What is anger? How to develop anger management skills that will work for you?

What is anger?

When dealing with stress, there are two broad ways you can cope with it. You can either try to calm yourself or try to fix the source of the stress. These strategies are emotion-focused coping and problem-focused coping mechanisms. Both of these strategies are helpful. You can pick what works best for you. Here we have brought to you simple stress busters to try immediately!

Anger Management: How to control or reduce anger?

Step 1: Identify Triggers

The first step to dealing with anger is to understand the source from where it comes. There may be different reasons why you may get angry. The reasons can be broadly categorized as internal and external. You may be angry because of your personal feelings or due to external factors.

Step 2: Choose a Technique

  • 1. Relaxation
  • 2. Problem-solving
  • 3. Reframing your thoughts
  • 4. Physical activity
  • 5. Improving your communication

1. Relaxation

Relaxation is a simple method to regulate your anger and can be used in any situation. Relaxation techniques are proven to help calm at the psychological and physiological levels. You can use techniques such as deep breathing, counting, listening to calming music. You can also practice specific techniques, such as visualization, yoga, and muscle relaxation. Another method is to have a ‘calm down kit’ to use different sensory stimuli to calm down.

2. Problem-solving

Actively engaging in dealing with the source of anger can also be helpful. Working on solving the problem will help you feel better. You will be putting your energy into resolving the situation. Research shows that a combination of conflict management and resolution is more effective in dealing with anger.

3. Reframing your thoughts

When you are angry, you start to think in an ‘always’ and ‘never’ manner. You may feel like defending yourself. It is important to take a step back at this point and have a look at your thoughts and actions. It is one of the techniques used in the cognitive-behavioral management of anger. It involves reframing the thoughts that arise in rage. For example, in anger, you may think — “I always have to adjust,”. You could reframe it as — “I have been asked to adjust in …..situation(s).” Reframing your thoughts like this will prevent your anger from flaming out uncontrollably. It will also help you come back to rational thinking.

4. Physical activity

You can use physical exercise to help manage anger over a long period. Research evidence shows that those who exercise regularly have better control over anger. On the other hand, you can also use physical activity to relieve anger at the moment. It can be seen as a form of venting and releases the tension and energy held in your body.

5. Improving your communication

Most of us may express our anger through harsh words or strict silence. Yet, this does not help us nor resolve the problem. It is necessary to practice good communication skills to improve this situation. Some of the ways to do so are listening patiently, choosing your words carefully, thinking before you speak, trying to stick to ‘I’ statements, and practicing your response before presenting it. Another major point to keep in mind is- avoid talking when you are angry. Take time and calm down before you speak. You could also practice writing in a journal. It will help improve your communication skills as well as rehearse what you wish to say.

Step 3: Practice

You can choose any anger management technique that works for you. It can be helpful at the moment or develop your ability to deal with anger in the long term. Irrespective of the technique you choose, it is important that you practice it.

  • ● Secondly, you have to actively and consciously choose to change. You can do this by regulating your anger the next time you are triggered.
  • ● Thirdly, you need to accept and adjust to the change. It indicates that you need to recognize the shift in how you express your anger. You will also have to make relevant adjustments in your life. It occurs when you actively practice and apply the technique you have chosen.
  • ● Finally, you have to maintain the change. It is also possible with regular practice and conscious effort to manage your anger.

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