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Anger Management

Like love, grief and happiness, anger is a basic, human emotion.

It serves an important survival function by communicating to ourselves and to others that something is wrong. How we express anger is something we learn. As children, we may have learned from one or both parents that anger can be used to get attention or to get one’s way or we may have learned that we should show the “good” emotions - love and happiness, for instance - and keep “bad” emotions like anger inside.




We may deny that we’re angry because it seems irrational or we may fear losing control but whether it’s expressed directly or consciously, all people experience anger. Because we learn how to express anger, we also can learn how to manage it. this is particularly important for anyone who handles anger inappropriately - by hurting others or themselves or by making poor decisions in fits of anger.



Four Steps to Manage your Anger


ADMIT IT

The next time you feel angry, admit it to yourself. Don’t deny feelings of anger or try to cover them up. Identify your anger. Many of us have been taught to push our anger down as soon as it surfaces, sometimes before we even recognize it. If you have been denying anger for a long time, it may take some practice to recognize it when it surfaces. But, if you attune yourself to what triggers your anger, you will find many things bring out angry feelings


EXPLORE IT

When you’ve identified what made you angry, stop and think about it. then, explore why you’re angry - get to the source of the emotion. If it’s something someone said to you, ask yourself why it made you angry. Give yourself a little time to think and you may put the situation into another perspective. Anger isn’t wrong - it is a natural emotion. It tells us something doesn’t fit our view of the world. It’s also a way of protecting ourselves by responding to perceived threats. On the other hand, reacting rashly or impulsively to anger can ruin relationships, or worse, lead to violence.


EXPRESS IT

Expressing your anger is the next step. If you think your anger might come out as rage, find a way to calm yourself first - breath deeply again or go for a walk. When you can discuss the issue without exploding, do so. If you start to feel angry while you’re talking, calm yourself down again. Do not use a personal attack as an expression of anger. This will only fuel the other person’s anger and may lead to the situation spiraling out of control. Make sure your anger doesn’t get in the way of what you are trying to express


DROP IT

The final step may be the hardest. It’s also the most important part as well. Once you’ve addressed the source of your anger, drop it. Whether the object of your anger changes or not, you’ve done all you can by expressing your anger in a healthy way.





Ways NOT to handle anger



EVASION

Denying or not being able to identify your anger. Evading increases stress and may lead to such stress-related illnesses such as headache or depression.


CONTAINMENT

Knowing that you are angry, but keeping it inside. Boxing up anger only delays its expression. Eventually, anger may lead to angry outburst or temper tantrums.


DISPLACEMENT

Taking your anger out on something other than the object of your anger. Someone who destroys a neighbor’s property because of misunderstanding or a co-worker who sabotages a work project because he’s angry over working conditions are some examples.


INDIRECT EXPRESSION

Being angry for a specific reason but blaming your anger on something else. For instance, you may be angry at your teenaged son for his poor study habits, but instead of addressing his study skills as the source of your anger, you pick fights over his use of the phone.


 

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