Anger Management Programs - How to Control Anger!
Meenakshi Joshi – M Sc
Table of Contents
Anger Management Programs – How to Control Anger!
How you react when things do not go your way can show how your mind works. Some people get sad and depressed. Others get upset and angry. Many of us cannot handle such things. Anger management programs and classes help you to deal with such situations.
Chapter 1:Anger Management Programs
Out of all the emotions that you feel, anger is the one that affects you a lot. This emotion can make you do things that you do not want to. For example, you get angry when a friend makes fun of you. You feel very bad about this. You say hurtful things to your friend. This causes a huge fight between the two of you. Just because you could not take the joke your friend make on you, you reacted without thinking. You could not control your anger. As a result of this fight, you and your friend do not talk to each other for the next 2 weeks.
Thus, anger is an emotion that can break your relationships. When you get angry, you physically feel the anger. So, anger affects your mind as well as your body. It can affect not only you but also all the people around you. Anger management classes in such programs help you to deal with your anger issues.
Chapter 2:How and Why Do You Get Angry?
Before we see how anger management programs work, let’s see how and why we get angry.
- Triggers – You do not get angry about each and everything. Certain things make you angry and other things do not affect you so much. The things that make you angry are called triggers. For example, when you meet a certain person, you get mad because you have had a very unpleasant experience in the past with him. Triggers can be things that set you off such as someone teasing you about your weight, traffic, loud noises, etc.
- Reaction to triggers – When you come across a trigger, then your emotions will decide how you react to it. For example, your spouse is angry at you and they are shouting and saying negative things about you. If you are calm and relaxed you will not get worked up and deal with the situation patiently. You will try to understand their point of view or the reason why they are upset. Your focus would be on reducing their anger, making them feel better, and not letting the situation escalate.
- Personality and temperament – Some people have a calm and cool personalities. By nature, they do not react angrily and can stay cool in trigger situations.
- Mood – Generally, if you are in a bad mood for whatever reason, you tend to get angry more. Having a bad day can make you cranky and irritated. At such a time, even a small thing can make you lose your cool.
- Health – Physical pain or illness can also make you upset and short-tempered. Having a headache or diarrhea can make you feel irritated and you will get angry more and faster.
Chapter 3:What Are Anger Management Programs?
Classes for anger management and such programs focus on helping you to
- understand what are your triggers i.e., what makes you angry
- deal with any underlying issues that make you react to certain things
- learn and practice techniques that will work to stop you from getting angry
- teach you how to control your control
Such anger management programs can be of different types –
- In-person one-on-one therapy
- Group therapy or counseling
- Out-door activity-based classes
- Chat forums
- Online classes
Chapter 4:Some Anger Management Programs Techniques
The first step to controlling your anger is to know your triggers and be ready when you come across them or are going to come across them. Try to stop and take charge before you lose it. Prevent yourself from getting mad. It is much easier and better to try to not lose your temper by reading the signs and reacting calmly.
When you do get angry, then it becomes much tougher to control yourself. So, try to use techniques that will help you to not get angry in the first place. If you do get angry then you need to learn to diffuse your anger in a fast and less destructive way.
Take a break
Sometimes when you are angry, you and all the other people involved getting very worked up. Everyone is trying to prove their point and show that they are right. Also, the situation becomes very tense and you tend to “lose it”. At such a time, talk a break or a time-out can be very helpful. You need to remove yourself from the situation. You need to take a minute to calm down. And so does everyone else!
If you can take a break before the situation gets worse and you get angry, then that is even better. If you can catch yourself before you get mad then you are better able to control your emotions.
Think before you say or do anything
When you start getting angry, take your time, think, and then speak. Do not be quick to react. What you do will have very bad and long-term effects, so think twice before you say and do anything in a tense situation. In anger management programs, they teach you to be alert and aware of you thoughts and how to stop and think before speaking.
Crack a joke
Humor can make a serious situation light! So, use humor to divert the serious or soon serious-to-be situation to a much easier and lighter side.
If you cannot crack a joke then at least think of a funny memory or scene in your mind. It will help you to stay calm and not get angry.
Think of a solution
Anger management programs help you to find creative and useful solutions to things that usually make you angry. For example, if sitting in traffic can make you mad, then in such anger management classes, you will learn to use visual imagery to think that you are at the beach instead of traffic and that will help you relax.
Or they might teach you a fun game to pass your time and divert your thoughts from the traffic. For example, making up funny stories about the people around you sitting in different cars.
Listen to music or watch a funny video
You can distract yourself from the things that make you angry. Instead, focus on something that makes you laugh or calms you down. Good music can help you relax. Also, watching a funny cartoon or video can help lighten your mood.
Talk a walk or count to 20
Removing yourself from that situation also helps. Additionally doing something else will make it easier to control your anger. Take a walk or go get a glass of water to drink. However, if you cannot leave the situation or walk away, then you can count 1 to 20 or 1 to 50 depending on how angry you are feeling.
Express your thoughts in a better way
There are times when you need to stand your ground and present your side. You cannot walk away or stop talking. Be assertive and not pushy or aggressive. You have to say your part firmly without losing your temper. Do not change your opinion or give up but try to explain what your want to say using a firm but calm and normal voice. Do not get hyper.
Some lifestyle changes
- Exercise – start daily exercising. It helps to keep calm and relax
- Practice meditation and relaxation techniques – deep breathing and other forms of relaxation techniques will help you to be more in control of your emotions. You will not panic or get hyper in a bad situation.
- Diet – Some foods can make you irritated. Your body and mind are connected. So what we eat is what we are!
- Keep a journal – writing in a journal will help. It will give you the needed catharsis and you will be able to understand yourself better. This might just help you to reach out and identify the root causes of your anger.
- Work on the root causes – Try to work on managing the root or underlying causes of your anger. You can consult a therapist for this or take the help of a friend or family member if needed.
- Join group anger management classes – Sometimes we need social support and we need to see how other people are dealing with the issue that you are facing. Joining group programs for anger management will connect you to such people who may have some success stories and experiences to share with you.
Please take a look at the courses page on our website. You will find some interesting courses for yourself that will help you to deal not only with your anger issues but develop your personality as well.