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Coping Skills for Anger Management

Instructor: Quentin Shires

Quentin has taught psychology and other social science classes at the university level and is considered a doctoral colleague at Capella University.

In this lesson, learn how anger issues can suddenly surface in your life. Afterwards, identify healthy coping skills that you can utilize when experiencing these sudden outbursts of anger.

In this lesson, learn how anger issues can suddenly surface in your life. Afterwards, identify healthy coping skills that you can utilize when experiencing these sudden outbursts of anger.

What is Anger?

Anger is a feeling that oftentimes is characterized by the experience of annoyance, displeasure, and hostility. Sure, we have all experienced anger in our lives, and it can be seen as a completely healthy emotion. However, keep in mind that as the feeling gets stronger, the unhealthier it can be for our psyche. Whether we experience a fleeting annoyance or a full-fledged rage, we need to control our anger before it controls us!

Coping skills can be effectively used so reduce your feelings of anger and deal calmly with situations

Anger Management 101

It's easy to sit there and wonder how to control your anger; however, learning coping skills will not be effective on their own if we don't figure out where the source of our anger is coming from. Understanding the origins of your anger, or trigger and warning signs, can help decrease the possibility that you won't experience a full-on rage, which is where anger can be destructive in your life. Triggers can be as simple as being cut off in traffic, running late for an appointment, or a partner breaking up with you. Remember, we can't always control what happens to us, but we can control how we will react to these different situations.

Becoming aware of your body is a good way to look at warning signs as to how you are experiencing anger. For example, is your heart racing, are you irritable, are your muscles tight, and your fists clenched together? These warning signs can tell you that you are experiencing a much more intense feeling of anger, which needs to be addressed through different coping skills.

Anger and Coping Strategies

It is important to remember that coping strategies will not take away your feelings of anger completely; moreover, they will reduce the feelings so that you can effectively cope with the situation and lessen the stress on your body. Learning coping skills that you can utilize when feeling angry will help you deal with this strong emotion head on, and, over time, dealing with feelings of anger and rage becomes second nature.

Relaxation. This is a coping skill that can be used immediately when experiencing anger. The main point is to relax your body, as we follow the premise that when our bodies relax, so too does our mind. There are different ways to relax your body; however, the quickest and easiest way is to take deep breathes while counting slowly to ten. A good example of this is to close your eyes, breathe in slowly, exhale slowly, and then count for every time you do this. This will slow down your heart rate, as well as calm your mind so that you can focus on the situation. Remember, you can count as much or as little as you need to, depending on the severity of the situation.

Time out. Removing yourself from the situation is a great way to calm down and think things through before reacting. Think about the last time you had a fight with your partner. I'm sure that if there was yelling and charged-up emotions, you wanted to respond similarly. When we are angry, it is easy to say things that we don't mean, so try taking a time out where you remove yourself from the situation to cool down. If your partner is instigating a fight with you, it is okay to say, 'I need to take a time out to calm down. Let's talk in a few moments'. This shows your partner that you want to address the issue, as well as dedicating a time where you can talk about how to solve the problem when you are not emotionally charged.

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