ICE 4 Life

Anger Management

We all experience anger at some point. Anger lets us know that we are not happy about what is happening in a situation. It is important never to do anything out of anger as you may regret your actions. Anger management allows you to retain control when you feel angry which means you are more likely to behave confidently and positively.

There are some physiological signs of anger (things which happen physically in our body) which lets us know that we are becoming angry:

Sweaty palms
Teeth start to grit and grind
Racing heart
Hands clench into fists
Start to bite your lip
Body starts to shake
Get ‘butterfly’ feelings in stomach
May start to feel tearful

It is good to recognise your own signs as it gives you the chance to take yourself away from the situation which is making you feel angry, practice calming strategies and give yourself time for the anger to pass.

Remember, anger is an emotion and it passes, just like any other emotion. You can learn to control your anger by learning strategies, tools and techniques to help you remain calm in a situation which may evoke powerful emotions.

Some things which make people angry…

Being called a liar ... Being made fun of ... being bullied ... being ignored ... being blamed for something you didn't do ...

Some things which can help you to rid your anger…

• Write in your diary, or try some reading.
• Consider the good points about the person who makes you mad.
• Talk calmly to the person who has angered you and tell them how you feel.
• Think of something completely different.
• Think of some things that you did which were funny. Laughter gets rid of a lot of Anger!
• Breathe slowly, in through your nose and out through your mouth 3-4 times.
• Go do some kind of physical activity. This is excellent for expelling negative energy.
• Listen to some soothing music, or a favourite song.
• Lie down or sit quietly for some time until you feel calmer.
• Go for a long walk – take the dog if you have one or walk with a friend for company.
• Talk to a friend.
• Watch TV.
• Have a good cry.
• Sleep.
• beating on pillows or cushions
• Rip up a magazine or newspapers
• Beat on some drums
• Try yelling or screaming in a field or near sea
• Write a letter of anger, and tear it up
• Try the Macramé exercise
• Try a Deep breathing exercise
• Try a Visualisation technique
• Do the ‘Sky-smile’ exercise
• Talk to a trusted friend/adult
• Get an empty plastic milk container or similar and jump up and down on it until it becomes a two-dimensional object.
• Save up all your empty bottles and visit the bottle bank. The sound of breaking glass is so soothing, especially when you are doing the breaking.
• Empower yourself with knowledge and insight and learn defensive phrases such as "I'm sorry you choose to feel like that." This keeps you in control.
• Every time you have a negative thought force yourself to say repeatedly "I love myself exactly as I am. I am okay! Disregard negative thoughts!!
• Cut contact with all the negative people in your life - if this is not possible (e.g. the bully is a close relative), then minimise contact.
• Concentrate on what YOU want to do with your life. Don’t interest yourself with what other people are doing. Just be interested in making your life happy!

How to keep your cool

• Walk away from the situation and give yourself time to calm down.

• Shout or scream (where it will not alarm anyone) to vent your feelings of frustration.

• Use deep breathing techniques or count to ten.

• Listen to the other person’s point of view.

• Think of a phrase you can use when you are angry, like ‘I am not even going to dignify that with a response’… if someone says something that is upsetting to you.

Anger is an emotion

• It lets you know that your needs or someone else's needs aren't being met
• It tells you that you may have been treated unfairly or disrespectfully
• Is a cue that something needs to be done to mend hurt feelings
If you aren't careful about how you express your anger, you may risk destroying a friendship or a relationship that you care about. People will not ‘put up’ with your anger if it becomes unhealthy with frequent outbursts.
Feeling angry sometimes is normal and healthy. Feeling angry all the time can lead to loneliness and depression.
Taking the time to learn what makes you angry, becoming aware of how you deal with your anger, and learning how to express your anger in a positive way, will ensure you have ongoing healthy relationships, less stress and a happier life.

Facts about anger

• Negative and destructive anger can ruin relationships and possibly your reputation
• It's healthy to let others know what makes you angry
• It's OK to feel angry as long as you don't hurt others, yourself or property
• Violent and destructive anger is NEVER OK


Anger Strategies

For a lot of people, when they become angry the first thing they notice is their hands going into fists. When this happens, the anger flows easily as you feel tense. A quick anger management strategy is to release your fists.

Remember... Unclenched fists make better choices.

Another strategy to try is deep breathing. By breathing in deeply and slowly through your nose and then blowing out through your mouth, you oxegenate your brain, therefore returning your body back to its natural state of calm. Try this 3-4 times for effective results.

Remember... Breathe in positivity... Blow out negativity.

If you are getting angry with someone and despite telling them, you are STILL feeling angry with them you need to create space between you and the person. Try moving away, take some time-out, go to another room, go for a walk, sit in the bathroom... anywhere as long as you create space between you both. Anger passes and when the emotion is reduced you can deal with the problem more effectively.

Remember... Create space between you and the person or situation.