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Anxiety and Stress Disorders

Anger Manangement Techniques

10/06/2005

Question:

What are other ways to relieve anger instead of keeping it bottled up until it becomes too intense? I write letters and then tear them up...I feel a little better...but ultimately would the best thing for me to do is to move away from the source of my anger and try and shelve it that way. I`m not an angry person by nature,but my resentment of this person will not diminish now. Is it best I just move away somewhere less exposed to this person. Maybe my previous post was inappropriate,but even lawyers term her an angry person. Mine was just a little more emphatic.

Answer:

There are many ways to take deal with anger in your life.  Everyone gets angry -- its what we do with that anger that makes us different.  If the anger is interfering with your life -- it eats you up, intrudes on your thoughts throughout the day, and leads to actions and words on your part that seem to bring about even more problems, then you might benefit from counseling or some anger management classes.  Skills for dealing with anger can be learned, and while some people may seem to know some of these skills naturally, most of us could use a little help.

Here are some ideas that are suggested by anger managment specialists:

Learn relaxation techniques like breathing, yoga, meditation and others.

Work on changing how you think about yourself and others.  Try to avoid "all or none thinking" (where something is always bad or someone is always good) and listen to the words you use when you talk.

Problem solve the issues that lend themselves to reasonable answers.  (You may not be able to solve world hunger, but you might problem solve a scheduling difficulty at work)

Learn communication skills.  What you say, and what other people hear you say might actually be very different.  Ask others to tell you what you just said, and see if there are perception problems.

Remember humor.  Sometimes a well placed smile, joke or comedy break can defuse a situation and allow healing and problem solving.

The American Psychological Association has an excellent web site on Anger.  It offers even more detailed suggestions.  If you find it hard to do these on your own, consider counseling or an anger management class.

Good luck.

Related Resources:

Anger management - APA

For more information:

Go to the Anxiety and Stress Disorders health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Nancy   Elder, MD Nancy Elder, MD
Associate Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati