Do people continue to tell you that you have anger management issues? Have you consistently found yourself in situations where you are unable to control your anger? Do you get angry over the smallest things that really should be of any consequence to you at all?
If this sounds like you, then you may be suffering from anger management issues, which can be difficult for anyone to handle. Allowing rage to consume your everyday life will lead to the deterioration of your relationships and possibly jail. If you can’t control your emotions sufficiently to interact with strangers and loved ones, then you will probably want to seek help.
Anger is one of the most potent of human emotions. It allows us to vent our feelings in (hopefully) healthy ways, and to keep ourselves from being taken advantage of. We express our anger in an enormous variety of ways, some of which may lead to negative consequences.
Let’s say, for example, that you discover that your co-worker has been stealing your ideas and presenting them to the boss. Someone who you considered a friend and who has proven thus far to be a reliable confidante has suddenly gone behind your back in order to further his or her own station with your company. How do you express your anger, and how do you resolve it?
Someone with anger management issues will fly off the proverbial handle and go straight to the top, filled with irate, justified anger. He might throw things, hit someone, threaten, or storm out of the office in a flurry of red-hot rage. What this person doesn’t realize is that his actions are not going to get him anywhere, and that it certainly won’t fix the problem.
Rather than throwing things (or a fist), it is better to go somewhere quiet to calm down. It is okay to embrace your anger in private until you are able to communicate effectively with other people; it is not okay to unleash your rage on every unsuspecting person you come across. Taking a few minutes to inhale deeply and look at things objectively will improve your attitude and bring you down a few notches.
When you feel that you are ready to confront the situation, sit down with your co-worker and calmly explain how you feel. Verbally attacking someone is not going to win you any points, and the other person will probably feed on your anger, turning their rage onto you.
When understanding the origins of anger, it is important to realize what other people are thinking and feeling. Maybe you’ve been wronged, and maybe you haven’t, but the other person has the right to a response. Assuming that what you’ve heard, seen, or deduced is accurate can end in disaster, because there are invariably components that you have missed in your blind rage. Hearing the other side of the story will at least gain you some perspective before you say something that you will regret.
Anger management is not about people who murder, rape, or batter. It isn’t about people who commit heinous crimes and who don’t care about society or the people in their lives. Anger management is about everyday people who simply lose it every once in a while, and those are for whom this article is written.
Step back and take a look at the last few weeks. Have there been times when you’ve gotten angry at little or no provocation? Do you grit your teeth, chew on your fingernails, or tap your feet in frustration? Do things like heavy traffic, slow Internet connections, and last-minute schedule changes fling you into a whirlwind of anger? If so, it’s time to think about what you can do to help yourself.
There are classes in anger management, but that might not be necessary for you. The classes cost money, and are often geared toward people who have serious emotional and psychological problems, which you probably do not possess. It is faster and more effective to change little sections of your life in order to promote healthier coping mechanisms.
1. Stress Relief
Stress can be a major component of anger issues, and will reinforce whatever problems you might already be experiencing. In stressful situations, we tend to throw the responsibility into someone else’s lap, thereby escaping blame for our own condition and calling attention to our lives in a victimized manner. When life becomes too hectic and you begin to spread yourself too thin, look carefully at your schedule and try to cut out unnecessary activity. Taking too many classes, working too many hours, and having too many extracurricular obligations can add to stress and make it difficult for us to cope.
You might also consider getting a stress relief object: a stone that you rub, a rubber ball that you squeeze. These tools can help refocus your energy and calm your nerves.
2. Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff
Too often, we become wrapped up in the little incidents that happen, and forget to concentrate on the big picture. If the dishes didn’t get done tonight, don’t worry, they’ll be waiting there for you in the morning. If traffic makes you a little late to work, your boss will understand. These little annoyances and obstacles are what make up our everyday lives, and if you get too caught up in each and every detail, you’ll find yourself spinning out of control.
3. Get Proactive
Sometimes it’s just a matter of taking charge of your life. Anger can stem from the feeling that we have no control over what goes on in our world, but if you are proactive about making changes, you will feel a sense of accomplishment. If your hubby forgets to pay the electric bill on time, don’t scream at him; call the utility company and rectify the situation. Taking steps to correct a problem can negate the need to get upset over its existence.
4. Lose The Attitude
When someone says something that offends you, or if you hear about something that really makes you mad, don’t comment right away. You might be goaded into displaying a reaction that isn’t necessary for the circumstance. Take a moment to assess the situation, and then comment when you are less angry. Work toward a solution rather than raging about the problem; you’ll have less to be angry about that way.
5. Find A Cure
There has to be something that you enjoy doing that relieves you of every last ounce of stress and anger. Maybe it’s reading a good book or taking a drive. Perhaps you like to play tennis or take long walks or get your hair cut. Whatever it is, find it, and use it to your advantage. Whenever you begin to feel an overload of anger, perform the activity that takes it all away.
I can’t stress this enough: exercise relieves tension and anger! If you find yourself brimming with rage and frustration, get active. Take a run or play a game of dodge ball with the kids. It doesn’t matter what kind of exercise you engage in, as long as you complete immerse yourself in that activity.