Anger management is the process of learning to recognize signs that you’re becoming angry, and taking action to calm down and deal with the situation in a productive way. Anger management doesn’t try to keep you from feeling anger or encourage you to hold it in. Anger is a normal, healthy emotion when you know how to express it appropriately — anger management is about learning how to do this.You may learn anger management skills on your own, using books or other resources. But for many people, taking an anger management class or seeing a mental health professional is the most effective approach.
Here are 10 anger management tips for a start
1. Think before you speak
In the heat of the moment, it’s easy to say something you’ll later regret. Take a few moments to collect your thoughts before saying anything — and allow others involved in the situation to do the same.
2. Once you’re calm, express your anger
As soon as you’re thinking clearly, express your frustration in an assertive but non-confrontational way. State your concerns and needs clearly and directly, without hurting others or trying to control them.
3. Get some exercise
Physical activity can help reduce stress that can cause you to become angry. If you feel your anger escalating, go for a brisk walk or run, or spend some time doing other enjoyable physical activities.
4. Take a timeout
Timeouts aren’t just for kids. Give yourself short breaks during times of the day that tend to be stressful. A few moments of quiet time might help you feel better prepared to handle what’s ahead without getting irritated or angry.
5. Identify possible solutions
Instead of focusing on what made you mad, work on resolving the issue at hand. Does your child’s messy room drive you crazy? Close the door. Is your partner late for dinner every night? Schedule meals later in the evening — or agree to eat on your own a few times a week. Remind yourself that anger won’t fix anything and might only make it worse.
6. Stick with ‘I’ statements
To avoid criticizing or placing blame — which might only increase tension — use “I” statements to describe the problem. Be respectful and specific. For example, say, “I’m upset that you left the table without offering to help with the dishes” instead of “You never do any housework.”
7. Don’t hold a grudge
Forgiveness is a powerful tool. If you allow anger and other negative feelings to crowd out positive feelings, you might find yourself swallowed up by your own bitterness or sense of injustice. But if you can forgive someone who angered you, you might both learn from the situation and strengthen your relationship.
8. Use humour to release tension
Lightening up can help diffuse tension. Use humour to help you face what’s making you angry and, possibly, any unrealistic expectations you have for how things should go. Avoid sarcasm, though — it can hurt feelings and make things worse.
9. Practice relaxation skills
When your temper flares, put relaxation skills to work. Practice deep-breathing exercises, imagine a relaxing scene, or repeat a calming word or phrase, such as “Take it easy.” You might also listen to music, write in a journal or do a few yoga poses — whatever it takes to encourage relaxation.
10. Know when to seek help
Learning to control anger is a challenge for everyone at times. Seek help for anger issues if your anger seems out of control, causes you to do things you regret or hurts those around you.
Part One: Introductions
Establishing rapport within the group will help the members trust each other, which is important when they begin discussing their anger issues and working on them together. You can help members with this process by having each person contribute something. You can ask specific questions such as "What do you hope to get out of this course?" or leave it up to each person what he or she would like to share such as "Tell us something you would like to share." You can also use icebreaker activities such as breaking the members up into groups and asking them to list five goals they would like to reach by the end of the course. Introductions usually last one session and each meeting afterwards should have a five-minute refresher to bring the group back together.
Part Two: Understanding Anger
Before helping members with their anger, they must understand the basics of the emotion. You can provide printed information or lecture. Be sure to tailor to people's different learning abilities: visual and auditory. It's also helpful to encourage active participation. After a short lesson, ask the group some questions and then write the answers on paper or blackboard for all to see. You can even do a game show type of activity at the end of the session and give out rewards such as candy for right answers or simply keep score.
Part Three: Identify Anger Triggers
Now that members know what anger is, they need to understand what makes them angry. Explain what an anger trigger is and how one person might not find something anger provoking while another will become enraged. This will help members understand that when someone shares their trigger not everyone is going to find that as bothersome. Once the group understands triggers, have each member either write down his or hers privately or write them where everyone can see.
Part Four: Teach and Practice Anger Management Techniques
Once the members understand what triggers their anger, they must also understand that sometimes feeling angry is unavoidable and in those situations, they should employ anger management techniques. It's a good idea to start off this part of the course by discussing some of the members' current reactions to anger and how they are counterproductive. This will help them realize the need to change the way they respond to anger-provoking situations.
Part Five: Assign Homework and Process
Ask the members to use the anger management techniques they learned outside of the group and then write down what happened, what they did and the outcome of it. When the group meets again, have members share their experiences and discuss any anger issues still present.
Part Six: Wrap Up the Course
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