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Are Anger Management Exercises Any Use To You?

Apr 6, 2008
Each of us has lost our temper at some time or the other, and none of us fail to regret that anger, which seems uncontrollable at the time. Whether it's a momentary loss of control or a intense, long-lasting surge of emotion, anger can be very damaging - to relationships, at work and to yourself. It may not be healthy to suppress it, but we can't let it loose indiscriminately, either.

It is important to know how to handle anger. There are ways to control, even channelize emotions, and in the case of anger, such methods are particularly well worth studying and implementing. Here are some useful anger management exercises.

The most common method of easing anger is relaxation. Deliberately making yourself relax in a tense situation can soothe rage and make things better. There are many relaxation techniques, including deep breathing, repetition of a word or mantra, visualizing calming images, or slow exercise like yoga or tai-chi.

Another way is to replace angry thoughts with calm ones - this is called cognitive restructuring and can be very useful in reducing anger. Try to be logical and aware that things can't go your way all the time.

When anger is because of specific circumstances, try to solve the underlying problem, thus removing your reason for anger. Don't give in to frustration though, if the solution is not readily apparent, or non-existent - facing the situation coolly will calm you down, too.

Be careful about communication when you're angry - think before you speak, to avoid misunderstandings; and listen carefully to the person you're talking to without leaping to conclusions. Try to hear what the person is really saying rather than getting offended by imagined slights.

Another anger management exercise is to train your mind to remember to maintain your sense of humor. It's hard to be angry and amused at the same time, so look for the funny side of things - there's usually one! This doesn't mean you should laugh off problems; it's just that humor gives perspective to the most emotionally fraught situation and dissipates anger as nothing else can.

Other anger management exercises include changing timings or your surroundings to give ourselves a break from routine pressures, avoiding the situation till you are calmer, and finding alternatives that will not cause anger.

Let's look at some more anger management exercises. One method of dealing with anger is to control it at three stages: before it happens (by understanding and preventing it through relaxation and other methods); during anger itself (by withdrawing from the situation or looking at the lighter side of it); and after anger (by making sure the anger is released and dissipated and by analyzing the reasons of your anger carefully). Sincere apology to those you may have hurt or offended is an important component here.

Try this anger management exercise: ask yourself some questions which will help you understand and manage your anger. Does anger solve anything, really? Doesn't it make situations worse? What is making you angry and how can you express it without hurting other people? Is it possible for you to channelize your anger into something productive?

When you are able to address these issues, you'll find the starting point of effective anger management.
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