Anger Management Tips To Prevent Relationship Damage
Do you fume when someone cuts you off in traffic? Does your blood pressure rocket when your child refuses to cooperate? If so, you are not alone. Everyone experiences anger from time to time.
Anger is a normal and even healthy emotion. But it’s important to deal with it in a positive way. Uncontrolled anger can take a toll on your health and relationships.
If you’re often feeling angry, or if those feeling are causing problems at home or at work, here are 7 tips to help you regain control:
1. Think before you speak.
One of the best tactics is to take a pause before reacting. If your heart is pounding and you feel like yelling at your friend, family member or the guy who just pulled in front of you in traffic, stop. Take a breath. Count to 10. Do whatever it takes to avoid lashing out and saying or doing something youll regret.
2. Once youre calm, state what upset you.
Express your frustration in an assertive but nonconfrontational way. Maybe your spouse didnt help clean up the kitchen after you made dinner. Or your son borrowed your car and returned it with a nearly empty gas tank again. State your concerns clearly and directly, using an “I” statement. For example, say, Im upset that you left me without enough gas to get to work, or I resent it when I work to prepare a meal and you dont help clean up afterward.
3. Use humor to release tension.
4. Take a timeout.
5. Get exercise.
6. Practice relaxation skills.
7. Don’t hold a grudge.
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Sometimes Anger Can Lead To Serious Problems In Our Life
Please consider getting help if anger is damaging your life in any of the following ways:
Anger interferes with family life, job performance or school performance
Anger leads you to lose control of your actions or what you say
Anger prevents you and your loved ones from enjoying life
Anger leads you to act in a threatening or violent manner towards yourself, other people, animals or property
Ask your physician or trained health professional about anger management courses and other helpful resources in your community.
About the authors
Canadian Mental Health Association BC Division helps people access the community resources they need to maintain and improve mental health, build resilience, and support recovery from mental illness. CMHA BC has served BC for over 60 years.
Anxiety Canada promotes awareness of anxiety disorders and increases access to proven resources. Visit www.anxietycanada.com.
Select sources and additional resources:
Visit www.keltymentalhealth.ca for Kelty Mental Health’s information and resources on anger for children, youth and families.
Visit www.cmha.ca/documents/feeling-angry for the Feeling Angry brochure from the Canadian Mental Health Association.
Patterson, R.J. . The Assertiveness Workbook: How to Express Your Ideas and Stand up for Yourself at Work and in Relationships. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger.
Deffenbacher, J.L. . Cognitive-behavioral conceptualization and treatment of anger. Cognitive and Behavioral Practice, 18, 212-221.
The Best Methods To Maintaining Your Composure
Maintaining composure is a skill like any other and, as such, it can be learned, even mastered, by anyone.
The trick is not to let yourself crack, and if you do start to crack, to not let the other person see it. Now is the time to work on that poker face.
Here are a few other ways you can stay cool, calm and collected.
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Focus On Managing Yourself
When someone we love is angry with us, often we feel compelled to appease and soothe them as quickly as possible. But we ultimately cant control anyones thoughts, behaviors, or emotionswere only tasked with managing our own. Being calm is much more effective than trying to calm someone else, and people who can stay focused on managing their own anxiety and reactions give the other person the space to do the same. So instead of saying, Please calm down!, try taking a few deep breaths and slowing your own heart rate.
Tip : Practice The 4 As Of Stress Management
While stress is an automatic response from your nervous system, some stressors arise at predictable times: your commute to work, a meeting with your boss, or family gatherings, for example. When handling such predictable stressors, you can either change the situation or change your reaction. When deciding which option to choose in any given scenario, its helpful to think of the four As: avoid, alter, adapt, or accept.
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Coping Skills For Depression In Teenagers
- Create something: If you feel like youre having a hard time coping with anything when youre depressed, and the idea of doing homework or even tidying up feels insurmountable, see if you can bring yourself to simply create something.Whether its a quick doodle, coloring in a book, thinking of a melody or a song, writing a story, or whatever else, this can be a really useful first step to open up the door. Whether you make art, or build something, or whatever it feels good to see the end result.
- Keep a journal: I recommend keeping a journal next to your bed, but dont set the expectation that youre going to write in it every single day.It can become more of a chore if you try to write it in everyday, you could get burnt out, and so on. Unless theres something specific that you want to journal and keep track of each day, just write in your journal when you feel like it. If its been a while, push yourself a bit to open it, grab a pen, and see what happens. This is another great way to start to pull yourself back up.
How Common Are Anger Problems
In a survey by the Mental Health Foundation, 32% of people said they had a close friend or family member who had trouble controlling their anger and 28% of people said they worry about how angry they sometimes feel.
