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How to control anger: 7 practical tips

How to control anger: 7 practical tips

June 20, 2024

The problems related to anger are a frequent reason for consulting professionals in psychology.

There are even therapists who are specialized only in the Anger control and the aggressiveness , data that tells us that it is something that affects many people. How to control anger? This is precisely what patients ask, since it is often difficult to handle the aggressive tendency or to get upset without outside help.

Today we treat the problem of anger and aggression, and we present some tips to control it.

What exactly is anger?

Anger is an emotion that is characterized by a rapid increase in heart rate, blood pressure, and levels of noradrenaline and adrenaline in the blood. It is also common for the person who feels anger to redden, sweat, tense their muscles, breathe more quickly and see their bodily energy increased.

Being an emotion related to the aggressive impulse, some experts point out that anger is the manifestation of the response that our brain emits to attack or flee from danger. On the other hand, the mental state proper to moments of anger makes us instinctive and diminishes our ability to reason.

The causes of anger

Anger can arise as a result of a state of insecurity, envy, fear, etc. Anger can also appear when we are unable to face a specific situation , can hurt us or bother us the way in which people in our environment act.

In short, anger or aggressiveness often appears in situations that we perceive as a threat. Therefore, anger is based on feelings such as fear, fear, frustration or even fatigue.

When we feel frustrated with something, we can react in several ways. For the case at hand, one of the possible reactions to frustration is anger. Aggression, on the other hand, is the outward manifestation of the anger we feel.

The anger appears automatically in some situations that hinder us to achieve goals or objectives. The emotions we feel do not occur without reason, but each one has a specific function. In the case of anger, the brain causes this been to prepare us to make an effort superior to overcome the difficulty that has been presented to us.

Types of anger

Anger has different facets and takes different forms:

1. Aggressive behavior and violence It can appear as a way to achieve different objectives when we have not been able to achieve them without using violence. In this case, we could talk about an instrumental anger, because we use it as a means to obtain something. The therapists associate this behavior with poor communication skills or self-control, but it will always be possible to improve these aspects.

2. It may appear anger as explosion , because of having endured for a long time an unfair or disturbing situation. Thus, the small daily frustrations are accumulated and, based on not expressing our discomfort, we end up exploding at one time or another. The solution to this type of vicious circles is to adequately manage anger, and not accumulate it until it explodes.

3. Anger as a defense It arises when we perceive that they are attacking us or we face a difficulty. Normally, we tend to react negatively more by intuition than by objective facts, which can lead to our anger being objectively justified.

How to control anger? Some tips to manage it

Become aware of the causes that lead to a state of anger It is a great step to move towards good management of our anger. Learning to control anger involves learning to rationalize some irrational emotions and impulses and relativize the reactions produced by some events in life.

Otherwise, aggressiveness and anger can lead to a permanent state of alert that can generate bad personal experiences. Therefore, one of the key factors in the management of anger is the self-control , but it is also worth highlighting the following dynamics in order to develop anger prevention:

1. Do not accumulate anger but manage it properly

When something unfair happens and we do not react, we accumulate anger and anger. Sooner or later, all this anger that we keep it will burst and it can lead to an episode of Verbal and / or physical violence . Therefore, it is important to face the problems with assertiveness and control, so as not to let the ball of anger grow at times.

2. Avoid the winner / loser mentality

On many occasions, we get angry as a reaction to the frustration of not having achieved some goals that we set ourselves, or when something has not gone as we expected. In these cases, the empathy It is the distinctive feature among those who know how to manage frustration, control anger and accept the setbacks with sportsmanship. We must avoid posing interpersonal relationships as a game in which you win or lose.

3. Reflect on the causes and consequences of our irascibility

Think about it and analyze if our emotional reaction is really justified can help us Many times we do not think why we burst into a fit of anger, for example when we drive a car and react instantly by insulting or gesturing to other drivers when they do something wrong.

At that time it would be vital to meditate on why we reacted in this way: have you thought about the possible consequences of having an episode of anger while you are driving? Seen like that, maybe it's worth taking these situations differently.

4. Rest enough

When we are physically or mentally depleted, our anger reactions and aggressive impulses are more frequent and we have fewer tools to manage them. For this reason it is necessary to rest and sleep the necessary hours: both quantitatively (sleep at least 8 hours) and qualitatively (rest well).

In addition, there are several times of the day when we are more vulnerable to bursting with anger, and that varies from one person to another. We are able to control anger when we are rested, because we can better analyze situations.

5. Relaxation, meditation, self-control ...

Relaxation is the best way to prevent the fits of anger. There are different ways of relaxing: practicing sports, yoga, meditation, Mindfulness, taking a bath of hot water, or any method that happens to distract the mind and lead to a state of positivity.

In fact, at specific times when we detect that we may have an angry reaction, it is a good idea to try to breathe deeply and slowly for at least twenty seconds: this will cause our body to detoxify from the negativity and irascibility that we feel .

6. Avoid irritating situations and people

We must avoid finding ourselves in situations in which we know that they can increase our anger or lead us to a negative state. It is also likely that you know certain people who irritate you especially (the dreaded toxic people).

As far as possible, we must try to avoid the contexts in which we know we can explode , and as for the people who irritate us, sometimes it will be impossible to have no contact (bosses, a specific family member), therefore, as far as possible, we should try to talk with that person in order to that the interactions are not so irritating.

7. Therapy with a psychologist

The help of a professional and accredited psychotherapist can decisively help to manage this type of emotional reactions, especially when it has reached a point where aggressive behaviors derived from poor control of anger are frequent.

Psychological therapy for these cases is aimed at modifying attitudes that generate situations of anger, and allow to achieve a cognitive restructuring so that the patient can manage and control their anger. Some emotional control techniques are also used to control anger and thus manage aggressiveness.

Bibliographic references:

  • Azrin, N.H. and Nunn, R.G. (1987). Treatment of nervous habits. Barcelona: Martinez Roca.
  • Crespo, M. and Larroy, C. (1998). Behavior modification techniques. Madrid: Dykinson
  • Caballo, V. (comp.) (1991). Manual of behavior modification and therapy techniques. Madrid: Siglo XXI.
  • Froján, M.X. (1998). Behavioral consulting Brief psychological therapy. Madrid: Pyramid.
  • Left, A. (1988). Use of methods and techniques in behavior therapy. Valencia: Promolibro.
  • Payne, R.A. (2005). Relaxation techniques. Practical Guide. Badalona: Paidotribo.
  • Vallejo, M.A., Fernández-Abascal, E.G. and Labrador, F.J. (1990). Behavior modification: case analysis. Madrid: TEA.

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