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Strategies That Tame the Anger Monster

Aug 18, 2007
Here are a few simple things that you can learn that will allow you to calm down and relax. Take Deep Breaths: Breathe from your diaphragm. When you breathe from your chest, it won't relax you like deep breathing will. Picture in your mind your breath coming up from way down in your abdominal area.

Slowly repeat a calming word or phrase such as "relax," "take it easy", "it's ok." Repeat the word or phrase to yourself while breathing deeply.

Imagery can help to relax you. Visualize a relaxing experience. You can think of something that is a memory of a fun and relaxing time you had - like at a beach. If you can't think of a memory, use your imagination.

Try doing yoga-like exercises that relax your muscles and make you feel much calmer.

Practice these techniques on a daily basis, so they become second nature to you. Then you will be able to use them automatically when you're in a situation that may make you angry.

Change the Way You Think

People who express anger often tend to curse, swear or speak in highly emotional ways. This response reflects the way they think. When you become angry your thoughts can tend to become overly dramatic.

Try replacing these dramatic thoughts with more rational ones. An example may be instead of saying: "This is just unbelievably terrible. It's a disaster," you might think this instead: "It's an upsetting situation and it's certainly understandable that I am upset, but it's not the end of the world. I can deal with this. My getting angry is not going to solve this problem. I need to stay calm and think rationally in order to find a solution." Be aware of using words like "never" or "always" when you are talking or thinking about yourself or others. This leads to negative thinking and is counterproductive and usually not accurate.

Words like these can also fuel your anger and alienate others around you who might otherwise want to help you to come up with a solution. In situations where you are upset, having others around who sympathize with you and can help you to solve the situation is preferable to alienating others and scaring them away.

Expressing anger in a non-productive manner is not going to solve the problem and it is not going to make you feel better about the situation or about yourself. Expressing anger in an uncontrolled manner may make you feel worse about yourself and the situation. You could even make the situation worse during your outburst.

Thinking the situation through in a logical manner can defeat feelings of anger. Anger, even when it is understandable and justified can easily become irrational, uncontrolled, and unproductive if not contained and redirected.

Unpleasant situations happen to all of us. Who hasn't been ill-treated by a consumer-related incidence? It happens, and while in the midst of situations like these; keeping your cool and staying in control, will assure that you will have the best outcome possible.

One good strategy to master is - Problem Solving

Taking positive steps to coming up with a solution to what is upsetting you can help to make you feel better:

1. Analyze what the problem is by identifying all participants and events that created the problem

2. Gather information regarding the subject of the problem

3. Understand the dynamics involved from all angles.

4. Brain-storm all possible solutions and scenarios or consequences.

5. Make a plan of action and a goal as to when to accomplish your solution.

Not all problems have solutions despite our hope that they do. Sometimes all we can do is learn how to cope with the situation in a healthy, positive manner; if a solution is not possible.

Another good strategy is to be able to listen well and to communicate with all parties involved in the event or situation. Take the time to really hear what others are saying. Others who are involved can help you to understand the problem better. Having the ability to be able to communicate both your feelings and your thoughts on the matter will allow you to express your feelings in a constructive manner.

Try not to get defensive if others criticize what you say. Not everyone agrees with everyone else. We as individuals will naturally have different opinions. A discussion is only a discussion if all parties remain in control and can actively listen to what others are saying without judging too quickly.

A little bit of humor can diffuse a potentially explosive situation at times. Being able to laugh at yourself can at times help to make you feel better about something that may otherwise have upset you. We've all made mistakes, right? It happens, it can't be undone, and sometimes the best thing we can do is say "wow that was a dumb thing to do, but it happened and I'll just fix it and laugh at my clumsiness."

Give yourself a break from the rigors of life. Working too hard can make us grumpy and more easily prone to bouts of anger. Make sure you schedule some personal time for rest and relaxation.

Use these strategies for controlling your anger. Check out some anger management books from your local library for some more great strategies.
About the Author
Scott Meyers is a staff writer for Its Entirely Natural, a resource for helping you achieve a naturally healthy body, mind, and spirit. You may contact our writers through the web site. Follow this link for more information on Anger Management.
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