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Last Updated: Jan 10, 2023

Anger Management - What Works and What Doesn't

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Ms. Sunita PandayPsychologist • 17 Years Exp.M. S. in Psychotherapy and Counselling , PGDSW
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Anger is an emotion found in every human being. There is nothing wrong with being angry. However, if it gets out of hand there might be serious consequences. Knowing a few things about anger management might help the next time you are struggling to manage anger. 

The Wrong Approach
Before knowing, what are the right things to do, it is necessary to know what doesn’t work well. This will give a better insight on anger management. 

  1. Often, we think suppressing anger might be the right thing to do. But, it is not. Trying not to react to a situation and keeping it under wraps, might affect your health and can even be the root cause of heart disease. However, suppressing it often lessens the intensity of the anger.
  2. Just like suppressing it is not a good idea, venting it out completely is not the right approach as well. Venting might help you to cool down faster later on, but initially, it might hurt the other person and also have a negative impact on health. Venting anger occasionally will also make the person aggressive in nature.
  3. Thinking or using words like always, never, should/shouldn’t, must/mustn’t do not usually help. Thinking about ‘he should never talk to me like that’ or ‘they are always being unfair to me’, brings about negativity and doesn’t help in calming down.

The Right Approach

  1. Counting to 10, the age old approach to anger management often helps in cooling down and giving a clear perspective. When we are angry, we end up saying and doing things we don’t mean to. Counting gives us some time and helps us calm down a bit.
  2. Breathe slowly when you are angry, say experts. Instead of talking or reacting to the situation, just breathe in and out slowly. When you breathe out more, your body will calm down and make you relax.
  3. Talk to someone who understands you when you are angry. Instead of venting out or suppressing it, talk it out with a friend or a family member. Tell them your feelings and why you are angry. This will help you a lot in relaxing. It works as a counselling session.
  4. To manage anger, in the long run, one should always lead a healthy lifestyle. It means not just having a healthy diet, but also having proper sleep, not being stressed about anything, doing exercise, etc. 
  5. Doing something creative often takes your mind away from angry feelings. Join a dance class, an art workshop, start keeping a journal, it will definitely help in the long run.
  6. Leave the place immediately for few moments and drink water slowly when angry. Don't prolong the anger, come back and start conversation normally. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a doctor and ask a free question.

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