Anger is a normal healthy emotion. It can prove to be a problem if you can't control it. It's claimed unresolved anger is linked to high blood pressure, heart attack, depression, and digestive disorders. It has been estimated that the cost to our society through agony and torture fuelled by anger is around £103 billion but the human cost is unfathomable.
As we heard on-air (you can hear our report again via the audio player located further down this page) from Mike Fisher at the British Association of Anger Management there are rules of anger management that can help.
Stop, think and look at the bigger picture - create time to think about the consequences of the event and the reaction.
It's OK to have a different opinion - opinions are not facts! They are only what you think.
Listen Carefully – L.O.V.E. Learn – in order to learn, listen. Observe – observe the other person's body language.
Verify – clarify information. Empathise – keep your heart open at all times.
Use your support network - the group of people you can call on when you need to talk to someone so your anger doesn't get out of control.
Keep a Journal - this is a powerful way of not internalizing your anger. Record how you feel about what happened, and your views on a problem. By using your journal it will bring clarity to the situation.
Don't take anything personally - nothing others do or say is because of you. What others do and say is a projection of their own reality onto yourself. When you are immune to the opinions, projections, behaviors, and actions of others, you will not be a victim of needless suffering any longer.
• Breathe deeply, count to 7 on the in breath and 11 on the out breath.
• Remind yourself to "KEEP YOUR COOL".
• Remove yourself from the situation physically and emotionally if possible.
• Count backward from 20 to 1.
• Go for a walk, ideally in a park or open space.
• Visualise a calm tranquil place, e.g. sea or mountains, for about 2 minutes.
• Let go of any expectations you might have.
• Remember life is unfair!
• Yoga, meditation, swimming, and relaxation, good for de-stressing.
• Take up a relaxing hobby, e.g. gardening.
• Relax in a bath whilst listening to chilled music.
• Listen or dance to music.
• Inhale relaxing aromatherapy oils, e.g. lavender.
Every time you feel angry with another person, you can either express your feelings, which triggers a reaction in the other person, or not express your anger, which will then build up inside you until eventually, you explode. You are in conflict with that person (holding onto grudges) and will remain so until you can resolve matters with them.
If this is not done (i.e. resolution is not reached) it is likely that you will remain resentful or hostile towards them. This serves no-one and only keeps your anger alive. Often when it comes to expressing our anger to others, there is fear about how to express it in such a way that it is clean, healing and empowering for both ourselves and others.
Using our basic clearing process, you will find that even in the most difficult and challenging situations you can confront someone, without it developing into a serious drama. This approach is simple and powerful. Use it in an angry situation but remember: Practice makes perfect. You will become more comfortable with this approach the more you use it.
Before starting the clearing process with someone please make sure that you consider the following:
1. Be certain about the facts relating to the conflict. (NOT your opinions!)
2. Practice the clearing process with a good friend (your support person) first. This allows time to explore your own projections before doing a clearing with the other person.
3. Be aware that this clearing is more about you than about them. (It gives you the opportunity to open your heart to the other person.)
4. IMPORTANT - The other person does not need to justify their behavior to you.
5. Tell the person that all you want them to do is just listen to you.
6. Offer them the opportunity to give you feedback at the end of the clearing process.
7. IMPORTANT - Give yourself enough time to do the clearing and ask the person how much time they have available to do this process.
8. Do not be attached to an outcome, sometimes the process will not go the way you want it to.
Always start your sentence by saying: "I feel angry with you..."
Then: ... because I have asked you 10 times to take out the garbage".
"What I want is when I ask you once to do something and you say yes, please do it".
"What I am willing to own about my behavior is often I do not follow through on commitments that I make".
Getting Help With Your Anger NHS Choices suggests that if you feel you need help dealing with your anger, see your GP. There might be local anger management courses or counseling that could help you.
The structure of the programmes can differ, depending on who is providing it, but most programmes include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), as well as counseling. A typical anger management programme may involve one-to-one counseling and work in a small group. The programmes can consist of a one-day or weekend course. In some cases, it may be over a couple of months. There are private courses and therapists who can help with anger issues. Make sure any therapist you see is registered with a professional organization, such as the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy.
Listen to this weeks radio report
All material on this website is provided for your information only and may not be construed as medical advice or instruction. No action or inaction should be taken based solely on the contents of this information; instead, readers should consult appropriate health professionals on any matter relating to their health and well-being.