Even though anger problems can have such a harmful effect on our family, work and social lives, most people who have them don’t ask for help. In the same survey by the Mental Health Foundation, 58% of people said they didn’t know where to seek help.
Sometimes people don’t recognise that their anger is a problem for themselves and for other people. They may see other people or things as the problem instead.
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Why Do We Get Angry
Feelings of anger can arise if youre stressed, overwhelmed, fearful, under pressure, threatened, frustrated and powerless or when your expectations are not being met.
But anger also often masks other emotions like sadness or disappointment, which is why its sometimes referred to as a gateway emotion. Anger can mask feelings you either dont want to feel, dont know how to deal with, or youre not fully aware of, explains Madeleine Gauffin, Licensed Psychologist and Psychotherapist at Livi.
There may be biological causes too, for example some people get angry when theyre hungry, have been drinking alcohol or havent had enough sleep.
Modify Your Reaction To Stress
Not all stress has a negative effect on the body. By recognizing your emotional and physiological reaction to stress, you can begin to change your behavior. If you can control your reaction to stress, you are more likely to be successful both at work and at home.
To begin to modify your reaction to stress:
- Remove unnecessary stress. There are many stressful elements you can remove from your life. For example, limit your access to the daily news, remove yourself from a stressful relationship, or stop taking on new projects for a while.
- Change your reaction. It’s impossible to avoid all stressful events and situations. However, you can change your reaction to such stressful elements.
- Identify healthy coping skills that will work for you. Review the list of healthy coping strategies and identify one that you think may work for you. Next, seek ways to incorporate this activity into your daily life. For example, if you want to try a new sport, find a team, attend weekly practice, and participate in scheduled games. Avoid trying too many new strategies at once because it may result in more stress.
- Practice healthy coping skills often. This can keep you from feeling too overwhelmed and anxious.
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Understanding Your Anger And What To Do About It
One in three people say they have a close friend or family member who has anger problems.
This finding, from a Mental Health Foundation survey, suggests that many of us will encounter work situations where emotions run high, and may spill over into anger.
Not all feelings of anger are negative, though. For example, if you get animated on behalf of a colleague who’s having an unnecessarily hard time, your response may help to bring a positive resolution. In a 2018 NPR-IBM Watson Health poll, 31 percent of respondents said that anger isn’t wholly negative.
But angry outbursts that intimidate or undermine co-workers are always unacceptable.
to view a transcript of this video.
In this article, we look at what anger is, explore the different ways it can manifest, and offer tips to better manage your emotions.
Healthy Coping Mechanisms For Teens
Any coping mechanism that makes you feel better without having to resort to bad or harmful coping mechanisms could be considered a healthy coping mechanism but here are some that are directly related to better health.
- Going for a peaceful walk: Throw on some headphones or just enjoy the sounds of your surroundings, either way, taking a walk is a very healthy coping mechanism because it gives you a chance to disconnect from things, take some time to yourself, and its good for your mind and your body.
- Spending time at the park: Is there a park near you, or even an area with a few trees and a table or bench? Some time in nature, whether youre on a woodsy trail, sitting near a body of water, or anywhere else that feels calming,
- Intense exercise: A walk or a stroll in the park is always nice, but many people feel great after an intense workout. Exercise can be a good way to get your mind off things, especially when youre in the middle of an intense workout where all you can really think about is finding the willpower to keep going. You can forget about lifes problems, forget about the things that are stressing you, forget about whatever makes you feel angry or anxious, and just dedicate yourself to the exercise.
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Unhelpful Ways To Deal With Anger
Many people express their anger in inappropriate and harmful ways, including:
- anger explosions some people have very little control over their anger and tend to explode in rages. Raging anger may lead to physical abuse or violence. A person who doesnt control their temper can isolate themselves from family and friends. Some people who fly into rages have low self-esteem, and use their anger as a way to manipulate others and feel powerful. For more information, see What is violence against women? on the White Ribbon Australia website
- anger repression some people consider that anger is an inappropriate or bad emotion and choose to suppress it. However, bottled anger often turns into depression and anxiety. Some people vent their bottled anger at innocent parties, such as children or pets.
What Can I Do About My Anger
Anger is a sign that you need to take CONSTRUCTIVE ACTION.
Anger is a to get things done and to solve problems.
Anger management is about:
Understanding how anger affects you
Building skills to control anger
There are three main ways to manage anger:
You can’t be relaxed and angry at the same time. Think of anger as your boiling point. If you turn down the temperature, you keep yourself from boiling over. Learning to relax can help reduce your anger level and help you feel calmer. Then, when you’re provoked, you have a much greater distance to travel before you get extremely mad. Visit www.heretohelp.bc.ca for more information about using relaxation skills and other tips on managing emotions.
It is also difficult to be angry when you’re laughing. It is easy to take life’s annoyances too seriously. Making an effort to see the humour in your frustrations and aggravations can help to combat an automatic angry reaction.
2. Thinking patterns
Manage Your Thoughts
A good way to lower anger is to manage angry thoughts about the situation. Take the following steps:
Examine the evidenceWhat evidence supports your view of the situation?
Look for alternativesWhat are some alternative ways of viewing the situation or conflict? Can you think of some other explanations for why this has happened? What evidence supports the alternative explanations?
Being Assertive Without Being Aggressive
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The Dangers Of Being Angry
An appropriate level of anger can spur us to take proper action, solve problems, and handle situations constructively.
However, uncontrolled anger in the workplace can have many negative consequences. It can cloud our ability to make good decisions, affect relationships with co-workers, and destroy trust between team members.
Effective team working is based on sharing ideas in a supportive environment. If people think their team leader will fly into a rage if they suggest something, they’ll stop contributing and the team won’t function at its best.
Unexpressed anger can be as harmful as outward rage. You may not express your anger but instead bear grudges or feel like you’re a victim, with damaging consequences for team cohesion.
Frequent anger, whether expressed or not, poses health risks, too. One study found that people who get angry regularly are more likely to suffer from heart disease. Research also highlights a link between anger and premature death. Further studies show it correlates to anxiety and depression.
which are hunger, anger, loneliness, tiredness that can signal you’re close to burnout.
Coping Skills For Teenage Anxiety
- Exposure therapy for anxiety: More than one quarter of Americans will experience an anxiety disorder during their lifetime.Exposure therapy can be an incredibly effective way to overcome certain types of anxiety, by training your mind to realize that whatever youre anxious about will not come to fruition most of the time.By experiencing what youre anxious about, youll learn that its not too bad, and your anxiety is much worse than the thing you were feeling anxious about.
- Listening to music to cope with anxiety: I think we all know that music can make us feel things, right?Some songs can make you feel sad, some songs can make you feel hyped up, some songs can just connect to you and relate to your life on a deep level. Whatever the case may be, it can be a good idea to create playlists that you can get lost in when youre feeling anxious.This is like a form of meditation. Whether frantic and wild jazz is what you like when you feel anxious, or calm and chilled out lofi hiphop is what youre in the mood for, try things out learn which songs can make you feel calmed, relaxed, and comfortable when youre anxious.
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How Do You Cope With Stress
There are positive and negative ways to cope with stress. When properly managed, stress can help you complete goals and improve the quality of your life. If improperly managed, stress can lead to excessive fatigue, irritability, anger, depression, and illness.
Examine the way in which you cope with stress. Do you have healthy or unhealthy coping strategies?
Healthy coping strategies include:
Unhealthy coping strategies:
Instead of relieving stress, unhealthy coping strategies often contribute to higher stress levels. This is because unhealthy behavior can further complicate your life, resulting in more stress.
Some Of The Reactions To Stress Among Teens Who Are Having A Hard Time Coping Include
- Feeling anxious: Anxiety and stress are often closely related, and can manifest themselves in a variety of ways. Anxiety is also often tied to various signs of depression in teens.
- Becoming withdrawn: Its not uncommon for teenagers to become a bit withdrawn, this introspection can be a part of self-discovery, but when its lead-on by immense stress, then its good to try to utilize teenage coping skills to resolve it.
- Being aggressive: Sometimes, with a lack of coping skills in teens, stress is handled by being aggressive, either physically aggressive or speaking and acting in an aggressive way.
- Feeling physically unwell: A lack of ability to cope can lead a teenager to feeling unwell physically including an increase in their rate and breathing. Hands can be sweaty or clammy, along with an increase in blood flow.
- Fight, flight, or freeze: Stress can trigger someones fight or flight reaction, or it can just cause them to freeze up in a form of parallels.
- Substance issues: When someone lacks the ability to cope with things, they may turn to alcohol or other substances. This is not a way to actually deal with the issue, and often leads to even greater problems. Learning skills to cope for teens is much more productive, so lets go over some of those right now.
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Tip : Recognize If You Need Professional Help
If, despite putting these previous anger management techniques into practice, your anger is still spiraling out of control, or if youre getting into trouble with the law or hurting others, you need more help.
Anger management classes allow you to meet others coping with the same struggles and learn tips and techniques for managing your anger.
Therapy, either group or individual, can be a great way to explore the reasons behind your anger and identify triggers. Therapy can also provide a safe place to practice new skills for expressing anger.
Anger isnt the real problem in an abusive relationship
Despite what many believe, domestic violence and abuse does not happen due to the abusers loss of control over their temper. Rather, its a deliberate choice to control another person. If you are abusive towards your spouse or partner, know that you need specialized treatment, not regular anger management classes.