In small doses, anger is an appropriate, normal, and healthy emotion. Everyone experiences anger. It helps us stand up for ourselves when we’ve been wronged, and protect our own needs. However, in many circumstances, anger can be harmful and cause unwanted consequences.
Anger is a problem when it negatively affects health or well-being. Anger affects both physical and emotional health. Physically, anger contributes to problems such as high blood pressure and heart attacks. Emotionally, anger contributes to anxiety, depression, and drug and alcohol use.
Anger Management Skills
If you’re yelling, it’s probably too late. Learn the warning signs that you’re getting angry so you can change the situation quickly. Some common signs are feeling hot, raising voices, balling of fists, shaking, and arguing.
Take a Timeout
Temporarily leave the situation that is making you angry. If other people are involved, explain to them that you need a few minutes alone to calm down. Problems usually aren’t solved when one or more people are angry.
Take a minute to just breathe. Count your breaths: four seconds inhaling, four seconds holding your breath, and four seconds exhaling. Really keep track of time, or you mightcheat yourself! The counting helps take your mind off the situation as well.
Exercise serves as an emotional release. Chemicals released in your brain during the course of exercise create a sense of relaxation and happiness.
Express your Anger
Once you’ve calmed down, express your frustration. Try to be assertive, but not confrontational. Expressing your anger will help avoid the same problems in the future.
Think of the Consequences
What will be the outcome of your next anger-fueled action? Will arguing convince the other person that you’re right? Will you be happier after the fight?
Imagine a relaxing experience. What do you see, smell, hear, feel, and taste? Maybe you’re on a beach with sand between your toes and waves crashing in the distance. Spend a few minutes imagining every detail of your relaxing scene.