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Anger Management Tips

Category: Anger Management

Anger Management - Smile
Photo Courtesy of Zara

Anger Management Series provides self help material to deal with anger. It raises and answers questions like – how to control anger, how to become anger-free etc. It attempts to do so by understanding anger, putting together varied anger management strategies and reviewing books on the same subject.

[Click here for Part I : Decoding Anger]

[Click here for Part II : How Did We Form Our Current Anger Management Style]

[Click here for Part III : Kaizen Way of Managing Anger]

[Click here for Part IV : How To Pick Your First Anger Management Area]

[Click here for Part V : Honor Your Anger]

If you have been following and processing what has been said so far in the anger management series, you can actually manage to work on anger management independently. The idea behind this series had been to get you thinking about your anger management style and give your thoughts a direction. After reading this series, a lot of people might feel that this is all common sense and logic derived. I actually hope all of you do reach that point because if it is so simple, then this is really something you can do on your own, isn’t it?.

As long as you are aware of what you are feeling, doing and thinking, you will be able to form your own anger management style – one which suits you and you feel comfortable in. There will be lot of points where you will stop and wonder what action to take next – which is all right. Books and internet is filled with practical advice on ‘what to do’. The missing part usually is ‘what to think’. That is the gap I aim to fill with this series. With the right thinking direction, the ‘what to do’ solutions offered will start making sense. You will be able to then decide which solutions are meant for you and which aren’t.

The most practical example I can provide for this one is – ‘When in anger, count till 10’. This doesn’t make sense independently. What will happen by counting till 10? Even though a lot of people vouch for this to work, you might be getting frustrated at how ineffective this is. With the help of thinking tools, you might be able to identify that ‘counting till 10’ fits the category of controlling anger (momentarily) and redirecting your mind somewhere else. This might not work if you are highly aggressive and you need to release the pent up emotions, it will not work if you usually keep anger within and need a release. It does not manage the source of anger at all.

So while I list below all the ‘what to do’ answers, do think where do they fit in your anger management strategy. Do they help you to

  • Be Anger-Free
  • Release Anger
  • Re-direct Anger
  • Control Anger
  • Manage The Source Of Anger

Anger Management Tips

  • Everything in life is temporary. Allow yourself to feel anger, allow it to go.
  • Each emotion is a choice. Ask yourself ‘Do I want to be angry over this?’. Often the answer will be no and anger will vanish instantly.
  • List of questions you can ask yourself:
    • How is my anger going to change anything?
    • Am I going to benefit by anger?
    • Can I deal with this without getting angry?
    • What would (my role model) do in this case?
    • What is really bothering me?
    • What can I do to make things better?
  • Words can trigger emotions. Use right words to describe how you are feeling. Am I angry or frustrated? Am I frustrated or a little irritated? Am I irritated or inconvenienced?
  • Bargain with anger. (Similar to Bargain With Pain)
  • Think before acting out in anger – what will the consequence of this action be?
  • Close your eyes and think of the one you love, remember your happiest moments – this should calm you down considerably
  • Do some kind of physical activity – walk, swim, jog, kick box, dance, exercise
  • Do something to relax – breathing exercises, yoga, meditation, listen to soothing music, go out for a walk in nature
  • Speak out (to whom is your choice). Do not bottle up.
  • Forgive the ones who did you wrong
  • Use humor
  • Keep an anger log to process later
  • Avoid situations that make you angry
  • Drink a glass of water (I actually try to eat water. Soothes my nerves)
  • Take a bath
  • Become positive
  • Deal with anger when it’s small – Learn to become more aware of what you are feeling, and recognise your anger when it occurs. Notice your particular signs that anger is building (eg become tense, less tolerant, develop a headache etc)
  • Take time out
  • Break Free Of Anxiety Habits
  • Develop communication skills
  • Stay organized
  • Stay before time
  • Use power of your mind to reduce stress
  • Know your values and goals
  • Accept life – things will not ‘always’ work out the way you want. Life sometimes is unfair.
  • Communicate verbally and clearly. Don’t expect people to be mind readers
  • Learn to deal with pain
  • Let Go
  • Break your pattern. Do one thing different.

Some tips shared in comments:

  • Clap till 10 real hard – [Ananya]
  • It is OK to be angry – [Urban Panther]
  • Sedona Method to release negative emotions – [Marelisa]
  • Become emphatic – See from the other person’s perspective – [Urban Panther]
  • Communicate with the person who sets you off – [Barbara]

How do you manage anger? Do share your tips in the comment section.

This is Part VI of Anger Management Series. This is also the last one.
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Reader's Comments

  1. Cath Lawson | October 3rd, 2008 at 7:26 am

    Hi Avani – it’s really useful how you’ve brought everything you’ve talked about together in this post. It makes it really easy to understand it and apply it in real life. I really like this bit you wrote: “Everything in life is temporary. Allow yourself to feel anger, allow it to go.”

    That is so true – often we get angry about things that are forgotten a few days later – so letting it go is important.

    I’ve linked to this series in a post today as it’s based on a question you asked in the comments section.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Stacey / Create a Balance | October 3rd, 2008 at 12:20 pm

    “As long as you are aware of what you are feeling, doing and thinking, you will be able to form your own anger management style”. I think that is very true. When I am angry, I try to take a step back to simply become aware that I am feeling angry. I try to just sit in the moment of my awareness. This usually helps me be present and prepares me for the next steps.

