Anger is a part of our emotional landscape. Whether it is a provoked emotional outpouring of anger, losing your temper over something silly, or even road rage, every one of us has let anger get the best of us at one time or another.
Developing positive anger management skills becomes important when we are unable to control our anger and have destructive outbursts. A destructive outburst does not necessarily mean that you have broken something or physically hurt someone. It just means that, because of your inability to control your angry responses to a real or perceived stimulus, you have done something harmful to someone, something, or even to yourself.
Anger can damage your relationships with others and be detrimental to your health as well. When your anger controls you, you may feel you are at the mercy of something over which you have no control.
Anger can cause you to do things you normally would never do-even things you could regret for the rest of your life.
Anger can even affect your physical well-being in more ways than one. Studies have shown that anger causes your blood pressure and heart rate to rise. Hormone levels, such as adrenaline and noradrenaline, also increase when you are angry.
Anger can push you backwards emotionally into the era of cave men when the fight or flight response was the only way to stay alive in an uncivilized world.
Positive anger management skills are learned. Acquiring these skills is more commonly needed by youngsters and teens who have not learned how to cope with their anger.
Should you feel you are at risk of losing your temper in a way that could harm you, or others, you should always seek professional help. Your parents, pastor, physician, school counselor, or a trusted, responsible friend are all people you can turn to for help.
The following is a list of suggestions to try when you begin to feel your anger getting out of control.
1. Give yourself a time out. Get away from the object of your anger.
2. Beat a pillow or punching bag.
3. Draw or illustrate your feelings of anger.
4. Write about your feelings.
5. Exercise or do hard physical labor.
These may not be long term solutions but do give your initial feelings of rage time to cool. This in turn allows you an opportunity to think more logically about positive ways to manage your anger.
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