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Anger Management


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Consider some of these methods for managing anger:

Exercise

Regular exercise has been shown to reduce stress and improve mood—which makes it easier to cope with life's daily ups and downs. Yoga and other exercises designed to encourage relaxation may be particularly effective. In one study, participants who took a 60-minute yoga class once a week scored lower on anger tests than those who did not.

Is It Worth Getting Angry

When you start to feel yourself getting angry, take a few seconds to ask yourself:

  • Is this important enough to get angry over?
  • Do I have any control over this? Can I change things for the better?

For many of life's inconveniences—such as long checkout lines or traffic jams—you'll probably find yourself answering "no" to one or both of these questions. It's usually not worth your time to get angry in these situations.

However, if you answer, "yes" to both questions, it may be worth taking action.

Everyday Frustrations

Try breaking tension by taking several deep breaths and relaxing your muscles. You might slowly repeat a calming word or phrase, such as "peace" or "I can handle this." Soothing music also can help. So can visualizing yourself relaxing in a favorite restful spot.

How Do You Communicate

It helps to understand that one person's anger often feeds on another's. If someone says something hostile to you, it's natural to want to lash back with your own hostile comment—or to storm out of the room. These scenarios usually end up with a lot of hurt or unresolved feelings—and possibly worse. So controlling anger involves knowing how not to anger others—as well as how to cope with your own feelings. Easier said than done? Try these strategies the next time you're faced with a heated discussion:

  • When angry, count to 10 before speaking. Take a deep breath to calm yourself down. If possible, take a walk around the block.
  • Try to speak as calmly and logically as possible. Try not to say the first thing that comes into your head. Instead, take a deep breath and think carefully about what you want to say.
  • Listen respectfully to what the other person has to say.
  • Avoid all-or-nothing phrases, such as "you always" and " you never," which tend to alienate others.
  • Don't make demands ("I must have..." or "I want..."). Instead, politely state your desires and needs ("I would like..." or "It upsets me when you...").
  • If one of you is too angry to continue, suggest continuing the discussion later.

Listen to how you think. If you think in angry and negative terms, you'll be more likely to speak and behave that way, too. Try replacing irrational, dramatic thoughts ("This is a catastrophe!") with rational, calm ones ("We'll get through this.").

Humor

Humor can be an effective antidote for anger. It can quickly decrease tense feelings and help put things into perspective. One way is to put pictures to the phrases you use in anger. Let's say a friend is "driving you up the wall." Try seeing this friend driving a bulldozer and chasing you up the wall of a skyscraper.

But don't make light of a serious situation. Avoid sarcasm. Sarcasm is an unhealthy way to express anger.

What Are Your Triggers

For several weeks, keep a record of when and where you get angry to see if you get angry only in certain situations. Then see if certain triggers become noticeable. Maybe you'll find that crowded stores set you off. See if there are ways to change these situations. For example, you might plan your grocery shopping for early or late in the day, so you avoid the crowds.

Consider Counseling, if Necessary

Need some extra help with anger? Talk to your doctor about anger management counseling. Your physician can refer you to a mental health professional.

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Anger Management

Instructions: Type in Your Complete Name in the section below. When you have finished the test, then select the Submit button. Once the Submit button is pressed you will be redirected to a Completed Test Page. Your test will be graded and credited toward your annual training hours.

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