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Do you control your anger or does your rage control you? If you struggle to restrain destructive anger read on to learn about anger management techniques that can help you to express your anger in healthy ways and to avoid the negative personal and professional consequences of excessive anger.

Do you have a problem controlling your anger? Does your rage affect the quality of your relationships or get you into unnecessary trouble?

If so, know that you don’t have to let anger control your judgment or actions any longer. With anger management training you can learn to prevent annoyance and frustration from progressing to rage and when rage strikes you’ll have learned how to tame it quickly – before you do something you’ll later regret.

  • Anger Management is a form of skills training which helps you to identify the warning signs of building anger so you can take steps to calm this anger and then express yourself in a healthy assertive way that is respectful of your rights and of the rights of others.1
  • You can teach yourself anger management techniques or you can receive more structured anger management training from a counselor or other mental health professional

Who Needs Anger Management Training?

Anger is a normal and healthy emotion. Everyone gets angry but not everyone needs anger management training.

Most people who have anger control issues already know they have a problem – they may just not believe they can change how they respond to difficult situations (…they can though!).

In general, however, you’d probably benefit from anger management training (either on your own or with a professional) if:

  • The way you express your anger does you harm, harms people around you or negatively affects the quality of your relationships
  • Your anger causes you to act with aggression or violence (against people or property)
  • You suppress healthy anger instead of expressing yourself assertively2

According to American Psychology Association, you may need professional assistance to learn to manage your anger if:

  1. You frequently experience moderate to intense anger
  2. You frequently hold grudges against other people and make plans to get even
  3. You express your anger in aggressive verbal or physical ways3

Do You Have an Angry Personality?

People with a personality type called trait anger often have a harder time controlling their emotions and are more likely going to need and benefit from some anger management training.

Do you have trait anger?

  • Are you very easily angered?
  • Do you get angry often?
  • Are your actions when angry more extreme than normal?
  • Do you get violent or verbally aggressive when angry?
  • Do you use drugs or alcohol to control your anger?
  • Do you experience personal or professional problems in your life because of your anger problems?

Learning Anger Management Skills

Whether on your own or with the help of a professional, learning anger management techniques can help you to stay more in control and to express your anger in healthier ways – and by preventing excessive displays of anger you can also prevent negative personal and professional consequences.

Some skills and techniques you might learn and use include:

  • Avoidance – Nothing fancy here; but if certain situations drive you crazy, and you can possibly avoid these situations, maybe you should do so! (If looking at your teen’s messy room gets you steaming…then keep the door closed.)
  • Learning new skills – Sometimes the best way to minimize anger’s impact on your life is to eliminate situations that frequently provoke it – and sometimes the best way to do this is by working to improve your skills in some area. If communication breakdowns with your spouse often lead to blow-out fights, you might be able to minimize the anger simply by working to improve your listening and communicating skills.
  • Relaxation exercises – Such as counting to 10 before responding, making use of deep breathing exercises and paying attention to mindfulness
  • Making use of humor – it’s hard to stay angry when laughing, so see if you can move past your rage to find the absurdity in any given situation.
  • Cognitive restructuring – how you think affects how you feel and how you act. If you can change how you think about situations that typically provoke anger you can often circumvent the emotional response.4

Why Bother to Work on Controlling Your Anger?

  • If anger affects your personal and professional relationships then restraining excessive anger will result in an immediate quality of life dividend.
  • If your anger leads you to engage in violent or destructive actions then learning to restrain that excessive anger will result in an immediate reduction in your risk to experience serious personal consequences, such as legal troubles or personal injury.

But beyond the obvious cause and effect quality of life rewards, learning to control your anger may also improve your health and extend your life,

Uncontrolled excessive anger increases your risk of:

  • Hypertension and stroke
  • Heart disease
  • Gastric Ulcers
  • Bowel disease
  • Some cancers
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Page last updated Oct 26, 2012

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