What is Anger Management?
Each of us has felt anger at some point in our lives, whether it was full-fledged anger or just a fleeting feeling that passed as soon as it came.
Anger is a totally normal (and sometimes even healthy) emotion that we feel as humans, but if allowed to get out of control, it can lead to destructive thoughts or actions and lead to a lot of problems in your work, personal relationships, or social life. Being at the mercy of such a powerful and yet unpredictable emotion is never fun for anybody, and that’s where anger management comes in.
Anger Management refers to the process of recognizing the signs that you’re getting angry and taking actions to calm yourself down and find a way to deal with the situation in a productive way.
Anger management helps you reduce the feelings of anger as well as the physiological arousal that anger causes. Basically, by learning anger management, you will be accepting that although there isn’t much you can do to change the people, things, or situations that enrage you, you are willing to control the one thing that you can – your response to them.
Anger Management Counseling
There are lots of tests that can measure how prone to anger you are or even the intensity of the feelings when you do get angry, but odds are that you already know it if you have an anger problem.
If you’ve ever found yourself acting in ways that seem absurdly out of control and frightening to yourself and others, then you may be in need of anger management therapy to help you find better ways to handle this emotion.
By taking anger management classes, you will be able to benefit from the advice of an expert on the issue. However, there is still a lot you can do on your own to manage your anger, and we’ve listed 3 helpful tips to help you if you feel that your temper is hijacking your life:
3 Tips to Tame Your Temper
1. Think before you speak, and only express your anger once you’re calm
Saying things in the heat of the moment only increases the chances of you saying something that you will regret later. Do whatever you can to stop yourself from responding right away if you find that you’re getting angry.
For instance, you could count to ten in your head, or take three long, slow breaths in and out. After you feel that you’ve calmed down sufficiently you can then express how you feel in a way that is assertive but not confrontational.
This way you will be able to convey your needs and concerns clearly, getting your point across without hurting others or trying to manipulate or control them.
2. Accentuate the positive and focus only on possible solutions
Whatever you look for you’ll find. If you think only of the reasons why you’re mad, I can guarantee that you’ll find more and more reasons that justify your anger the longer you dwell on it. But if you focus on resolving the issue you’re faced with, rather, then you will start to find solutions to help you move forward.
For instance, if you find that you get upset when your partner is late for dinner and this happens a lot, then you may focus on scheduling your meals for later in the evening as a solution to your problem or even agree to have meals on your own sometimes.
Once you start thinking about solutions instead of problems, you open up a whole world of possibilities. Remember, anger never solves anything, it only makes matters worse.
3. Don’t hold a grudge, and practice ‘releasing’ and relaxation skills
When you hold on to angers of yesteryear you only hurt yourself. Use forgiveness as a powerful tool to not only help yourself feel better but also to strengthen your relationship with that person.
Learning to release feelings of anger isn’t easy, but it can be done if you do it as soon as the feelings start to come up or when you remember something that made you angry.
By doing this every single time, you will condition yourself to be able to release those feelings quickly and easily in the future. Also, practicing skills like meditation, affirmations, or deep breathing to help you relax will be of immense benefit to you.
Bonus Tip: Know when to ask for help!
Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness. On the contrary, it means that you recognize that learning to control your anger is a big challenge and you want to get help from someone who is expertly trained to deal with such conditions before anger causes you to do something that you will regret or that hurts the people around you.
Getting Help Through Anger Management Classes
A lot of people have the mistaken belief that it’s good to just ‘let it rip’ and release all those feelings of anger any time, but this has been proven by psychologists to be a dangerous myth.
However, some people use this theory as their license to hurt others. Also, letting it rip usually escalates anger and aggression and actually does nothing to help the person who is experiencing the anger except make it harder for the people involved to resolve the situation.
A healthier and more productive alternative is to find out what the trigger for your anger is, and then come up with strategies and techniques to avoid experiences where those triggers tip you over the edge.
Anger management counseling will help you to develop various techniques to change your thinking and behavior so that you can lead a life that is happier and full of healthier emotions.
Anger management therapy classes can be found at local churches, and/or non-profit counseling centers in your city/town. Finding a class to help you control your emotions is as simple as googling “anger management classes near me.”