We will inevitably face situations and encounter individuals who generate feelings of anger within us but learning to counter those feelings and manage them appropriately is key to healthy development and coping.
Anger management exercises are an excellent way to go about this process. Research has shown that anger management exercises are linked to improved well-being and reduce the number of angry outbursts experienced. Thus, learning about anger management exercises and implementing the right combination of exercises is essential to controlling anger and preventing anger from controlling you.
When we experience negative emotions such as anger, we typically experience a rapid increase in our breathing. A quick and relatively simple way to regulate our mood is to control our breathing.
Consciously slowing and deepening our breathing can bring us back to a calm state that helps us manage our emotions. You can accomplish this by breathing slowly and deeply from the belly. Repeat as many times as needed to generate calm.
Getting the body moving is another way to stimulate calm and manage feelings of anger. Research shows that exercise can reduce stress and anxiety, which can keep anger at bay.
Regularly exercising each day/week is a great way to deal with anger that may pop up preemptively, but in moments where you feel unexpectedly angry, getting physical on the spot can also be an immediate step to take to deal with how you feel. Something as simple as going for a walk/run or doing yoga can release hormones that stimulate feelings of joy and calm and work to combat anger.
Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Progressive muscle relaxation is a way to release tension in the body that tends to get stored up when a person is angry and upset. This technique involves slowly tensing up and then relaxing one muscle group in the body at a time.
An easy method is to start at the top of the head and move down to the toes. By going through this process, tension is gradually reduced, stress released, and anger decreased.
One of the best methods for managing anger is understanding what your triggers are and taking measures to avoid them beforehand. When we know those things and people that tend to lead us towards feelings of anger, we can take proactive steps to limit our interactions, create space/distance, or avoid altogether.
Often, the anger we feel towards a situation or individual is because we don’t have a complete understanding of the situation or what is trying to be communicated by the individual. Listening to understand or taking a pause during a situation to assess and process can prevent you from making unfair or faulty assumptions. With a proper understanding of the situation or information, you might find that you’re not upset after all.
Via these strategies, you can manage and even conquer your anger. For some, just one of these strategies may be effective, while other people might need to combine multiple techniques to deal with their anger.
Either way, finding what works for you will help you be less reactive and better able to deal with unpleasant situations and challenging individuals in healthy and appropriate ways.