6 Techniques for Anger Management
“Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.” -Mark Twain
If you find yourself in a situation in which someone tells you to control your anger, tell them that they are asking the impossible from you. Anger, being an emotion, is innate. It is originated inside you as a result of an external or internal stimulus. Anger, or any other emotion, cannot be controlled, rather it can be managed.
You cannot stop yourself from feeling the things that you are feeling, but you can control how you can react to that stimuli. This suggests that instead of learning how to control your anger, you need to learn the art of managing it.
The two types of anger
The first thing you need to understand is the type of anger that you experience. When people are angry, they react in one of two ways:
- Open anger
Open anger refers to the practice of lashing out. If you experience open anger, you are more likely to verbally or physically attack the source of your emotion. Open anger can constitute hitting, screaming, sarcastic comments, angry dialogues, blackmailing and swearing.
- Passive anger
Passive anger refers to anger which is not directly expressed. If you experience this emotion passively, you may react by not speaking to the person, ignoring them, and giving occasional sly remarks without acknowledging the situation.
Recognise the emotion
Sometimes, anger disguises itself in the form of other emotions that the mind is ready to accept. For instance, you may have experienced moments when you feel extremely guilty or anxious without an obvious cause. However, after some passage of time, you explode with anger. This happens when you use less severe emotions to deny the fact that you are angry. This trait can be harmful as your anger remains unacknowledged and reveals itself only to cause damage.
Identify its cause
Another technique for managing anger is understanding its cause. For instance, you may throw a fit because you are hungry, or you may lash out on your friend when you are extremely stressed. These emotions trigger your anger, thus making you vulnerable to become explosive. As a result, it is imperative for you to recognise the underlying cause of your anger. Once you do this, you can manage your anger easily.
Rage is fuelled by faulty thinking. The more you think about the event or the situation that made you angry, the more irritated you will become. Hence, the minute you are met with a stimulus that provokes anger within you, take the initiative to distract yourself.
For most people, changing their posture, setting or thought content can function as a distraction. For instance, if you get angry in class due to something that your teacher said, you can start tapping your feet on the ground. You can direct your entire focus to the act of feet tapping. This will serve as a distraction and will prevent you from erupting in a classroom setting.
Mindfulness is another great technique that helps with anger management. When you feel angry, your body experiences several changes as well. This may be an increased heart rate, rising of the body temperature and stiffness of the muscles.
To practise mindfulness, you must acknowledge the physiological changes taking place in the body. With that in mind, you can start taking deep breaths through your nose. When you do this, start noticing your thoughts, without holding on to them.
At this stage, you can step out of yourself and view your internal actions from a third person’s perspective. Imagine your thoughts and your emotions as two people riling each other up to cause collective harm. Now, as a third person, think of a rational solution that you can provide them. At this stage, your anger may start to dissipate.
Mindfulness techniques are extremely helpful for anger management, especially if you need to react instantly after being provoked.
Perform Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR)
Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR) is an anger management technique that can help you calm down when you are angry. This exercise works by allowing you to release all the tension in your muscles. To perform this, you should:
- Pull your arm to the side and clench it as hard as you can. The angrier you are, the tighter you must clench.
- Next, start breathing deeply. Inhale, hold, and exhale.
- Unleash your arm and allow it to limp down the side.
- You will feel more relaxed.
Release the negative energy
One of the most creative ways to deal with anger is getting rid of negative energy. When Mark Twain said, anger is an emotion that destroys its vessel, he referred to the human body as a vessel. Being a vessel, you are required to create an opening for the anger to be released from.
Several activities can create this channel. For instance:
- If you are interested in art, you can release your anger through painting.
- If you are interested in martial arts, you can try Tai Chi.
- If dancing is your passion, you can use it to express your frustration.
Finding a way to channel and release the anger is the only way you can manage it. So, find an activity that interests you, hire assignment help online and make time to manage your anger!