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How to Manage Anger

It is easier to get angry that to control it. The hand and mouth works faster that the mind and before we know it, much harm has been done either to self or others. Managing anger is one of the toughest things to do as it means handling your emotions. Feelings are extremely sensitive and volatile as they are expressions of what the mind and body are thinking or experiencing. Anger is the method that the mind and body uses to express its feelings and managing this requires a lot of willpower and self-control.

Moreover, it is tougher to reprimand oneself in order to manage the anger. For example, a mother shouts at her children without realising that she is shouting in anger until the father tells her so. Even then, it is difficult for her to chastise herself as she is feeling emotions of anger and it takes awhile for that to settle down.

Three simple steps can help a person regulate (manage) anger. The three-fold route may take time (in controlling) anger but it is the most effective, as it causes no harm to anyone.

  1. Step One Identification

    The very first step in managing anger is identifying it. Many of us do not even realise that we are angry (especially when it is a minor irritation). We consider anger to be an outward expression coupled with harsh language, and maybe some physicality. However, in essence, anger includes all forms of annoyances, irritations, and frustrations. A slight annoyance can turn into fierce anger if not managed, and hence, identification of anger becomes important. It is difficult to declare to oneself that ‘I am angry’. However, this must be done, as self-realisation is most important. Only when anger identification has been done, can it be managed.

    With regard to others, one should try to identify the irritable feeling of another person. If you ‘identify’ that a person is getting angry on some issue, it will be easier for you to handle the situation. Before the person enters a stage of raging anger, it is best to take oneself away from the situation or tackle the issue in a corrective manner.

    Step Two- Understanding

    It is extremely important to ‘understand’ anger as it exhibits itself in many forms. Anger can be displayed through body language, verbal abuse, moods, sulking, aggression, and so on. Each type of anger needs a distinct resolution and thus will have to be managed accordingly. While sulking may require mind and thought diversion, physical aggression may require suppressions.

    Even while tending to angry people, understanding their type of anger is very important, as it will help in choosing the right methodology to manage this anger.

    Within understanding comes another issue. It is necessary to ‘understand the reason’ or cause for the anger. Once the trigger is detected, it is easier to manage the anger. Most often, the trigger itself can be eliminated. If not, then various other techniques like diversion can be used.

  2. Step Three Controlling

    Once anger has been identified and understood, it must be controlled. Here too, there are two steps- immediate and long term. In the immediate phase, the anger needs to be controlled so that it does not accelerate to intensive levels. Some amount of immediate action is required whether self-control or external help. Once this anger has been controlled in the short term, if it continues to persist or keeps raising its ugly head, then long-term anger management is required. This, too, can be done through self-help modules or professional centres.

As anger has many nuances, various methods need to be used to manage it. However, the 3-fold method as enumerated above can be used for any type of anger and any methodology of anger management.