Anger Tool Kit
How angry are you?
- You are always being told you need to calm down
- You often feel tense and stressed
- You drink and/or smoke to relieve "stress"
- You have trouble getting to sleep/sleeping
- You shout and curse a lot
- You do not say what is on your mind but find you plot revenge and "get them back," even if they are unaware of having upset you in the first place
How bad is your temper?
- Are you quick to anger?
- Do you have a hot temper, with little provocation needed?
- Do you get angry and then bottle up your feelings?
- Are you slow to boil and then get out of control?
- Does your anger often pass mere annoyance and go straight to outright rage?
- Are you aware how often you "lose it"?
How are you feeling right now? The company angermgmt.com includes the following as just some of the names we give to our feelings of anger:
- Anxious / scared
Who/ what are you angry with?
- Spouse or partner
- Your children
- All men
- Nothing in particular
0-10= Manageable, although you could probably benefit from relaxation training.
10-25= Moderate: you need to learn more about what triggers stress and learn stress management techniques.
25+ = Out of control: you definitely have an anger problem and could benefit from learning anger management techniques.
Keeping Anger at Bay
The APA suggests the following guidelines for keeping anger at bay:
1.Relaxation: simple relaxation tools such as deep breathing and relaxing imagery can be effective. Relaxation techniques are also taught in childbirth education classes. Simple steps you can try:
- Breathe deeply, from your diaphragm. Picture your breath coming from deep inside your body and not just from your chest.
- Slowly repeat a calming word or phrase such as "relax" or "keep calm" while breathing deeply.
- Non-strenuous, slow yoga-like exercises can relax your muscles and make you feel calmer.
2. Change the way you think:
- Angry people tend to curse or speak in highly colourful terms which reflect their inner feelings and thoughts, so when angry try replace those usual dramatic thoughts with more rational ones.
3. Improve communication:
- Angry people also tend to jump to conclusions, and some of those conclusions can be inaccurate. The fist thing to do is slow down and think through your responses.
4. Break the habit:
- Become aware of what makes you angry and then try discover other ways to deal with such situations. If you cannot change who/ what angers you, change the way you react to the person/situation.
5. Take a look at your life:
- You may want to look at how tired you are or how stressed you are each day. Should you be tired, sick or just under stress you will anger and become frustrated more easily.
- You should be sure to eat a healthy diet, get plenty of sleep and avoid alcohol and cigarettes.
- Exercise also keeps pregnant women fit and its benefit is twofold. Not only will you receive an emotional lift from the release of endorphins, but your energy level will be increased and common complaints like backaches, breathlessness and constipation will be minimised by regular exercise.
American Psychological Association
Telephone: (202) 336 5700