Everyone gets angry, but not everyone manages their anger effectively. We have all witnessed occasions where someone has lost their composure because they were angry. Some people yell and scream while others withdraw and withhold. While these strategies may feel good at the time, they frequently are unproductive at best or can even become destructive and dangerous. Anger can be our ally if we learn to use it effectively. It can help us stand up against injustice or confront situations that we might normally avoid. If used inappropriately, however, anger can derail careers, destroy relationships, and ruin lives. As a result, learning to effectively manage anger can be an essential part of healthy living.
Tools for Managing Anger
Learn to cool off early and often – Anger can escalate if you allow it. Learn to calm yourself down before the anger overtakes your ability to think clearly. It is better to cool off early in a conflict than to let it build up to an unmanageable level. In addition, cool off as many times as necessary rather than giving into the impulse to act in destructive ways.
Manage your expectations – Unmet expectations often lead to anger. As a result, it is important to work to line up your expectations with the reality of your circumstances. It is useful to ask yourself the following questions.
- Are your expectations realistic?
- Have you communicated your expectations effectively?
- Are there better ways of getting your expectations met?
- Do you know the expectations of those around you?
Learn to see both sides of the situation – The more that you can see all sides of a conflict the better you will be at managing your anger.
Deal with old hurts and wounds – Old hurts and emotional baggage can lead to anger. Heal the wounds and your anger will decrease.
Develop empathy – You will find it easier to manage your anger if you develop empathy for those around you.
Learn to laugh again – Learning to be light-hearted can diminish the amount of anger that you feel.
Communicate effectively – The better you are at communicating, the more likely you are to get your needs met.
Manage your time more effectively – Frustrations frequently build if you try to do more than time allows. Learn to manage your time so that you don’t feel so pressured and overwhelmed.
Learn to play again – It is hard to be angry if you are having fun. Bring play back into your life to counterbalance the stressors of life.
Learn to use anger constructively rather than destructively – Learn to channel your anger into constructive activities. Building something of value is a much better use of time than destroying something of value.
Exercise – Physical activity can help discharge the energy that comes with anger. Exercise can also help release endorphins in the brain which can improve your overall sense of well-being.
Develop patience – You don’t always have control over when things happen. Learn to be patient and you will feel less anger.
Quit trying to control those things that are out of your control – If you want to make yourself miserable, try to control things that you have no control over. When you let go of things out of your control your anger will decrease.]
Let go of negative behavior – Let go of behavior that tends to perpetuate conflict. (i.e. antagonistic, intimidating, aggressive, or confrontational behaviors)
Let go of negative thinking – If you change your thinking it will change your feelings.
Be proactive rather than reactive – Actively address those issues that bring conflict. Resolving conflicts proactively tends to decrease frustration and anger.
Keep the end in mind – Don’t let your anger overrule your goals. If your goal is to have a happy home, you can’t yell and scream at everyone and expect them to be happy. Keep your overall goals in mind rather than succumbing to the temporary relief that may come with “blowing up”.
New Dimensions Can Help!
If you or someone you know is experiencing any of the above symptoms or problems, New Dimensions can help. Our team of experienced therapists and psychiatrists can help you overcome these challenges and help you develop the skills you need to thrive. To schedule a complementary assessment or to find out more about our programs, contact us at 1-800-685-9796.
Our affiliate, MHThrive, provides Individual Therapy, Couples and Marriage Counseling, and Family Therapy at our locations in Katy, The Woodlands, and the Clear Lake area of Houston, Texas. We also provide telehealth therapy for anyone who resides within the State of Texas. To schedule an appointment with one of the MHThrive therapists, contact us at 713-477-0333 or visit www.mhthrive.com to learn more.