Psychology

How to Control your Anger



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Everyone gets angry. Even the nicest little fluff bunny who refuses to kill spiders, rescues lost kittens, and volunteers at the local homeless shelter has a hidden fuse that, once lit, can release a devastating blast of pent-up fury. I should know, because I consider myself to be a nice person. At least until the wrong toe gets stepped on or a sensitive nerve gets hit, then I may transform into a miniature Godzilla and breathe radioactive flames upon anyone and anything in my path.

I don't claim to be an expert on anger management. All I can give you is what works for me and offer my sincere wish that it will work for you too. Remember that if you let your anger take control of you, about 99.9% of the time you will regret it. You could end up saying hurtful things to the people around you that wreck friendships or alienate family members. You could even land yourself in divorce court. So it's always good to have a strategy for stopping the fire before it starts. Here are a few tips.

BREATHE DEEP, SEEK PEACE

To borrow a phrase from James Gurney's Dinotopia books, "Breathe Deep, Seek Peace" is a good philosophy to adopt during those stormy moments of life. Deep breathing relaxes the body and if you focus exclusively on the breath for at least 5 minutes the irritation or anger or whatever unpleasant emotion your feeling may drift away. At the very least, you will feel it less intensely and become more rational and focused.

RUN, ESCAPE

When the deep breathing fails, sometimes it's best to just physically remove yourself from the situation. Go outside and scream. Find a tree and hit it til it cries mercy. Just do something to work off that anger before you unleash it on other people. Then come back when you've cooled off and are ready to deal.

DEEP BODY RELAXATION

I know of a meditation that is helpful in relieving tension and may also come in handy in a moment of anger. You tighten every muscle in your body, starting from your toes and working your way up to the crown of your head. Tighten and then slowly relax each muscle. Don't forget to take deep breaths as you do this. By the time you're done, you may be able to handle the situation without going thermal.

KEEP ON THE FUNNY SIDE

If you look hard enough, you can almost always find something funny about the things that make you angry. One of my pet peeves is when my niece and nephew put on their music (which I can't stand) and then crank it up to ear-splitting decibels. I yell at them to turn it down and then I remember that my parents did the exact same thing to me when I was a kid. They probably felt the exact same way about the music that I thought was "cool." I can't help but savor the irony. I guess you could call this the What Goes Around, Comes Around Syndrome.

So that's my anger management program. I don't think I've listed anything new, just tried and true methods that seem to work. If you have issues with uncontrollable anger then you should probably see an actual therapist. Don't let the anger become you. There's always a better way

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