7 ways to effectively manage anger

7 ways to effectively manage anger


Enjoying positive emotions such as happiness requires managing "negative emotions" such as anger so read on and enjoy this practical and informative article…

by Nick Lim-Howe (Clinical Psychologist at www.makingchanges.com.au) 

I am probably not alone in saying that anger is one of those emotions that many of us would prefer not to feel.  Yet it is a normal, healthy emotion that everyone experiences that can range from mild irritation to an intense rage or fury.  While it is OK to feel angry, it is usually the way in which we respond and express that anger that can cause problems.

Here are some ways that I have found to be effective in managing anger.

1. Sleep and diet are vital in not only our ability to control anger but in maintaining positive mood. A healthy diet and quality regular sleep are essential when trying successfully control and express anger. While this may sound obvious, it should be one of the first things to check.

2. Take regular breaks. Try to take a break from your everyday working environment. If you work indoors, try to spend some time outside. If you work in a noisy or active environment, try to have some quiet time each day. Effective and regular meditation is a great way to learn how to give our minds a break.

3. To be able to manage anger, we must at first be able to recognise it. The earlier we detect anger, the easier and more time we have to manage it. 

Write a list of situations that usually tick you off. It might be being cut off in traffic, somebody jumping queue or running late for an appointment. Acknowledge that in some scenarios we have little control than others, but we can control our reaction.

Watch out for the physiological signs of anger such as tightness in the chest, a rush of energy or heat, tensed muscles, grinding teeth, increased heath rate or racing thoughts.

4. Time out. Removing yourself from the situation/trigger for your anger is important when trying to cool off. Excuse yourself from the situation, and go for a walk. Take in deep breaths and count down from 10. If you still feel a bit wired repeat.

5. Regular exercise can help manage some of the physiological symptoms of anger. Often going for a run or ‘hitting’ the gym (metaphorically speaking) can help you calm down and expend excess energy in a more productive manner.

5. Talking it through with a third party can sometimes help alleviate some anger, as well provide an objective point of view.

6. Practice Acceptance – Accept that sometimes we don’t always have to be right. At time it may be best to agree to disagree, compromise and learn to accept this.

7. Learn to act rather than react – Taking physical or mental space from the problem can give us the time we need to cool off and come up with an plan for action. Being skilled in problem solving and assertiveness are key ingredients to effective conflict resolution.

Remember it’s not about getting rid of anger all together, but about dealing with those emotions so you can express yourself more productively.

If you would like any help managing anger, developing your problem solving or assertiveness skills further, don’t hesitate to get in touch on 02 9231 2522 or at nick@makingchanges.com.au