Has losing your temper caused problems in relationships, at work or school, with your neighbors, or on the road? Maybe you’ve been arrested, lost custody of your children, or been served with divorce papers. When rage is severe or interrupts your life, anger management counseling may be in order.
But there are some things you can do in the “heat of the moment” to help you gain control of this potent emotion.
My name is Dr. Lonnie Bryant, and I am a Certified Anger Management Treatment Professional. I have been helping people learn how to not only manage their anger but gain victory over it for over 30 years. My method is simple, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. It takes honest, hard work, but it is worth it when you find a life of peace absent of uncontrollable rage.
While anger itself is not bad—and can actually be a healthy emotion—sometimes the things we do when angry can cause a world of hurt for you and those you care about.
Here I will describe 9 simple anger management techniques that can help you regain control when your temper takes over.
Think About Your Words Before You Use Them
How many times has anger led to you saying something you later regret?
Before you open your mouth, take a few deep breaths and think about your words and motives. And let others who are involved in the situation do the same. Anger that controls you may tempt you to say something mean or cruel to hurt the person you are angry with. Or it may make you to snap at them with words you don’t mean to say.
Take a Time-Out
Think time-outs are just for kids? Think again.
Taking a few short breaks throughout the day can help reduce stress and help you stay in control. This better equips you for whatever may irritate you so that it doesn’t erupt into rage.
A time-out is also helpful in the heat of the moment. If taking a few breaths and thinking about your words isn’t enough to calm you down, you may need to remove yourself from the situation.
Put Relaxation Skills to Use
Once removed from the situation, try some relaxation techniques. After you figure out what works best for you, put it to use whenever you feel stressed, irritated, or angry. Often, a combination of techniques is most helpful.
Some ideas include:
- Listening to music
- Deep-breathing exercises while imagining yourself somewhere relaxing
- Making a list of things you are grateful for
Get The Anger Out
I’m not talking about destructive activities here, such as punching or breaking something. Find something that helps you drain some of that anger. It could be screaming into a pillow, going for a run, or doing some gardening or chores around the house. If you must punch, get a punching bag.
When you are angry, your “fight or flight” hormones kick in, preparing you to flee the situation or fight. You need to drain that excess energy. Rather than exploding at someone, release the anger constructively so that you don’t harm anyone or anything. (Hint: This is probably not the best time to wash the dishes or dusting around delicate nick-nacks.)
Focus on Yourself
Don’t argue with “you statements,” such as “You came home late again.” Instead, focus on how you feel. For instance, “It upsets me when you come home late and the dinner goes cold before we can eat.”
Rather than confronting someone with blame or criticism, express how it affects you without trying to control or hurt them. Be specific and respectful while stating your needs and concerns directly and clearly. And don’t exaggerate. Superlatives have no place in good communication. After all, how often are terms like “never” and “always” really true?
Look for Solutions
Figuring out problems before they happen can significantly reduce what irritates you.
If your spouse is always late for dinner, maybe you can change your dinnertime. Hate your job and have a lousy boss? Search for a new job. Road rage take over when you’re running late? Learn to leave earlier.
Try Some Laughter
Without sinking to sarcasm, find something funny in the situation and let the humor help release tension.
If that doesn’t work, try watching some funny YouTube videos or play your favorite sitcom.
Learn to Forgive
When you don’t forgive someone, it can easily turn into resentment and bitterness. And repeat offenses set you off quickly.
My favorite description of holding a grudge and not forgiving someone is that it is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to get sick.
Forgiveness doesn’t mean you are okay with what happened. It just allows you to relinquish its control over your emotions.
Seek Anger Management Treatment
As stated above, if anger happens often or interferes with your life, it is time to get some practical, non-judgmental professional help.
If possible, try to find a Certified Anger Management Treatment Professional, as they often have the most experience and know-how to help you.
As an anger management specialist, I have helped thousands of individuals find victory over anger. And I can help you too.
While I personalize treatment based on each person’s individual needs and circumstances, I also share the secrets I learned when dealing with my own anger.
Call or text my office at Caring Heart Ministries today at 682-365-2099 to schedule a FREE, no-obligation phone consultation. During this call, I can answer your question and we can get to know each other a bit to see if we would be a good fit to help you on your journey to peace.