Sunday, March 18, 2012

Anger Management

10 Ways to Lessen Anger

How do you react when someone cuts you off in traffic? Do you experience your blood pressure starting to boil when your child does not cooperate with your wishes? Anger can be a normal and even healthy emotion; however, there is a big difference of handling it in a positive way versus in the negative and losing control of your emotions.

Letting our anger get out of control can make you and others feel badly. If you are noticing that your frustrations, outbursts, or rages are negatively affecting your relationships with your family, friends, co-workers, and even strangers, it’s time to step back and reflect on what is going on with your inner feelings.

Here are 10 tips from the that you can use to help manage your anger. Research has revealed that anger management techniques are a proven way to help assist in changing how you express your anger.

1. Take a personal “timeout.” It may seem like a simple thing; however, counting to 10 before reacting can really help you dampen your temper.
2. Get some space. Take a break from the person you’re frustrated with – let your negative feelings rest a little.
3. When feeling calmer, express your frustration. Expressing your frustrations in a non-confrontational way is healthy! The situation can become more difficult if you stew about it.
4. Get some exercise. Physical activity can give you an outlet for your emotions/feelings, especially if you are about to explode. Go on a brisk walk/run, swim, lift weights, shoot baskets, etc.
5. Think carefully, before you say anything. You can easily get sidetracked when you’re angry. You are more likely to say something you’ll regret, if you don’t stop and think before you speak your mind. Try journaling – focus on what you want to say and write it down.
6. Identify solutions to the situation. To resolve the issue, work with the individual who triggered your anger; instead of focusing on what made you mad.
7. Use “I” statements when describing the problem. For example, to lessen the chance of increasing the tension and making the other person angry or resentful, try saying: “I’m upset you didn’t help with the housework this evening,” instead of saying “You should have helped with the housework.”
8. Stay away from holding a grudge. By forgiving the other person, this can help both of you. It is an unrealistic belief to expect everyone to behave exactly the way you want them to.
9. Use humor to release tensions/frustrations. Lighten up! This can help lessen tension. However, don’t be tempted to use sarcasm, it can deepen hurt feelings and actually make things worse.
10. Practice relaxation skills. Learning techniques on how to relax and de-stress, can also help to control your temper if/when it should flare up. Practice deep-breathing exercises, such as: visualizing a relaxing scene, repeat a peaceful word or phrase to yourself, e.g. “take it easy,” “peace,” “one,” etc. Other proven ways to lessen your anger or frustration can be listening to uplifting music, writing down your thoughts (journaling), and doing yoga, etc.

For questions, information, and therapy on recognizing the many forms of anger, contact Monica Forsman, M.Ed., LAPC at Resilient Solutions, Inc., in Bountiful, Utah.
Monica can be reached at (801) 604-5040 or email at: