Sunday, December 26, 2010

Do Something About Your Anger

We all feel angry at times, and we all know angry people who are very hard to live with. Anger is generally not a comfortable emotion, but it is a normal, healthy emotion. We often get angry after we feel hurt or vulnerable. Anger gives us some power to strike back. When hurt or vulnerability becomes anger we don't feel as helpless. Anger helps us respond to threats. It allow us to lash out and to defend ourselves when we are attacked.

Uncontrolled anger can make both you and other people feel lousy. If your outbursts, rages or frustrations are negatively affecting relationships with family, friends, co-workers or even complete strangers, it's time to learn some anger management skills. Anger management techniques are a proven way to help change the way you express your anger.

Anger becomes a problem when we act on the anger in ways that are destructive to others. While it is natural to strike out when we feel angry, this striking out involves a choice to act on the anger. There are several ways to manage problematic anger:

1. Relaxation Techniques - Calming down the autonomic nervous system can help calm down anger. Techniques to try include:

* Diaphragmatic Breathing is a quick relaxation technique
* Meditation - such as the Relaxation Response or mindfulness meditation
* Even counting to ten before acting can help you to respond with less aggression rather than simply reacting

2. Get some space. Take a break from the person you're angry with until your frustrations subside a bit.

3. Once you're calm, express your anger. It's healthy to express your frustration in a nonconfrontational way. Stewing about it can make the situation worse.

4. Get some exercise. Physical activity can provide an outlet for your emotions, especially if you're about to erupt. Go for a brisk walk or a run, swim, lift weights or shoot baskets.

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