Eight Simple Anger Management Tips

Eight Simple Anger Management Tips
Build Anger Management Skills to Help Reduce Stress
by David Leonhardt

"The other night I ate at a real family restaurant. Every table had an argument going."
One of the biggest obstacles to personal and career success is anger. When we fail to control our anger, we suffer several blows:
* Anger impedes our ability to be happy, because anger and happiness are incompatible.
* Anger sends marriages and other family relationships off-course.
* Anger reduces our social skills, compromising other relationships, too.
* Anger means lost business, because it destroys relationships.
* Anger also means losing business that you could have won in a more gracious mood.
* Anger leads to increased stress (ironic, since stress often increases anger).
* We make mistakes when we are angry, because anger makes it harder to process information.
People are beginning to wake up to the dangers of anger and the need for anger management skills and strategies. Many people find anger easy to control. Yes, they do get angry. Everybody does. But some people find anger easier to manage than others. More people need to develop anger management skills.
Develop your anger management skills
For those who have a tough time controlling their anger, an anger management plan might help. Think of this as your emotional control class, and try these self-help anger management tips:
Anger Management Tip #1
Ask yourself this question: "Will the object of my anger matter ten years from now?" Chances are, you will see things from a calmer perspective.
Anger Management Tip #2
Ask yourself: "What is the worst consequence of the object of my anger?" If someone cut in front of you at the bookstore checkout, you will probably find that three minutes is not such a big deal.
Anger Management Tip #3
Imagine yourself doing the same thing. Come on, admit that you sometimes cut in front of another driver, too ... sometimes by accident. Do you get angry at yourself?
Anger Management Tip #4
Ask yourself this question: "Did that person do this to me on purpose?" In many cases, you will see that they were just careless or in a rush, and really did not mean you any harm.
Anger Management Tip #5
Try counting to ten before saying anything. This may not address the anger directly, but it can minimize the damage you will do while angry.
Anger Management Tip #6
Try some "new and improved" variations of counting to ten. For instance, try counting to ten with a deep slow breathe in between each number. Deep breathing - from your diaphragm - helps people relax.
Anger Management Tip #7
Or try pacing your numbers as you count. The old "one-steamboat-two-steamboat, etc." trick seems kind of lame to me. Steamboats are not the best devices to reduce your steam. How about "One-chocolate-ice-cream-two-chocolate-ice-cream", or use something else that you find either pleasant or humorous.
Anger Management Tip #8
Visualize a relaxing experience. Close your eyes, and travel there in your mind. Make it your stress-free oasis.
New Bonus Anger Management Tip #7
I ran this one in my Daily Dose of Happiness: Here is how one of your fellow subscribers handles Anger:
"If ever I am angry towards some other people, I've learned not to just utter bad words but rather I write on a journal all what I could have said to somebody and after going through it again and again I sort of get relieved and forgive and forget what the other person did to me. That has saved me a lot."
I then ran a follow-up:
A short while ago, I ran an item from a subscriber about using journaling techniques to dispel anger, in much the same (or opposite?) way that one would use a gratitude journal. Here is a reply another of our subscribers shared with me:
"I am one of those people who pour everything they think and feel into my journals. I also write out my frustrations and anger and when it is all out of my system, I burn the pages, purging not only the journal of the negativism, but also myself...I don't have to relive the event, or the feelings for they are gone and no longer a part of my life. I leave my journals with a raggedy edge here and there, and I know that I must have had a bad day, but that it passed and I moved on to the rest of my abundantly happy and fulfilling life."
Note: If you want to journal away your anger, you might find The 5 Year Journal very useful.
One thing I do not recommend is "venting" your anger. Sure, a couple swift blows to your pillow might make you feel better (better, at least, than the same blows to the door!), but research shows that "venting" anger only increases it. In fact, speaking or acting with any emotion simply rehearses, practices and builds that emotion.
If these tips do not help and you still feel you lack sufficient anger management skills, you might need some professional help, either in the form of a therapist specializing in anger management or a coach with a strong background in psychology.

[Article with free reprint rights.]