Anger is one of the most misunderstood and overused of human emotions. It is a reaction to an inner emotion and not a planned action. The feelings underlying the anger reaction make us feel vulnerable and weak; anger makes us feel, at least momentarily, strong and in control, but anger can be devastating. One moment of madness can bring about lifetime of suffering and in vain repentance. To be more specific:
• Anger sends marriages and other family relationships off-course.
• Anger reduces our social skills, compromising other relationships, too.
• Anger means losing business that you could have won in a more gracious mood.
• Anger leads to increased stress.
• We make mistakes when we are angry, because anger makes it harder to process information.
Angry behaviors are learned over the life-span and therefore can be unlearned and replaced with healthier patterns of coping. To repress anger is unhealthy and yet to express it impulsively, as we so often do, may give momentary relief but inevitably will carry negative consequences. Here comes the anger management, following are some of the anger management techniques:
• Learn to talk about your feelings – if you’re afraid to talk or if you can’t find the right words to describe what you’re going through, find a trusted friend or adult to help you one-on-one.
• Express yourself calmly – express criticism, disappointment, anger or displeasure without losing your temper or fighting. Ask yourself if your response is safe and reasonable.
• Listen to others – listen carefully and respond without getting upset when someone gives you negative feedback. Ask yourself if you can really see the other person’s point of view.
• Negotiate – work out your problems with someone else by looking at alternative solutions and compromises.
Detect and Prevent AngerThere are very distinguishable physical manifestations of anger. If you are able to discern it you can pre-manage your anger by detecting and preventing your sliding into angry state of mindset. When you are angry, you would probably feel:
• muscle tension
• accelerated heartbeat
• a “knot” or “butterflies” in your stomach
• changes in your breathing
• goose bumps
• flushed in the face
You can reduce the rush of adrenaline that’s responsible for your heart beating faster, your voice sounding louder, and your fists clenching if you:
• Take a few slow, deep breaths and concentrate on your breathing.
• Imagine yourself at the beach, by a lake, or anywhere that makes you feel calm and peaceful.
• Try other thoughts or actions that have helped you relax in the past.
Keep telling yourself:
• “Calm down.”
• “I don’t need to prove myself.”
• “I’m not going to let him/her get to me.”
Stop. Consider the consequences. Think before you act. Try to find positive or neutral explanations for what that person did that provoked you. Take help of the people expert in providing stress management techniques, or join anger management classes, if you think you yourself are not capable of controlling your anger. To know more about anger management read articles on BIAM.org.uk.Whatever you do to manage your temper, remember one thing; only you have the power to control your own violent behavior, don’t let anger control you.
Be strong. Be safe. Be cool.
By Benedicta Dolson
“Anger Management Institute of Texas is a certified Anderson & Anderson provider.”
Gregory A. Kyles, M.A., LPC, CEAP, CAMF
Director, Anger Management Institute of Texas
Diplomate, President of Texas Chapter
American Association of Anger Management Providers