Basic Steps to Deal with Anger

Basic Steps to Deal with Anger

At the Family Services Counseling Center, we teach people how to manage their anger.  We begin with helping people understand that anger is a feeling – and feelings are OK.  Its not wrong to become angry.  Anger is a normal and necessary emotion.  It is a very important defense mechanism that helps protect us from being mistreated or taken advantage of.

But being angry all the time can cause all types of problems, from general health issues to relationship and work problems. And what causes problems for many people, men and women alike,  is how they deal with their anger.

If a person becomes violent or destructive when angry, there is a problem.  It is not OK to hurt ourselves, others, or property out of anger.  

People who suppress their anger can have very serious problems as well and may eventually develop mental illnesses such as depression.  Learning anger management – dealing with anger in a healthy way – is key to a functional and healthy lifestyle.

By recognizing the following physical and mental reactions to everyday stress, it’s possible to take hold of our emotions before our level of anger escalates into destructive behavior.  

Physical Signs Mental Signs Other Signs fast heart beat problems concentrating yelling sweating confusion swearing clenched jaw memory problems withdrawing from others clenched fists thoughts of doing harm throwing things fast breathing irritability pacing headaches violence upset stomach tight chest tense muscles frowning/scowling flushing shaking hands

Some techniques for taking control of anger:

  1. Walk away. Remove yourself from the situation.  Do not engage with the person that has caused your anger.
  2. Take 3-10 deep breaths.  Breathing deeply will calm and relax you. And it will cause you to pause instead of reacting in the heat of the moment.
  3. Express yourself.  Be assertive, not aggressive.
  4. Exercise.  Go for a walk or a jog.  Lift weights at the gym.  This helps get rid of the physical energy that results from the surge of adrenaline that comes with being angry.
  5. Let go of what is beyond your control.
  6. Distract yourself.  Play a video game, turn on the radio or TV, read a book.
  7. Write about it.  The act of putting your feelings and thoughts on paper will provide relief.

Healthy expression of anger can lead to healthier relationships and a healthier body.  Suppression or over expression of anger can have the opposite effect.

Family Services offers Anger Management Classes for men and women.  Please call the Counseling Center for more information at (409)883-2668.

Note: Family Services’ Anger Management Course is not the same as our Batterer’s Intervention and Prevention Program, which focuses on people who have acted with physical violence toward a family member.