Anger is a strong emotion that can be hard to control for many. Unfortunately, it’s also the most important emotion to control. Failure to do so can result in physical harm not only to yourself but to the people you care about as well. Because of that, it’s very important to develop anger management activities and techniques that can be used when you feel your emotions are getting out of hand.
The first and most important key to managing your anger is to avoid the trigger. Triggers may differ from person to person, but usually, several common ones include alcohol, caffeine, sugar, and lack of sleep. All of these items have a tendency to make people impatient. When you’re impatient, you’re more likely to get angry with flaring nostrils and a frown on your face, and even worse, these items all impair judgment. Once you’ve learned what your triggers are, you can work towards avoiding them, allowing you to manage your anger better.
Avoiding triggers doesn’t completely get rid of the emotion. Feeling emotions is a normal part of being human. The goal isn’t to stop being upset, but to simply find a better way of handling it.
Some of the most popular techniques involve stopping and counting to ten or even taking a timeout for yourself. Both of these methods allow you to step back and better assess the situation. For example, if you find yourself wanting to yell at someone, walk away for a few minutes. Stop and think, what will yell really accomplish? You will likely hurt the other person you’re yelling at and whatever the problem is will go unsolved. Instead, take a timeout and better think about how you can discuss the problem in a calm way. Because you’re not yelling, the opposing party won’t get defensive, and you can work together to solve the problem.
Another great technique for releasing anger is to exercise. If you find yourself wanting to scream or hit something, go for a run or invest in a punching bag instead. This can also be paired with the timeout method. Next time you find yourself about to fly off the handle, spend a few minutes exercising. This will help to relax and better calm you down so you can solve the problem effectively.
Finally, practicing relaxing skills can be a great technique to use if you’re in a situation where you can’t take a break, such as while working. Close your eyes and practice taking several deep breathes. Starting at your toes, tense up each muscle, then relax them. You can also try imagining yourself in a relaxing environment, such as at a beach. These methods help to separate yourself from the situation the same way walking away does, but without actually having to walk away.