You've developed a wide range of anger management strategies, and you can be proud of these. Read below for more. The goal of anger management is not to eliminate anger completely: that isn't possible, since it's a natural human emotion. Rather, the objective is to control and direct your anger — so that it doesn't control you, or damage an important relationship or situation.
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There are three key elements to these:. One of the most effective approaches for managing anger is to identify the sources of the anger you experience. Once you know what makes you angry, you can develop strategies for dealing with it. When you're in the middle of a bad situation, it's hard to think logically and rationally, so understanding what causes your anger can help you plan how to deal with it.
While you probably won't eliminate anger completely, you can certainly reduce the frequency and scope of your anger. The less angry you are in general, the more control you'll have over your emotions.
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Since much of our anger can come from frustration and stress, if you work on ways to ease and reduce these causes of frustration and stress, you'll reduce the amount of anger in your life. A great way to reduce stress is to improve your problem solving skills. We sometimes feel that everything we do needs to be correct and turn out well, and this can be frustrating when things don't turn out as they should. Instead of expecting yourself always to be right, commit to doing your best. Also, accept that when something doesn't work out, the world usually won't end. Sometimes you just need to relax and not let things bother you.
We may think that we should have an answer for everything — but the truth is, we don't! You can also reduce anger by improving your communication skills. When you relate well to other people, express your needs, and talk about issues that bother you, you deal with potential anger proactively. Don't try to communicate when you're still upset. See the next section on controlling your anger for ideas on how to do this.
You can reduce the likelihood of losing control by releasing the anger that you've built up. When you get rid of angry feelings on a regular basis, you'll feel calmer and more even-tempered, and you'll be more able to deal with the ups and downs of daily life. You can do a variety of things to release your anger, including the following:. Some people believe that they have to hold their anger in to control it.
This is not is an effective anger management strategy. Even if you don't show anger to others, that emotion has to go somewhere: it can be stubborn, and it usually doesn't go away on its own. When you start to feel angry, what do you do? Controlling yourself in a bad situation can be difficult, and your actions will have consequences.
External reactions — like kicking and screaming — don't help. You may feel good for a little while, but later, you'll surely feel foolish and sorry. Also, you may do permanent damage to relationships and your reputation. When you feel that you can't hold your anger in any longer, here are some great strategies to try:. For example:. With this option, you get to go to the party and your room's clean so you don't have to worry about it for a while. But when you really think it through, it's pretty unlikely you'd get away with being gone for hours with no one noticing.
And when you do get caught — look out!
This is where you take action by choosing one of the three things you could do. Look at the list and pick the one that is likely to be most effective. Ask yourself: What's my best choice? By the time you've thought it through, you're probably past yelling at your mom, which is a knee-jerk response. You may have also decided that sneaking out is too risky. Neither of these options is likely to get you to the party.
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So option b probably seems like the best choice. After you've acted and the situation is over, spend some time thinking about how it went. Ask yourself: How did I do? Did things work out as I expected? If not, why not? Am I satisfied with the choice I made? Taking some time to reflect on how things worked out after it's all over is a very important step. It helps you learn about yourself and it allows you to test which problem-solving approaches work best in different situations.
Give yourself a pat on the back if the solution you chose worked out well. If it didn't, go back through the five steps and see if you can figure out why.
These five steps are pretty simple when you're calm, but are much tougher to work through when you're angry or sad kind of like in basketball practice when making baskets is much easier than in a real game when the pressure is on! So it helps to practice over and over again. The five-step approach is good when you're in a particular situation that's got you mad and you need to decide what action to take. But other things can help you manage anger too.
Try these things even if you're not mad right now to help prevent angry feelings from building up inside. Sometimes anger is a sign that more is going on.
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People who have frequent trouble with anger, who get in fights or arguments, who get punished, who have life situations that give them reason to often be angry may need special help to get a problem with anger under control. Tell your parents, a teacher, a counselor, or another adult you trust if any of these things have been happening:.
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These could be signs of depression or something else — and you shouldn't have to handle that alone. Anger is a strong emotion. This helps other people understand how you feel. Putting your feelings into words also shows you what the problem is. Then you can use your problem-solving skills to make changes. Learn ways to relax like deep breathing or yoga.
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Take time to do things that help you feel relaxed. Good things to try are listening to music, walking or writing about your thoughts. When you feel like you are getting very angry, try doing something different. Try counting to ten or imagining a very peaceful place. This can help you see that someone was not trying to make you mad on purpose. It is a good idea to practice these skills for a few minutes every day. Remember to reward yourself for your hard work! Talk to your doctor or community nurse if anger is causing a lot of problems in your life. Problems with depression, stress or anxiety can also make people feel angry more easily.
It is good to make sure your doctor or nurse knows about other feelings you may be having. Talk to your doctor first. Not all doctors have special training for anger problems, but your doctor can help you find someone with special training. The Wellness Modules are short booklets that discuss different ways to build good health. You can learn more about anger management, problem-solving and healthy thinking. Bounce Back is for people dealing with low mood, stress or anxiety.
Part of the program teaches you skills that help with anger. You learn skills from a DVD or you can talk to someone on the phone. The program is free. Talk to your doctor if you want to sign up for Bounce Back. A crisis line can help you when you are very upset. But they can help for a lot of other problems. They can help you find services in your community. They can help if you are angry because someone is hurting you.
Anger, disappointment, and resentment can't be erased. But they can be evaded.
You can also call if you just need to talk to someone. When you call , you can talk to someone right away. The Canadian Mental Health Association promotes the mental health of all and supports the resilience and recovery of people experiencing a mental illness through public education, community-based research, advocacy, and direct services. Visit www. Sign up for our various e-newsletters featuring mental health and substance use resources.