Many of the people that I see in my practice mask their feelings with anger. Anger is what they can identify with. Embarrassment, disappointment, fear, shame; these feelings are hidden under the guise of anger. Anger is just a feeling. It is neither bad nor good. However, anger can become a problem when it is experienced excessively, explosively or is expressed violently. Venting anger in an aggressive way can cause a person to be more aggressive. Exploding with anger too often can cause stress on the body leading to hypertension, heart disease, and a diminished immune system. Learning to manage your anger in a more healthy way can improve your quality of life.

Try these 5 tips to begin managing your anger more appropriately.

  1. Become more aware of your anger triggers. Are there certain situations or events that trigger your anger?
  2. Take a time out. Leave the situation that is causing an escalation in your anger or stop the conversation.
  3. Try relaxation through breathing. Instead of allowing your anger to trigger your body’s stress response, you can practice taking slow deep breaths in order to hinder anger escalation.
  4. Learn how to implement Thought Stopping. Picture a stop sign, imagine someone telling you to “stop” or say “stop”. Then focus on something else; something that gives you pleasure like going on vacation, hanging out with friends, taking a walk, etc. Keep those positive thoughts in your mind until you can feel your anger de-escalating.
  5. Improve your ability to handle conflict assertively.
  • Identify the problem
  • Identify your feelings associated with the problem
  • Identify the impact the problem has on you
  • Decide whether to solve the problem
  • Offer a solution that can serve both parties

If you regularly struggle to contain your anger outbursts and often end up hurting the ones you love, consider asking for help. There are many trained professionals that specialize in helping people learn how to appropriately manage anger.

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