Dealing with Anger: Anger Management
By Divya Prasad, Clinical Psychologist
Basic emotions have been shown to be essential for survival. Anger is one of the 6 basic emotions described by Paul Ekman. We all frequently experience anger at different points in our lives as a response to threats, injustices, unmet wants or goals, and obstacles. Yet, anger becomes an issue when it is experienced in excess, expressed inappropriately, or felt too frequently. In the extreme, anger may lead to violence or physical aggression, verbal abuse, or intimidating or threatening behavior, often resulting in negative consequences. Anger management is one significant route to physical and mental well-being.
One can use the following techniques to deal adequately with their anger:
Remove yourself physically from the situation. Take a step back and walk away for a few moments. This not only helps to reduce the stress of a difficult circumstance, but it also gives you time to organize your thoughts, take a deep breath, and regain your composure.
Deep breathing exercise
- Sit comfortably or lie on your back.
- Breathe in slowly and deeply for a count of 5.
- Hold your breath for a count of 5.
- Breathe out slowly for a count of 5, pushing out all the air.
- Repeat several times until you feel calm and relaxed.
Use your senses to list things you notice around you. Start by listing: five things you hear, four things you see, three things you can touch from where you’re sitting, two things you can smell, and one thing you can taste.
This technique uses your imagination to help you relax and reduce your anger. 1. Sit in a comfortable chair or lie down. 2. Imagine a pleasant, peaceful scene, such as a lush forest or sandy beach. Picture yourself in this setting. 3. Focus on the scene. Continue until you feel refreshed and relaxed.
Slowly count to ten
Keep your attention on the counting so that your logical reasoning can catch up with your emotions. By the time you reach number ten, if you still feel uncontrollable, begin counting again.
Use TIPP skills
T – Tip the temperature of your face with cold water to calm down fast.
I – Intense Exercise
P – Paced Breathing
P – Progressive Muscle Relaxation