Anger management teaches you to recognise frustrations early on and settle them in a way that allows you to express your needs, while remaining calm and in control. Coping with anger is an acquired skill which involves unlearning some of the bad behaviours that result from frustration.
Anger management helps you identify what triggers your emotions, and how to respond so that things work in your favour, instead of against you. We all feel angry sometimes and may say or do things we regret. This is a normal part of life, and may not necessarily mean you need anger management help. If your anger is having a detrimental effect on relationships, is making you unhappy, or is leading to violent or dangerous behaviour, you probably need help. You should not be ashamed to seek help. You want the very best of life, you want to enjoy your life, no matter what so seek help now before it is too late.
The following may indicate that you need anger management help:
- You have trouble with the authorities (the law).
- You frequently feel that you have to hold in your anger.
- You have numerous arguments with people around you, especially your partner, parents, children or colleagues.
- You find yourself involved in fights.
- You hit your partner or children.
- You threaten violence to people or property.
- You have outbursts where you break things or loss control.
- You lose your temper when driving and become reckless.
- You think that perhaps you do need help.
Life is not always fun. You go through situations that can cause lots of stress and you become weak and give up. There is a thin line between not giving up and giving up. The daily ups and downs of your emotions are one of the major struggles you have with your relationships. Instead of riding the emotional roller coaster, you need to become stable, solid, steadfast, persevering and determined person. If you continue to let your emotions rule over you, there’s no way you’ll ever be the person you were meant to be. Of course, none of us will ever be totally rid of emotions, but we must learn to manage and control them—not let them control us. You need to control how you react and respond to anger, don’t let anger control you and lord over your spirit, soul and body. This is very dangerous.
Life is no fun when you are controlled by feelings. Feelings change from day to day, hour to hour, even moment to moment. Not only do they change, they lie. For example, you may be in a crowd of people and feel that everybody is talking about you, but that doesn’t mean they are. You may feel that nobody understands you, but that doesn’t mean they don’t. You may feel you are misunderstood, unappreciated or even mistreated, but that doesn’t mean it is true. If you want to be mature, disciplined person, you must be determined not to walk according to what you feel.
The goal of anger management is to reduce both your emotional feelings and the physiological arousal that anger causes. You cannot get rid of, or avoid, the things or the people that enrage you, nor can you change them, but you can learn to control your reactions. People who are easily angered generally have what some psychologists call a low tolerance for frustration, meaning simply that they feel that they should not have to be subjected to frustration, inconvenience, or annoyance. They cannot take things in stride, and they are particularly infuriated if the situation seems somehow unjust: for example, when corrected for a minor mistake.
What makes these people this way? A number of things. One cause may be genetic or physiological: There is evidence that some children are born irritable, touchy, and easily angered, and that these signs are present from a very early age. Another may be sociocultural. Viewed as negative; we are taught that it is all right to express anxiety, depression, or other emotions but not to express anger. As a result, we do not learn how to handle anger or channel it constructively.
Here are some ways to manage and be in control of anger:
- Identify your anger triggers - things that make you angry.
- Respond in a non-aggressive way to these triggers before you lose your temper.
- Learn how to acquire and utilise specific skills for handling your anger triggers. Learn to effectively identify moments when your thought processes are not leading to logical and rational conclusions, and to correct your thinking.
- Learn how to bring yourself back to a state of calm and peace when you feel the anger surging.
- Learn how to express your feelings and needs assertively in situations that make you feel angry or frustrated. Doing so in a non-aggressive way. Assertiveness has nothing to do with aggressiveness. Assertiveness includes respect for yourself, and respect for others.
- Learning how to redirect your energies and resources into problem solving rather than fury in situations which may trigger anger and frustration.
- Avoid circumstances that trigger unwanted emotions.
- Breathe deeply, from your diaphragm; breathing from your chest will not relax you. Picture your breath coming up from your “gut.”
- Slowly repeat a calm word or phrase such as “relax,” “take it easy.” Repeat it to yourself while breathing deeply.
- Use imagery; visualise a relaxing experience, from either your memory or your imagination.
- Nonstrenuous, slow yoga-like exercises can relax your muscles and make you feel much calmer.
- Simple relaxation tools, such as deep breathing and relaxing imagery, can help calm down angry feelings.
- Change your thoughts. At the core of our deepest emotions are the beliefs that drive them.
- Change your response. If all else, fails, and you cannot avoid, modify, shift your focus, or change your thoughts, and that emotion comes pouring out, the final step in emotion regulation is to get control of your response.