At Family Services of Southeast Texas, we focus on relationships between family members. Anger is one of the most common negative patterns impacting family relationships . It is common to hear that you should “let out” or “express” your anger. However, according to Psychology Today,
“Anger doesn’t automatically dissipate by being unleashed. We rarely experience catharsis. Venting it in words or action doesn’t make anger easier to manage; often it only increases the intensity of the feeling. Anger often feeds on itself. Plus, by furthering aggression it often brings irreversible damage to those in the immediate vicinity.”
In a situation that causes anger, it is useful to practice diffusing the emotion and the accompanying hostility. Family Services counselors often recommend these as some of their most effective tips for controlling anger:
- Admit to your friends and family that your hostility level is too high. Let them know that you are working on controlling your anger.
- Try to talk yourself out of being angry. Tell yourself, “I am able to make good choices.” Reason with yourself. Realize that your actions in the next few moments may drive a wedge between you and the person that you are angry with.
- Pretend that you will die tomorrow. This will help put your hostile tendencies in perspective.
- Force yourself to be quiet and listen when other people are talking.
- Distract yourself from the anger or remove yourself from the situation causing hostile feelings. Turn on some music or pick up a magazine. Go for a walk or a drive.
- Learn meditation. Meditation is the act of relaxing and letting your thoughts go. Start by taking 5 deep breaths (or counting to 30) when starting to feel angry. Work up to daily meditation as part of your routine.
- Cultivate friends at work or in your religious group – countering your tendency to ward of social support.
- Exercise regularly to relieve stress.
- Get a pet. Pets love unconditionally and readily give affection.
- Always remember to treat people the way that you would want to be treated. “The Golden Rule”
If you or someone you love is having difficulty managing their anger, please call us at (409)833-2668. Family Services of Southeast Texas has trained professional counselors on-site that specialize in anger management for men and women ages 12 and up. We offer group sessions in Anger Management and also a Batterers Intervention and Prevention Program (BIPP).
Our counseling services are provided on a sliding fee scale based on family income. Private Insurance, Medicare and Medicaid are accepted.
If you or someone you love is in an abusive relationship, please call our 24-hour Domestic Violence Crisis Intervention Hotline at 409-832-7575 or 1-800-621-8882.
“17 Tips for Becoming Less Hostile” – Journal of Clinical Psychology, Psychotherapy & Behavioral Medicine. Robert F Mehl III, Ph.D. & Associates
Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net