Anger: Understanding And Managing It

Anger is a normal and healthy emotion. It is the signal that something important is happening in your environment. It is essential to listen to it.

It is less healthy when it takes you into spheres where your behavior gets out of control. Chronic outbursts can have very serious consequences for your social relationships, your health, and your self-esteem. You can consider professional help like one to one counselling for anger issues, but it’s worth trying to understand the anger first.

Understanding anger

Anger is neither good nor bad. It is perfectly healthy to feel angry when you think you have been betrayed or are the victim of an injustice. Feeling isn’t a problem in itself; it’s what you do that can make a difference. When it hurts others or yourself, anger becomes a problem.

People with a “hot” temper sometimes have the impression that they can see little possibility of “calming the beast.” This is completely untrue. It is possible to learn to express your emotions in a way that does not hurt others. Not only will you feel better, but you will be more effective in meeting your needs. The art of controlling anger is a skill that, like a sport, requires some training.

Myths and realities about anger

Fact: While suppressing or ignoring anger is not healthy, ventilating it, letting it go is not healthy. Anger is not something that you have to aggressively “let out” in order to avoid exploding … in fact, crises and altercations are just wood that fuels the fire of anger.

Myth: Anger, aggression, and intimidation help me gain respect and allow me to get what I want.

Reality: harassing others does not give real power. People may fear you, but they will not respect you if you do not know how to control yourself or if you cannot bear annoyance.

Myth: I can’t do it. Anger is something I can’t control.

Fact: you can’t always control the situations you are in, and how they affect you, however, you can control the way you express your anger. And you can express your anger without physical or verbal abuse. Even if someone “pushes your buttons,” you can still choose how you want to respond to them.

Myth: Anger management is learning to suppress anger.

Fact: Never being angry is not a good thing either … anger is normal, and it will appear all the more as you try to suppress it. The anger management strategy that we are going to develop here is more a way of becoming aware of the feelings underlying anger and the values ​​that come into play in order to meet them in a more healthy and effective way. Rather than suppressing anger, we suggest that you use it in a constructive way.

Myth: it is others who are the source of my anger, so it’s normal that I take it out on him.

Reality: Anger is created in you, and by you based on the person you are, the values ​​that carry you, and the goals that you pursue. In the same situation, two people will never react the same way; one may get angry, the other reacts with indifference. Basically, others, the world, have nothing to do with your anger. The person who gets angry is you.

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Anger Management

Anger is related to your learning story. The situations that make you angry are very often the echo of past events. Let’s look at some possibilities for anger management exploration.

Negative impact of anger on mental health

Chronic anger consumes significant psychological resources, decreases your ability to concentrate and think, as well as your ability to realize yourself. It can lead to stress, depression, and other mental illnesses.

Negative impact of anger on your career

Constructive criticism, differences in point of view, passionate debates are beneficial! Going after your colleagues, superiors, or clients can only alienate them and weaken the respect they have for you.

Negative impact of anger on your relationships

Anger puts knives in the relationship contract that links you to the people you love and often results in the estrangement of your loved ones. Intense, chronic anger can make people around you not trust you, speak to you frankly, feel uncomfortable – people around you just don’t know what will make you angry, or when you lose control. Explosive anger is particularly damaging for children.

Anger: a secondary emotion or when one emotion hides another

In the first case, it is more of a need that is not met. It is a question of determining it and of taking actions in its direction. The second is more emotional avoidance. It is then a matter of learning to make room for the feeling that we are fleeing.

Anger is also a primary emotion. However, if it occurs in many situations and you do not often express other negative emotions, it is likely to be a problem of emotional expression repertoire: Anger is the only way you have learned to communicate that something is wrong (we would even speak of instrumental emotion if the function of anger is communication). This type of learning is common in families where emotional expression is discouraged.

Here are some ways to find out what is behind the anger:

You are taking different opinions from yours for an assault. Do you consider yourself to be always right and find it difficult to imagine that someone may have a different opinion from yours? If you have a great need for control or a sense of personal fragility often activated, you may interpret a different opinion as a questioning of your authority, or simply of yourself, instead of a simple divergence from view.

If you are uncomfortable with the emotions that you “disconnect” frequently, that anger is your answer to everything… it is to your advantage to spend some time with your emotions. Being aware of your emotions is a key to knowing yourself and living in harmony with your values. Coming to terms with the very wide range of human emotions will allow you to see a little more clearly and not to isolate yourself socially. Emotion awareness is a skill.

  • It is easier to get angry when you are stressed and / or when your body is weak (fatigue, hunger, thirst …).
  • We are rarely angry for the reasons we believe.
  • We are angry when we don’t have what we want.
  • We are sometimes angry when we see a character trait in others that we do not support at home.
  • People get angry when current events echo unresolved emotional situations that have been avoided for a long time.
  • When a situation shares characteristics with a past situation where we have experienced strong anger, anger can be activated.
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Anger Management: Understanding The Signals

We sometimes have the impression of exploding with anger, without her having warned of her arrival. However, there are a whole series of physical signals that are linked to anger. Anger is also a physical response. Its fuel is the body’s “fight or flight” system. The angrier you are, the more your body is activated. Becoming aware of the previous signals of anger is a first step towards controlling it.

Anger Management: Understanding The Signals

Bodily manifestations of anger

  • knots in the stomach
  • clenched fists and jaw
  • the feeling of wetness, of warmth
  • breathing is fast
  • headache
  • need to walk, to calm down
  • See red
  • difficulty concentrating
  • Sensation of the beating heart in the chest
  • tension in the shoulders

Identify the thought patterns that trigger or fuel your anger

You may think that it is others who are triggering your anger or the frustrating situation in which you find yourself. You are probably right. Another factor that influences anger is how you interpret what is happening to you. In fact, the situation and the other people are just the contexts in which you will get angry or not … it will depend greatly on your interpretation.

Here is a small list of thought patterns commonly encountered in anger issues:

  • Over-generalization: for example: “you ALWAYS interrupt me,” “NEVER you ask me for my opinion” “ NO ONE respects me” “I NEVER get what I deserve.”
  • Despotism of “must” and “must” (MUSTS): Having a rigid vision of how things should happen is likely to trigger when reality does not meet this vision.
  • Reading the thought and jumping to the conclusion: this pattern of thoughts is at work when you “know” what others think or feel, supposing (“no-no, I know exactly what he thinks… I suppose, not, I know”) that he has malicious intentions towards you, that he intentionally ignores your needs or that he disrespects you is likely to activate anger.
  • Accumulate frustrations: by looking at what is wrong and what is bothering you, you activate similar memories in your memory and make memories that are not in emotional harmony with your mood more difficult to access. You also select the information in the interpretation you make of your environment: do not let anything pass from the behavior of others, systematically interpret in a direction that fuels your anger. By accumulating the points, from small irritation to small irritation, you come, at a given moment, to explode when the problem is probably minor.
  • Blame: When something goes wrong, there is always someone responsible, a good soul on whom to blame the misery of the world’s misery … especially yours. You come to blame others for the things that are going on in your life. Giving responsibility for your life to someone is not very helpful in helping you move forward… to move forward, you must have the reins of your life in your hands, not in the hands of others.

Whenever possible, avoid people, places, situations that make you angry.

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Anger Management: Learn to Calm Down

Take a few deep breaths. Slow, deep breathing helps decrease physical tension. Breathe slowly, deeply with your stomach and fill your lungs with air as much as possible.

Exercise, get tired! You have to do a minimum of exercise so that you feel a little tired. This will increase your natural calming and euphoric endorphin level, and you can get into the situation with a cool head. If you do not feel tired after your exercise but only physiological activation, start again because you will probably increase the production of adrenaline, a natural stimulant, but not the production of endorphin (requiring a relatively long effort), which may not help you maintain your calm.

Stretch or massage areas of tension. Roll your shoulders if they are stretched, or gently massage your neck or your head or your face.

Count slowly to 10. Center your attention on the count. If you’re still very angry when you’re done, you can start over.

Put it into perspective.

When you start to get frustrated with a situation, take a moment to think about it. ask yourself:

  • How important is it really?
  • Is it worth it to get angry?
  • Is there anything I can do?
  • Is engaging in problem-solving or anger actions worth spending time on?

Practice empathy and compassion

With each sentence of your interlocutor, you prepare to respond to advance a new argument. You listen to the sentences, interpret the intensions … you are in words and not in the relationship. You consider your interlocutor less as a person than as a problem to be resolved: to be right.

Have you ever felt like a problem someone had to solve? An unpleasant problem, which creates tensions, which is irritating. What did you do? In such a situation, at the height of the discussion, stop solving the problem of “someone disagrees with me” and start to observe this person who says his opinion, who finds arguments to defend it, which, like you, put aside the relation for the good of this idea.

Calm down physically

  • Use physical relaxation techniques: breathe slowly and deeply and focus on your breathing
  • Contract and relax small muscle groups: hands, legs, glutes, and toes
  • Repeat a mantra that helps you stay in control and be confident. For example: “calm down, you will get there! You are doing very well!”
  • Practice imagery techniques using your imagination or memory to visualize a quiet place or situation.

It is natural to feel, express, and release your anger. However, there are appropriate ways to do this, and this is where anger management comes in. You will understand your anger issues better if you know what triggers it: this will allow you to create a plan to minimize the frustration and anger in your life.

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4 Strategies To Channel Your Anger

Being angry is the most normal thing. But when anger gets out of hand, it affects the mental and physical health of the individual and even those around him. Be aware that over the long term, excessive anger can make a person sick. Discover here 4 tips to channel your anger.

Excessive anger, why avoid it?

People who don’t get angry are rare, but some are more likely than others. Often, people who are angry with those around them are no longer credible. One will be led to think that nothing satisfies them and that they will always remain animated by anger.

Channel your anger with 4 simple tips

The best way to channel your anger is to use simple means. Following these 4 tips, you will feel better and have a more harmonious relationship with your loved ones.

Understand the source of your anger

Before you even channel your anger, first detect its source (s). For this, you need to step back. Ask yourself the right questions: “What happened?” “,” Why did you explode? ” This little mental exercise will allow you to understand the sequence of events that led you to this state of anger. Indeed, your anger is the result of other situations that your body and your mind transform into emotions.

Know how to distinguish your emotions.

After this overlap, try to make an inventory of your emotions. Generally, anger arises from injury, fear, grief, or depression. Most of the time, it is used as a defense mechanism. So you have to ask yourself if this is really angry or if you are just repressing emotions that you don’t think you should feel. If you suppress emotions, you will necessarily have trouble managing your anger. You must, therefore, know how to distinguish your emotions to avoid excessive anger. Most of the time, anger masks sadness.

Adopt the right actions

If you feel that you are going to get angry, choose to evacuate it immediately. According to the therapists, it is normal to feel a desire to strangle a person. But as it is prohibited, try to use subterfuges. You can, for example, let off steam on the cushion, on a soft toy, or hit a punching bag. This release will do you a lot of good. Otherwise, you can also play sports. Physical activities release endorphins into your body and block anger.

Avoid any situation that could trigger anger.

As is often said, prevention is better than cure. This adage is also valid for channeling anger. Since you already know what is causing your anger, try to avoid these situations. Whether it is a person, a situation or even a place, say no to everything: you will not meet this person, you will no longer be in this situation, you will no longer go to this place! In short, you will adopt the strategy of “avoidance.”


In some cases, the situation is beyond you, and you are forced to face it. So try to share your feelings with someone you trust. For example, if you need to meet a colleague, you are angry at a work meeting, talk to a friend at the office. It will help you channel your anger by changing your mind a bit.

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