We all experience anger from time to time when we feel that something is bad or unfair. It is often associated with the perception of threat.
The occasional experience of anger is to be expected; especially if it is in proportion to the situation. It is the intensity and duration of anger and our manner of behaving that determines how reasonable our response is. Anger often affects our behaviour: we may lose our patience, act impulsively, or say things we later regret. Anger may also affect our energy levels, concentration and our relationships.
Anger Control Techniques
Read through the expandable boxes below, by clicking on the title to open each one, to learn more about some anger control techniques.
1. Recognise feelings of anger
Learn to recognise when you are beginning to feel angry. You may experience physical changes such as tense muscles, feeling flushed, increased heart rate and breathing rate. Lowering your tension levels, through the progressive muscle relaxation and breathing control techniques, will help prevent these anger and irritation levels from building up.
2. Own your feelings
When you do feel angry, first recognise that it is your own beliefs that are triggering your anger (e.g., “I feel angry when …”) rather than blaming others for your feelings (e.g., “You make me angry”).
3. Recognise unhelpful thoughts
If you find yourself feeling irritated or angry, see if you can identify any unhelpful thinking patterns behind the anger. Examples include the following:
- ‘Should’ thoughts: “My boss should give me a promotion.”
- Black and white thinking: “They did the wrong thing by me” (viewing a situation as right or wrong).
- Blaming: “I would have finished work in time if Jack didn’t let that last customer in.”
4. Avoid bottling up anger
If you find yourself feeling irritated, discuss your feelings and reactions with somebody when they occur. This can help prevent a building up of anger that can result in an outburst later on.
5. Choose to let go of anger
Unlike most unpleasant emotions, anger is often something we instinctively do not want to let go of. If you are not sure whether you want to let go of your anger, try writing down the benefits and costs of staying angry.
6. Take time out
Sometimes when we feel really angry, it is best to take some time out and remove ourselves from the situation. This gives us a chance to calm down, sort out our feelings and decide how to manage them.
In the ‘Downloads’ box below you will find an activity worksheet. Please
- Download the activity worksheet.
- Take a few minutes and just think about the questions being asked.
- Then spend a bit of time writing your responses in the spaces provided.
Click on the button below to download the controlling anger activity worksheet.
Controlling Anger Worksheet
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