    Reply to this comment
  3. Marelisa | October 3rd, 2008 at 3:58 pm

    Hi Avani: I think the questions your propose that everyone ask themselves when they are angry are excellent. I also think that since anger is such a strong emotion your suggestion of physical exercise is very good, and then follow it up with something relaxing. Thanks for the link :-)

    Reply to this comment
  4. Sara at On Simplicity | October 3rd, 2008 at 4:52 pm

    So far, the tips in the wrap-up have been my favorite part. I’m definitely a person who needs a physical release. Physically moving the emotions out with some kind of force has been very helpful. Is it weird that I actually kind of enjoy being angry? I’m usually very mellow and laidback, so when something gets me charged up enough to be angry, it snaps me out of that. Fortunately, it usually makes me happy, and I end up laughing it out.

    And thanks for including the tip that we need to accept that life is sometimes unfair. Railing against that is wasted energy.

    Reply to this comment
  5. Maya | October 3rd, 2008 at 7:25 pm

    I love the questions. I really do.
    Since I had a problem with denying anger for a long time, I ALWAYS acknowledge it now…and then deal with it “when it is small” like you said. That is where the questions help. If the questions do not work, I end with “that is life” and it is not fair to waste so much of my precious energy getting angry.

    This was a great journey you took me on. Thanks!

    Maya´s last blog post..The key to happiness and balance is right with you, just learn to use it – Part 1 of the thinkmaya framework

    Reply to this comment
  6. Barbara Swafford | October 4th, 2008 at 4:21 am

    Hi Avani – Thank you for the mention. To add to my other comment, I also agree with you that a lot can be accomplished with humor. Plus, we do need to let it go.

    Barbara Swafford´s last blog post..Biggest Misconceptions About Blogging

    Reply to this comment
  7. Davina | October 4th, 2008 at 12:52 pm

    Hi Avani. I’ve noticed that when I am going through a phase of “handling” anger well, I feel more content with myself. Yesterday I had an occasion pop up that would normally have made me angry and I heard myself feeling (if that makes any sense), that I just didn’t want to get angry this time.

    I have enjoyed this series. Thanks for the summary.

    Davina´s last blog post..Creative Luny Landing In The Sand

    Reply to this comment
  8. Sports Supplements | October 4th, 2008 at 9:14 pm

    Do you find yourself having anger management issues at work People are dealing with more frustrating situations these days at work that add to stress. Sports Supplements

    Reply to this comment
  9. Urban Panther | October 5th, 2008 at 3:48 pm

    Hey, Avani, I’m glad my comments were able to contribute to this series! It was a really good one. Thanks!

    Urban Panther´s last blog post..The oh so virtuous Panther

    Reply to this comment
  10. Amanda Linehan | October 5th, 2008 at 8:25 pm

    I really liked what you said about being aware of what you are feeling, doing, and thinking and how that can help you develop an anger management style. Being aware of yourself is a realy important skill to have.

    Amanda Linehan´s last blog post..7 Ways To Excel At Resting

    Reply to this comment
  11. Avani-Mehta | October 6th, 2008 at 12:02 am

    @Cath: I running a bit behind bcoz of an early weekend break. Thank you for linking to this series and answering my question on your blog. Writing an entire post to one question must have taken a lot of thought, time and effort. I truly appreciate it.

    If you liked “Everything in life is temporary. Allow yourself to feel anger, allow it to go.”, observe your mind and thoughts when in anger. Sometimes it’s funny, one part of mind is letting anger go, and the other is struggling to hold on to it for silly reasons.

    Reply to this comment
  12. Avani-Mehta | October 6th, 2008 at 12:09 am

    @Stacey: Step back and become aware – this truly seems like a universal law. Applies to practically everything in life. Doesn’t it?

    @Marelisa: You are welcome. I love those questions as well. I found a book related to Sedona Method today in library. Am enjoying it so far. Quite interesting. Will mail you in case I need some clarification or guidance.

    @Sara: You literally convert anger to a positive force it seems. :) I am a true follower of this quote by Reinhold Niebuhr – “God, grant me the serenity to accept things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference”

    Reply to this comment
  13. Avani-Mehta | October 6th, 2008 at 12:12 am

    @Maya: This turned out to be a great journey for me too. Thanks to all of you.

    Acknowledging anger is kind of half battle won. Since otherwise, we keep spending all our time and energy in running away from it.

    @Barbara: You are welcome. I agree with all your points.

    Reply to this comment
  14. Avani-Mehta | October 6th, 2008 at 12:18 am

    @Davina: It actually does make sense. After we go through some rough emotions for a long time, something within us snaps and says ‘no more’. That’s when we simply decide to not to feel that emotion and move beyond. I feel the same way with sadness. It’s simply not worth it.

    @Sports Supplements: Yes, difficult work environments do add on to stress and frustration.

    @Urban Panther: I am glad too. Thanks to you too. You have shared not just with tips but with parts from your own life.

    @Amanda: I agree. Being aware is a skill which can benefit us at a lot of places in life not just anger management.

    Reply to this comment
  15. banji | October 7th, 2008 at 12:50 am

    The idea of bargaining with anger is something new to me. I will try that :) Thanks

    Personally, I’ve always taught a person who can control anger is the strongest man in the world. Think about it, trying to calm anger is pretty much like trying to stop an active volcano from erupting. If that’s not strength I don’t know what is

    Reply to this comment
  16. sharon | October 7th, 2008 at 6:52 pm

    Ms Mehta, you desrve some respect in your work! When went through l could see all the gaps which l could’nt see.”Anger”, I ow you something but maybe how l can pay you is maybe just have at some of my posts. You are gifted but please don’t change negatively because with you l have myself on you.

    sharon´s last blog post..Ask and It Is Given-Segment Intending

    Reply to this comment
  17. Avani-Mehta | October 7th, 2008 at 10:15 pm

    @Banji: I agree. Controlling anger is a challenge and anyone who can master it, is to be admirable.

    @Sharon: Thank you for your kind words. You don’t owe me anything. I am glad I could make a difference in your life.

    Reply to this comment

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