Anger Management Strategies

While anger management tips can help you keep from blowing up, the best anger management strategy is to begin anger management when you're not inflated!

Most experts agree that in order to learn long-term anger management techniques, you first need to recognize the "triggers" that set off your anger. But, what do you do if you're angry most of the time?

An excellent beginning anger management strategy is a small change in your environment. Even a 15-20 minutes environment change, can make a big change in your perspective.

Anger Management Strategy #1: Changing Your Environment

  1. If you usually spend your day indoors, make a point to spend some personal time outdoors. Putter in your yard or take a walk. The fresh air will do you good, both physically and mentally.

    If you work mostly outdoors, spend some personal, private time indoors. Go home, put your feet up and andrelax.

  2. If you spend the day in physical labor, give yourself a "quiet time". Sit on a park bench and watch the world go by or sit in your favorite chair and let your tired muscles relax.

    If you spend most of your day ina sit-down job, get those lethargic muscles moving! After work, take some time to walk, run, exercise to feel a surge of renewed energy in both mind and body!

  3. If you spend your day in noise, make sure your "quiet time" is quiet. Give yourself a chance to calm down and clear the chaos from your thoughts.

    If you spend your day where the silence is deafening, go home and pump up the volume! Listen to the radio, play a CD, watch an half-hour of television. Get your mind off your problems!

Anger Management Strategy #2: Learn to Recognize Your Anger Activators
When you're reasonably calm, take a few minutes to examine recent times when your anger flared. Jot them down. Don't relive each; just look for what triggered your anger - your anger activators. What started you simmering and when did you boil over? What effect did your temper flares have on those around you and most importantly, you? What resulted from your anger? Let this be the beginning of your anger log or anger diary.

Each day, "log" occurrences of your anger and their triggers. You'll likely find that many of the same things are making you see red everyday.

For instance, a lot of folks start each day confronted by the harsh, irritating beeping of an alarm clock. If you're one of them, consider changing its tune. Set a clock radio to music instead of alarm or purchase an alarm that starts with a quiet pulse and slowly increases in intensity.

Anger Management Strategy #3: The Serenity Prayer
You may have heard the platitude, "You're either part of the problem or part of the solution." However, to paraphrase Abe Lincoln:

"You can solve all of the problems some of the time and some of the problems all of the time, but you can't solve all of the problems all of the time."

For instance, when you experience the loss of a family member, the anger you may feel is a natural part of grieving. No matter what you do, you can't solve the problem, but you can learn to control and resolve your anger.

"God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The Courage to change the things we can,
And the Wisdom to know the difference."

For decades, Alcoholics Anonymous and other 12-step programs have used the Serenity Prayer to help their members cope with their problems. Even if you don't believe in a higher power, you can still use this simple message as an anger management strategy to help control your anger.

If anger is affecting your relationships, your work, or your health, consider seeking help. An anger management group, class or private counseling may be your best anger management strategy. Any of these can help you develop an anger management program based on proven anger management techniques.

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