“Anger is nothing more than an outward expression or hurt, fear and frustrationn” – Dr. Phil McGraw
Anger is a basic human emotion experienced by everyone. It’s a part of being human. Many people can have angry outbursts that can come in the forms of sulking, sarcasm or malicious gossip. You can also experience feelings of guilt after an angry outburst. Anger management is a very important skill to have to deal with these outbursts.
Anger is not a ‘bad’ emotion, and in fact can sometimes be useful. It can aid us in standing up for ourselves and correcting injustices. When we manage anger well, it ca lead us to make positive changes in our lives. However, when anger is not managed well it has the potential to destroy relationships with friends and family.
Three components of anger:
- Physical Reactions – anger often triggers a rush of adrenaline, generally known as our ‘flight or fight’ response.
- Cognitive Experience – anger often alters how we see or perceive things that happened to us.
- Behavior – anger generally triggers violent behaviors such as slamming doors or raising our voices.
Anger Management tools to control your outbursts
- Breathing: deliberately slowing down and deepening your breaths quietens the outbursts over a period of time.
- ABC Model: the ABC Model is a simple way to control angry outbursts. It involves becoming Aware of the anger, Blocking and Challenging the angry thoughts. Aware, Block, Challenge.
- Visualize and Rehearse: Visualizing events and substituting the anger with calm, controlled behavior.
- Identifying what’s triggering it: identifying what is triggering the anger is key to controlling the outbursts.
- Exercise: 30 minutes of exercise, five times a week will improve your mood.
- Reducing or cutting out over-stimulation: from television, movies, computer games, drugs or other unbalancing elements that can trigger anger.
Every person is unique with their personal history. Part of the work in therapy is to explore the triggers of the outbursts and then looking for the best way to manage them. A therapist can equip you with the necessary anger management skills. If you are experiencing difficulties managing your anger, then it is worth considering visiting a therapist.