Anger management is a learned behavior. How you handle anger can be a determining factor in the quality of your life - from a physical, mental, and social standpoint. It is important that you understand what anger is and how anger should be handled.
Anger is a normal human emotion that can vary in range from mild irritation to intense rage. Feeling angry is not wrong - and when your anger is expressed in an appropriate manner can lead to solving problems and can even keep you safe in a dangerous situation. Everyone has felt angry at one point - and it is perfectly normal. Anger is not a negative thing - it is a person's actions that can turn anger into a negative, and sometimes, dangerous experience.
Anger can be broken down into several aspects. The psychological aspect is the emotion itself - a feeling of sadness, frustration, or disappointment. The physiological aspect is your body's response to the anger and can include tension in your muscles, increased heart rate and blood pressure. These reactions are caused by a rapid release of adrenaline caused from the feeling of anger. The cognitive aspect includes the thoughts you have as you are experiencing anger and can determine what your actions will be.
Anger can be handled in two ways - expression or suppression. Expression involves expressing your anger and can be done in a healthy, assertive manner or an unhealthy aggressive manner. Expressing your anger in an assertive manner involves stating your needs or concerns in a way that does not hurt others nor does it seem that you are trying to exert power over them or control them. This is the best way to deal with anger and can lead to resolving problems rather than compounding the problem.
Suppression involves holding in, or ignoring your anger. Suppressing your anger can lead to health problems as well as emotional and safety concerns. A passive stance can be a dangerous stance resulting in a failure to protect yourself when you are faced with a dangerous situation. Suppression of anger can also result in a passive- aggressive reaction - rather than dealing with your anger in an assertive and direct manner, you may find yourself scheming to retaliate in an aggressive and harmful manner and not expressing your anger in a constructive manner. Stress, depression, headaches, and high blood pressure are some of the health problems that can be associated with suppressing anger and can lead to other, more serious illnesses such as heart attacks and strokes.
Uncontrolled anger is a learned behavior - and you can learn how to handle your anger in a more assertive and healthy manner. Undoing years of a certain type of behavior may not be easy, but is essential for both your mental and physical health, and plays a leading role in determining your quality of life. Many people are turning to anger management classes in order to reverse the learned behavior of out of control anger. Anger management classes teach you to recognize the things that trigger your anger and things that you can do in order to ensure that you handle your anger in an assertive and constructive manner rather than an aggressive manner.
A few exercises that can help you to keep your anger under control are taking deep, relaxing breaths from your diaphragm rather than your lungs, thinking relaxing thoughts, walking away from the situation until you have calmed down and can solve the problem in a constructive manner, treating people as you would like to be treated, agreeing to disagree when appropriate, and relaxing exercises such as yoga.
While anger is a normal emotion, the way you handle anger can determine the type of lifestyle you will lead. Anger management plays a major role in every aspect of your life including mental health, physical health, and your social life. The most important thing that you can do for yourself is to realize that anger is a perfectly normal and healthy emotion, and should be handled in an assertive and constructive manner. So, when things go wrong, feel angry - but know how to handle those feelings and how to control your reactions.
For more information on other anger management topics, take a look at Child Anger Management and Teen Anger Management for the older children in your family. Also be sure to examine our Anger Management Tips and try our free anger management activities.