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Anger Management: 10 Action Steps To Safely Process Anger

Aug 17, 2007
Managing anger is actually not as complex as it may first seem. The first steps are to identify and acknowledge your own anger and then try to find the reason or cause of why are you angry. Emotions should not be suppressed. Repressing them only makes them rear their ugly heads in the long run, usually in a misdirected, explosive way.

Expressing one's anger is important, one only needs to do so in a manner that is appropriate and does not cause any one else, or even one's self, harm. The following are anger management tips to keep you and those around you emotionally and physically safe.

1. Buy yourself some time before reacting.

There may be instances where you realize that your outbursts of anger are having a negative effect on your friends, family and work colleagues, it is important therefore to take a little time out. If you find your anger is boiling up and will explode any minute, count from one to ten. This helps prior to actually leaving or reacting to the current angry situation at hand.

2. Do a physical activity.

Move a muscle, change a thought. Doing a physical activity could actually help provide you a positive outlet for any of your pent up emotions or anger, especially if you feel the emotions erupting. Go run or walk around, clean the house or office. Go swimming or try to lift some weights, shoot some baskets.

3. Calm, calm, calm yourself.

Whether you are angry or not, it is always helpful to do some breathing-deep exercises. You could try to visualize a scene that is relaxing. You could also try to repeat a word or a phrase that is calming for you. Repeat this as often as you possibly could. The word or phrase could be as simple as, relax or chill out.

You could also try listening to some calming music, do some painting, jot your thoughts out on a journal just to let your feelings out. You could also do some yoga.

4. Express yourself appropriately

It is really not advisable to stew. When you are angry, immediately acknowledge and own your anger and try to kick over alternative means of expression. If it is quite impossible to address your own anger in a manner that is safe and pertinent to the situation. Talk it out with a friend, family, therapist or counselor or any other person you think you could trust.

5. Always play the tape forward.

In the heat of anger, there may be instances where things said or done are those you usually would later regret. This actually hurts more than the anger itself, and one that you wished you could always take back but never could.

As much as possible, think twice before saying anything or acting in the heat of an angry moment. Explore the future ramifications.

6. Work with, not work against.

Realize that it is always best to work directly with the particular personor situation that has angered you in order to identify the possible solutions of a particular situation.

7. Hold yourself accountable.

Deep down, using statements that start with an 'I' help in describing a particular problem and so assists in holding yourself accountable rather than unnecessarily placing the blame on someone else. You may say, 'I am upset' rather than, 'You made me upset'

In actuality, no one has more control of your feelings than you. Do not let others make you angry without your express permission. You can choose to be angry, and you can also choose not to be angry as well.

8. Try not to carry resentment or grudge.

Holding resentment is actually unproductive and unhelpful in the long run. It is heavy and it holds you back. Believe it or not, it is always easier to forgive and let go. Resentments can linger for years after the event in your mind, when the person who affected you has long disappeared from the scene.

9. Be realistic.

The fact of the matter is that it is quite unrealistic to make sure or even expect anyone to go behave the way you exactly want them to.

10. Don't take yourself so seriously.

IN the grand scheme of the cosmos, how important was the event that set you off? Humor can be an effective diffuser of tension. Remember there are many ways of looking at a situation, maybe your way is not the correct way.

There are many more tolls to use in anger management. Keep a journal and note every time you get angry or on any situation you feel has angered you. You may refer to this list in the future and use it as a productive tool to know which things set you off in order for you to know, monitor and be aware of the reactions you express, in order for you to change these for the better.

The most important anger management tip is to identify, own, and process the emotion when it occurs and not let it build up.
About the Author
Pick up your Free Recovery Rolodex, Over 88 pages of self help and recovery tips, resources and links to enhance your life in addiction recovery.The author, Bill Urell MA.CAAP-II, is an addictions therapist at a leading residential treatment center. He teaches healthy life styles and life skills. Join our growing community. Tell your story! Visit: http://www.AddictionRecoveryBasics.com/
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