Although there are moments in life that may test your steeliest resolve and seem to render you helpless against internal frustration, finding ways to keep angry outbursts under control is crucial to living a well-balanced life. The key to successful anger management is to quickly and accurately identify the root cause of your anger so that you can find an appropriate and effective solution to manage it.
While it’s true that venting your anger can be cathartic, setting boundaries for just how far your rant will go can make all the difference between your angry feelings being purged satisfactorily or your rage being escalated further. Anger is an adopted behavior that takes on many forms including verbal, physical, and emotional outbursts. It can have extremely stressful effects on your life as well as the lives of those around you. Some effects of anger include:
The best way to start identifying the root causes of your anger is to recognize your most common stress triggers. Once you know the cause of your anger, you can better gain control of it. It may be surprising to hear, but self-knowledge and acceptance are often the hardest parts of anger management for some people to reconcile. If you've spent years in a cycle of hostility, your stress level may be on such a constant high that you don’t realize what specific occurrences have a tendency to set your rage off. For everything that upsets you, your anxiety level increases, and before it can go down, something else makes you angry. This vicious cycle can be stopped by directly confronting and diffusing the origin of your anger.
There are many factors to take into account when looking for the origins of your anger, including, for example:
Controlling your anger can be done in several ways. If one approach doesn't work, there are always other anger management techniques you can try. Keep in mind, however, that you must give your actions enough time to take full effect. The goal is to not give up until you find the solution that works best for you.
A very effective way to control hostility or anger is through a combination of muscle relaxation and controlled deep breathing. Your heart and breathing rates increase when you are angry or anxious, therefore, you can deliberately lower them, and consequently your anger, by practicing relaxation techniques. To achieve these lower heart and breathing rates you can:
Another way to manage your anger is through humor. As the saying goes, “laughter is the best medicine”, and through the use of jokes or by simply laughing out loud, you can release a tremendous amount of stress without causing harm to yourself or others. Besides helping you get a balanced perspective on the situation that has caused your anger, you can also learn not to take yourself so seriously. Ways to incorporate humor into your life include:
When you feel your anxiety rise, write down exactly what you were doing and your feelings associated with it. Write down how you feel physically as well because the physical response to stress can happen before you feel it emotionally. After a few days, go back and read about what made you angry:
More ways to manage your anger include:
If taking the proper steps to handle your anger doesn't work and you feel that you really are out of control, then you need to seek counseling. A professional can use different types of therapy and medication to help you manage your anger.
For some information on ways to control anger, check out these LoveToKnow Stress Management articles: