If you find yourself getting angry at everything, no matter how big or small the situation is, then it may be time for you to start using an anger management strategy, before things get out of control.
Anger management strategy #1 – Get out of dodge
The first anger management exercise you can do, is change your environment. Just getting away for a moment or two, can help to reduce the amount of anger you have. If you’re standing in a tub of hot boiling lava (ok, stay with me here) and you’re tired of getting burned, wouldn’t you just step out of the lava onto the nice soft grass?
When you stepped on the grass, do you think you would still be focused on standing in the hot lava? No, your focus would shift to enjoying the cool sensation of the wet grass surrounding your feet.
Of course that was an extreme example… hopefully you won’t be standing in a pool of hot lava, but you get the point, right? Anger would probably be the least of your concerns, if lava is surrounding you, but we’ll leave that for another article.
When you find yourself in a situation that makes your temper boil, excuse yourself, and step away.
There will be times when you’re not able to just walk away from whatever is bringing on your anger. And in those times, you’d want to find another healthy way to discharge your anger.
Anger management strategy #2 - Don’t worry, be happy
Picture this… so you’re driving to work, and out of nowhere a car swerves and cuts you off. You’re feeling the anger building up as you read this aren’t you?
Now, getting out of your moving vehicle, is definitely not suggested here… for obvious reasons. So, what can you do to prevent your anger from escalating into a dangerous situation?
Although you can’t change your environment in this situation, you CAN change your mood.
Did you know that you can change your mood just by thinking of something that makes you happy? Switch on your favorite song and sing along. Roll the windows down if you’re afraid that you might crack the glass on the high notes, and just sing. Singing along in your head would be recommended if you don’t have a radio around.
The point is, if you’re in a situation that you are unable to walk away from, apply another anger management plan of action to get your mind off the situation that triggered your anger.
Taking deep breathes (focusing your thoughts on your breathing), thinking about a hilarious joke you heard the other day, are other anger management techniques you could use to get rid of anger when you can’t walk away.
You might find that discussing what made you angry, with a confidante helpful, as well. The keyword being to discuss, not argue or yell about the situation… that would defeat the purpose.
Anger management strategy #3 – Jot it down
To head off any potential outbursts, you could learn how to recognize when an outburst could be triggered, before it happens.
In order to do this effectively, you should keep track of when you get angry, and what triggered it. At the end of each day, think about when you were angry and what happened to get you hot and bothered in the first place. Then write down the event that triggered it.
Be careful, not to get angry again, just focus on what made you angry in the first place and jot it down. The purpose of this exercise is to find out what triggers your angry outbursts, so you can take appropriate steps to prevent your anger from flaring up in the first place.
A good anger management strategy is one that works best for you. Use the steps above to come up with your own strategies, to manage your anger. If you find it difficult to come up with a strategy that works for you, then seeking the help of a professional counselor, through a group or workshop setting, may be appropriate for you.