because of our anger outbursts and evoke reactivity that makes us guilty afterwards.
Recognize warning signs
After identifying the triggers , be mindful about the warning signs. Benign around your triggers or being around people with whom your tolerance level goes down often takes you from calm to furious in a second. Thus it is crucial to anger management to know your signs early and manage them in order to curb down the intensity of your anger responses.
By recognizing your signs, you have the ability to manage and plan alternate responses to your anger and prevent yourself from doing things or saying words that prove to be guilt provoking and disturbing afterwards.
Stepping away from arguments is another way to manage anger scenarios. Being a part of the arguments and trying to win over people often leaves us being more negative and furious. Detaching oneself from such scenarios is the best step to take inorder to keep ourselves from getting a part of the heated situation.
Talk to a friend
Social support always works wonders when it comes to managing negative emotional states. Sharing your feelings, your thoughts and the way you try to control your behavioral responses, with friends often let us experience that anger is a normal human feeling and often many other people go through the same emotional reactivity as ours.
Change the channel
Through distractions and changing the mental channel, we can focus on something else instead of keep thinking about the trigger and the negative feeling associated with it. The earlier we shift our focus, the more the chances to have anger outbursts.
Focus on relaxation
Relaxation often helps us to ground our energies that are related to negative experiences. Relaxing tends to reduce anger outbursts. We can relax by :
- Deep breathing
- Imagining ourselves at our favorite place
- Muscle relaxation
Explore your feelings
In Order to manage anger, try to explore the feelings you have other than anger. Focus on the more positive side. Whenever you feel like having anger feelings, try to think of what other feelings you have in mind. Focus on each of those feelings and try to connect your mind and body based on those feelings.
Learn better communication
Communication is a big trigger that often initiates and further triggers negative emotional states. Using effective communication that lies between being passive and aggressive helps us to manage our anger well.
Using “I” statements instead of using “you” statements often help to minimize the level of blame and criticism during the arguments. Similarly using assertiveness helps us overcome our tendency of domination over others during arguments.
Anger management is made easy through the use of humor. Try to lighten down your mode and sound less rude while in arguments through the use of humor. Through the use of humor, we can avoid sarcasm and avoid hurt feelings.
Physical activity is the best way to manage our anger. Through the release of endorphins due to physical activity the negative emotions get channelized and thus we are more focused and centered on positive emotional states.
Often in order to manage our anger we need to seek professional help from a counselor or a psychotherapist. Professional help enables us to get over our suppressed feelings of anger and facilitates us on our journey through anger management.
BetterHelp: A Better Alternative
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In the current blogspot we focused on the question”what is anger management?”. We learned the reasons why anger management is necessary. We also focused on the various health consequences that untamed and uncontrolled anger can leave us with. We learned the various strategies that can help us control our anger in routine life.
Frequently asked questions : Anger management
How do I control my anger?
Anger can be managed by the following steps:
- Think before you speak
- Once you’re calm, express your anger
- Get some exercise
- Take a timeout
- Identify possible solutions
- Stick with ‘I’ statements
- Don’t hold a grudge
- Use humor to release tension
What are the 3 types of anger?
The three types of anger are :
- Passive anger
- Assertive Anger
- Open anger
Is anger management a mental illness?
Anger management is not a mental illness. Managing anger helps us to prevent ourselves from various mental illnesses that anger can lead to including personality issues, depression and anxiety.
What is the best therapy for anger management?
The best therapy for anger management is cognitive behavior therapy. We can manage our anger by identifying our triggers and restructuring our negative schemas.