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5 Tips for When Your Anger Feels Out of Control

5 Healthy Ways to Control Your Anger

While anger is a natural human emotion, it can be destructive when expressed inappropriately. Knowing how to handle anger helps you make healthier choices and preserve important relationships. Here are six anger management tips for when your emotions start getting out of control.

Slow down the moment. When we are angry, our fight or flight response triggers physiological changes that are difficult to control. You can reduce the effects by taking slow, steady, deep breaths from your nose and releasing the air out of your mouth as you count to ten or even 100 if necessary.

Take a break. Sometimes it's best to remove yourself from situations that inspire anger. For many people, this is the best way to prevent regretful words or actions. Tell the other person you need to take a break and revisit the situation later. Then, go take a walk or get some exercise to help calm your frustration. You can also use the time to meditate or use progressive muscle relaxation techniques, which involves tensing and then slowly relaxing various muscle groups in your body, one at a time. Research has shown that this technique can reduce tension and help regulate a person's mood.

Take a good look at yourself. For some people, anger can be like a drug that makes them feel powerful, tough and righteous. Unfortunately, this is not how they are viewed by their children, friends and partners. Sometimes it can help to stand in front of a mirror and play out one of your most recent angry moments. This can show you how others perceive your outbursts. It can also give you perspective on how your anger impacts others by making them feel hurt, scared or frustrated enough to meet your anger with their own.

Monitor your rage. If you constantly struggle with anger, it's a good idea to monitor your feelings and behaviors. In addition to enhancing your insight, this can give you a more detached, observer-like perspective. Get a notebook and record instances where you felt impatient, frustrated or enraged. Note any details and facts, so you can look for similarities in the causes and in the way you reacted. By systematically recording and describing your behavior, you can gain perspective on how you can improve and whether you might need help from an anger management professional.

Reach out for support. Sometimes even our best efforts aren't enough to rein in our anger. When our rage leads to hurtful words and inappropriate actions, we can alienate friends and loved ones. We can also cause long-term emotional and psychological harm to our children, while negatively impacting our self-esteem.

Although impatience and everyday frustrations can cause anyone's temper to flare; unchecked anger can lead to serious problems and resentment in certain situations. A qualified therapist can help you learn to recognize destructive thoughts and behavior patterns and develop better ways to express your anger.

Utilizing cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) techniques, the skilled therapists at Foundations Counseling can help you learn to express your anger in an assertive, healthy, controlled way. Effective anger management counseling can benefit you and everyone around you. You will feel better about yourself, and strained relationships will improve. Contact our caring therapists and take control of your anger, so you and your loved ones can live a happier, healthier life.