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GOOD THERAPY

Managing Anger

Not all anger is bad. Anger is a natural adaptation for survival and can sometimes be justified. But in certain cases, anger can be very unhealthy. It can harm you physically and damage your relationships with others. Learning to manage your anger is crucial to forming a healthy lifestyle. If you struggle with anger issues, these management tips may come in handy:

Cognitive Restructuring

Sometimes it’s as simple as changing the way you think. When you are angry, you tend to think more irrationally and blow things out of proportion.Try to replace these irrational thoughts with more rational ones. For example, words like “never” and “always” make it seem like your anger is justified but in reality they make the problem seem impossible to solve and make it harder for the people around you to help.

Relaxation

There are several relaxation techniques you can try to help yourself calm down when you begin to feel angry. You can focus on your breathing and try to take deep, cleansing breaths from your diaphragm. You can repeat a calming phrase of your choosing to help put your mind at ease. Something like “relax” or “take it easy” can help, especially if coupled with deep breathing. You can also visualize a calming place or situation. It can be something real that you’ve experience or something fictional from your imagination. If you are in a position to do so, relaxing yoga-esque stretches can help relax your body and calm your mind. If you practice these methods daily, they will start to come to you naturally when in stressful or frustrating situations.

Problem Solving

Not all anger is necessarily unreasonable. Sometimes there really are difficulties and challenges that we face that frustrate us. We want to find a solution because culturally we believe there is a solution to everything. However, some problems don’t have solutions and this can lead to serious frustration. It can help defuse your anger if you focus less on finding a solution and more on how to handle and deal with the problem.

Changing Your Environment

In some cases, anger can be triggered by your surroundings. You can start to feel trapped by your problems and responsibilities. The solution to dealing with this is to give yourself permission to retreat. Give yourself a break for personal time each day at times that you are particularly vulnerable to stress. For example, if you find yourself feeling overly stressed right when you come home from work, tell your spouse that you need 15 minutes of quiet alone time before you are ready to talk about anything.

Similarly, it can sometimes be the time of the day that causes you to feel irritable and angry. If you tend to get upset when discussing serious issues at night, then make a conscious decision to save these talks for the morning or whatever other time you find yourself better able to manage.

Avoidance

It can also be as simple as avoiding the things that irritate you, if possible. You may not be able to control the actions of the people around you but you can choose to ignore them so they don’t infuriate you.

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