Los Angeles Anger Management
Human beings are complicated. We are filled with emotions, and often times society tells us certain emotions, such as happiness and excitement are good, while others, like sadness or anger, are bad. Emotions are just that–emotions. If you’ve ever lost your temper, however, you can probably agree anger management is a valuable tool in contolling that emotion.
Anger is one of those emotions that when left unmanaged can lead us to making bad decisions, including hurting ourselves or others, and it can damage relationships. According to the Mayo Clinic, you can learn how to control your anger, helping you maintain good mental health and solid personal relationships.
If you find yourself torqued at a minor irritation, or feel your face flush when someone disagrees with you, it might be time to for you to practice anger management. Below is a list of strategies you can practice instead of allowing your anger to manage you.
10 Strategies for Anger Management.
- Before you speak, take a long exhale. If you can postpone speaking, do so. When emotions run high, we tend to react, and we could say something in anger we not only don’t mean but might regret. Exhale and count to five. When you step back and take time to think, you enable others to do the same.
- After you have calmed down, express your feelings. Once you have collected your thoughts and gained composure, express your feelings in a firm, nonaggressive manner. Respecting the emotions of whom you are interacting with is an important step in anger management. Share your concerns directly and clearly, leaving room for clarifying questions.
- Burn off the anger. If you’re overcome by your feelings of anger, go for a walk or run. Do 100 jumping jacks! Exercise is a proven stress reducer, and can help you avert disaster. If you are unable to exercise, distract yourself with knitting, drawing, or journaling. Whatever reduces your stress, do it.
- Leave the situation. Often times, the easiest way to reduce your anger in a tense situation is to exit. Go out and get a breath of fresh air. Take a timeout. Grab a beverage (non-alcoholic, of course) at your favorite coffee shop. Walk to a nearby park and sit on a bench among the flowers and squirrels. Don’t forget to breathe.
- Refocus. We can’t think when we’re angry, and focusing on what made us angry only fuels our anger. So, instead, focus on solving the problems that set you off. For instance, if your son’s bedroom looks like a trainwreck and it makes you seethe, close the door. Out of sight means out of mind. If your partner leaves his dirty clothes on the bathroom floor, decide you’re okay with the mess and choose not to react. Just like worry, anger negatively affects you. It accomplishes nothing.
- Avoid “You” statements. When we say “You made me angry,” we accuse the other person of causing us to feel a certain emotion. Instead, say “I feel unimportant when you cancel at the last minute.” This type of communication places the responsibility for our feelings back on us, and it can avert a further altercation. Also avoid using general statements, like “You never” or “You always.” Be respectful, and provide specific examples to which the other person can respond.
- Let go of the grudge. Holding a grudge is like taking poison and expecting your enemy to die. On the other hand, forgiveness can be very healing to the person who forgives. It enables you to diffuse your anger and build up self-respect and positive feelings. Grudge holding keeps your anger alive.
- Lighten the mood with appropriate humor. Laughing at yourself can be one of the most powerful ways of easing the tension in a stressful sitation. If you laugh at yourself, others will laugh too. As you might guess, sarcasm is often misread, especially in writing, and can cause hurt feelings and more anger. Avoid it!
- Practice mindfulness. When you feel your dander going up, exhale for five long seconds. It really works! Close your eyes, imagine your happy place, and repeat a calming phrase. For instance, “It will all work out.” Play a favorite song. Color in a stress-reducing coloring book. If you’re inclined, practice yoga.
- Know when to seek help. During stressful times in our lives, it can be very difficult to control our anger, especially after losing a job, going through a divorce, or losing a beloved family member, including a pet. Anger is an emotion, and if you find yourself repeatedly having trouble managing your anger, it might be a good time to go into treatment. Seeking anger management therapy can offer strategies on how to process your anger in healthy ways.
Last words: Suppressing anger is the opposite of anger management. No matter how hard we try, anger finds a way of leaking out and not in healthy ways. With anger management skills, we work to understand why and how we feel. Managing your anger will boost your confidence and improve your life in general. Don’t be afraid to get help.