We all feel angry at times. Anger isn’t always a bad thing because it allows us to express our negative emotions. It’s how we handle this anger that can cause issues.

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What is anger?

Anger is a human emotion. It can range from feelings of annoyance to extreme rage. It makes your blood pressure rise and your heart race. This is because our bodies produce excessive amounts of the the adrenaline and noradrenaline hormones.

Everyone feels angry from time to time. But it’s how you show your anger that matters. If you don’t control your anger, it can lead to violence or angry behaviour like yelling, throwing things or storming out.

Expressing anger in ways that can hurt you or other people or objects will require treatment.

Managing anger

If you think you have you have issues managing your anger? These questions may assist:

  • Do you sometimes have trouble controlling your behaviour when you’re angry?
  • Have you ever regretted your actions after you acted in anger?
  • Have you ever become violent or abusive when you’ve been angry?
  • Has anyone approached you about you your behaviour in the past?

If you have said ‘yes’ to any of these questions, we suggest talking to someone about how to manage your anger in a more positive way.

Can your anger be controlled?

You can recognise and control your anger by knowing and recognising the signs. If you feel yourself getting angry, try practicing some calming techniques before it gets out of control. Signs you are getting angry may include:

  • Your muscles feel tense, commonly the muscles in your jaw or arms
  • You feel increased pressure in your head
  • Your face feels hot and your cheeks flushed
  • You have an increased heart rate and are breathing heavily

Tips for managing anger

If you feel yourself getting angry, there are ways you can try to refrain from becoming violent or abusive. If you practise these techniques you will be able to use them when you’re losing control.

Make a list of things that make you angry

If you know the things that trigger you and make you angry, you may be able to avoid them or do things differently to avoid them.

Take a break

Taking a break means to step away from a situation to give yourself space. Try saying the words ‘I need to take time out — I’ll come back to this’.

Controlled breathing

Try to slow your breathing by taking five deep, long, breaths. Focus on these breaths. While you’re breathing, try to relax the muscles in your body focusing on the face and arms.

Talk yourself down

Telling yourself you can handle the situation with getting angry can help calm you down.

Use words like ‘relax, this isn’t worth getting angry about’

Try to avoid negative statements that might make you angrier, such as ‘she’s such a pain’ or ‘how dare he do that!’.

Use imagery

Picturing yourself in a calm and relaxed environment may help. If laying on the beach, swimming or hiking calms you, picture these places

Gentle exercise

Getting some light exercise such as walking, pilates and yoga can relax your muscles and make you feel more calm.

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