7 alternative ways of dealing with anger

If you break something in anger, it will still be broken when you’ve calmed down. The same is true for the words you’ve said. It is okay to feel angry, but not to behave angrily.

By identifying your sources of anger, you can learn to anticipate and respond to anger situations.

How can I respond more responsibly to anger situations?

  • Step Back and Breathe – count to ten before you say or do anything and be mindful of your breathing. If you still don’t feel calm, count to ten again…and breathe.
  • Ask yourself: What am I angry about? What is hurting me? What is going on that is not ok for me? Did this person intend to hurt me?
  • Remove yourself from the source of the stress and anger
  • Go for a walk or exercise. Moderate physical activity can be a productive outlet for your emotions. Besides releasing pent-up energy, your general physical feeling will improve.
  • Empathize with the other person. Try to see the situation from his or her point of view. Remember that there is always more than one way to see anything.
  • Use “I” statements when talking about the problem or situation instead of criticizing or blaming the other person. “I” am upset that the kitchen didn’t get cleaned after dinner,” instead of “Why is the kitchen still a mess?”, or “You should have cleaned it!”
  • Stop Brooding or Stewing. “Mind talk” is a major anger signal and one of the most destructive things you can do to yourself. Rage starts when you lose control of your own thoughts or feelings. You can control what you say. Talk to the person you have anger with. Share your feelings with a close friend or family member.

Source: Suggested tips on how to respond to anger situations @ Anger Alternatives

Read more

  • Anger management – Self-help @ NHS Choices

    Excerpt: Examples of unhelpful ways are thinking are: “It’s not fair”, or “People like that shouldn’t be on the roads”. Thinking like this will keep you focused on whatever it is that is making you angry. Let these thoughts go, and it will be easier to calm down. Do not use phrases that include: always (for example, “You always do that”), never (“You never listen to me”), should/shouldn’t (“You should do what I want” or “You shouldn’t be on the roads”), must/mustn’t (“I must be on time” or “I mustn’t be late”), ought/oughtn’t (“People ought to get out of my way”), it’s not fair.

  • How to deal with anger @ Mind

    Excerpt: For example, Pat shouts angrily at her husband, Andrew, ‘How could you treat me like that?’. Andrew feels attacked for no good reason, and shouts back with more abuse. Pat may then feel helpless and victimised. Neither of them will feel happy with the exchange. Yet, if Pat were to say to Andrew, ‘I’m angry with you because you haven’t done any washing-up for weeks!’, he will know why she is angry, and there will be a chance for them to talk about the washing-up, and work out a solution. Pat will feel better about herself, and the tension between them is less likely to build up to the point of violence. Andrew will have more information about what annoys Pat, and they will communicate better.

Photo: Anger ! by Craig Sunter under Creative Commons license