What Are Some Ways to Manage Anger?

What Are Some Ways to Manage Anger?

Some of the most common anger management tips include thinking before speaking, getting enough exercise, taking timeouts and identifying solutions, as opposed to getting angry with problems that can be solved. It is also recommended to provide an outlet for anger, but to wait until calmness and clear thinking are restored first, and then by talking over the emotions as opposed to shouting about them.

There are a number of techniques for calming down. Deep breathing — that is, breathing from the diaphragm or the "gut" as opposed to the chest — is one of the most useful. Whilst doing so, a calming word or phrase can be repeated like a mantra, perhaps alongside relaxing imagery. These techniques are particularly useful because they can be used whenever the need arises. They can also be taught easily to others in a person's life who have anger management issues.

Another powerful tool for controlling anger is to challenge the underlying thoughts. This is known as "cognitive restructuring." An example would be to practice looking at problems rationally, rather than falling into the pattern of despairing straight away. Negative words with a sense of totality like "never" and "always" should be avoided — for instance, in phrases like "this never works" or "I always forget" — since these carry a feeling of hopelessness. Problems or negative thoughts should always be challenged on rational, pragmatic grounds.