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Anger Management

Question

I have anger issues that I need to resolve. I am told that I am irritable, focusing too much on getting results either as a father or as a colleague or manager. I think that I lack focus on building relationships and being nice to those around me. I do not think that I am very good at managing my anger – whether it is with my family members, my wife or my children or at work with my colleagues. I think that at times, I bring my work issues back and I seethe. I do not want this to affect my relationship with my close ones and my colleagues. How should I resolve my anger issues and manage my anger?

Answer

Anger is a completely normal human emotion. But when it gets out of control and turns destructive, it can lead to problems — problems at work, in your personal relationships, and in the overall quality of your life. Like other emotions, it is accompanied by physiological and biological changes.When you get angry, your heart rate and blood pressure go up, as do the levels of your adrenaline and noradrenaline. The instinctive, natural way to express anger is to respond aggressively. Anger is a natural, adaptive response to threats; it inspires powerful, often aggressive feelings and behaviours, which allow us to fight and to defend ourselves when we are attacked. A certain amount of anger, therefore, is useful. On the other hand, when it goes out of control, it becomes a hindrance. The goal of anger management is to reduce both your emotional feelings and the physiological arousal that anger causes. You can’t get rid of, or avoid, the things or the people that enrage you, nor can you change them, but you can learn to control your reactions.

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Some tips to help get your anger under control:

  • Take a ‘timeout’. Although it may seem unbelievable, counting to 10 or taking deep breaths before reacting really can help defuse your temper.
  • Get some space. Walking away or distancing yourself from the situation can help defuse your temper and give you a better perspective of things.
  • Learn to express your anger in a constructive way. It’s healthy to express your frustration in a non-confrontational way. Some healthy ways include hobbies that you enjoy. It can even be as simple as doing housework.
  • Get some exercise. Physical activity can not just provide an outlet for your emotions but has the added advantage of producing calming endorphins to relax you. Go for a brisk walk or a run or swim.
  • Practice relaxation skills. Learning skills to relax and de-stress can also help control your temper. Practice deep-breathing exercises or visualise a relaxing scene. Other proven ways to ease anger include listening to music, writing in a journal and doing yoga.
  • Think carefully before you say anything. Otherwise, in the heat of the moment, you’re likely to say something you’ll regret. It can be helpful to write down what you want to say so that you can stick to the issues.
  • Identify solutions to the situation. Instead of focusing on what made you mad, work with the person who angered you to resolve the issue at hand. Use ‘I’ statements when describing the problem. This will help you to avoid criticising or placing blame.
  • Don’t hold a grudge. If you can forgive the other person, it will help you both. Focus on moving forward.
  • Use humour to release tensions. Humour can help diffuse tension. Sharing a joke or looking at the situation in a light hearted way helps diffuse the situation. In some extreme cases of poor anger control, a review by a mental health professional may be beneficial.


Related Brochure:

Anger Mgt

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