Tips for anger management

Anger is a normal reaction to any situation or person that we perceive as frustrating or threatening to our well-being. However, when anger gets out of control, it can destroy our relationships and the quality of our life. Can we manage anger so that the immense energy produced by it can be useful to us? Yes, if we follow Aristotle’s diktat. Here are some tips to help you practice it:

Tips for anger management

1. Note the triggers
Step back and note the triggers--the people, events, and circumstances--that set off your anger. This will give you some indication on what led to it

2. Pause and deploy logic
When you are angry, your thinking can get very exaggerated. Logic defeats anger. Replace thoughts, which reinforce your anger with more rational ones. Eg. instead of thinking, "oh, this situation is terrible," tell yourself, "it"s frustrating, but it"s not the end of the world." 

3. Postpone important discussions 
Avoid discussing important issues with your colleagues or spouse when you are tired or distracted. 

4. Use words that describe only the present moment
Be careful with words like “always”, “never” when referring to your or others" behavior. Statements like “ My boss never appreciates me ”, “ I always mess up” are usually not correct. When used on others, it can make them both defensive and offensive. It does not leave room for discussion nor improvement. 

5. Request instead of demanding 
What are your expectations of others--do you demand fairness, appreciation, and agreement with your ways of doing things? Translate these demands into desires: “ I would like it if........” rather than demanding it. 

6. Make expectations clear: 
Communicate your expectations to others. Find out other"s expectations of you. Decide which of these you would like to satisfy.

7. Don’t jump to conclusions:
Consciously slow down, think carefully before you act or say anything. To get a balanced perspective, remind yourself that you are experiencing a rough spot in your life and others are not trying to “get at you.”

8. Think of what you expect: 
Ask yourself “By expressing my anger now or in a particular way, will it achieve the result I seek?”

9. Breathe deep:
Maintain your cool through deep breathing, using a relaxation response, visualizing a positive situation.

10. Accept life:
Sometimes we cannot change, get rid of or avoid people or events that anger us. At such times focus on how to face the problem rather than getting frustrated by it. 

Finally, if you feel your anger is affecting your relationships and important aspects of your life, consider consulting a psychologist for help.

You can decide whether you react in anger or with calm to difficult situations or people. 

Anger is a CHOICE YOU make.

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