Manage your anger

Anger is an emotional response not a rational one. Anger can damage all aspects of our life - work, friendships, health, relationships and peace of mind (mental health). However, suppressing it can also lead to stress and to physical symptoms such as headaches and digestive problems. Most of us will at some time come across situations in life that provoke anger - the answer is to take responsibility for our own feelings, actions and behaviour and learn to respond rather than to react to the people or events that we feel have triggered our anger. Anger interferes with our reasoning powers. Don't let it build up until you have a violent outburst. It is better to deal with anger in a constructive way:

  • Recognise the signals that warn you that you are getting angry, perhaps changes in your breathing, clenched fists, shouting etc.
  • Learn to identify your triggers; the things that make you angry - what is it that triggers your anger?
  • Learn new ways to respond to these triggers.
    • Ask yourself - who is in control; does the anger control you or can you be in charge?
    • If you can recognise your triggers and respond rather than react, then you are taking responsibility for your emotions and you are in charge.
    • Don't become the victim of the triggers that set off your temper, remember that you have choices when confronted with a problem
  • Different needs can cause conflict in relationships:
    • Resolve conflicts and deal with problems instead of worrying about them and letting them build up.
    • The aim is to get close to meeting or at least understanding everyone's needs or feelings, including your own, in a relationship.
    • Try to be more accepting of yourself and others.
  • Learn strategies for keeping calm:
    • Learn ways to defuse the trigger such as taking time out in an argument.
    • Develop better communication and listening skills.
    • Be open to other people's needs and points of view.
    • Learn to express yourself calmly and keep cool even when the other person is angry.
  • Try to change situations that add stress to your life.
  • Learn to relax and have fun.
  • Keep alcohol intake low.
  • Share your feelings:
    • Talk to people you trust
    • Talking helps you to organise your thoughts and relieve stress.
  • Get help if necessary.