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Relaxation Techniques to Manage Anger

Anger is a normal part of life... 

Things happen that irritate and frustrate us. When you or someone else is wronged, anger is a natural emotion. But allowing anger to fester and smolder rather than using appropriate and healthy ways of expressing it can be detrimental to everyone. So, think before you speak.

In the heat of the moment, it's easy to say something you'll regret. Take a few minutes to collect your thoughts before saying anything — and allow others-involved-in-the-situation to do the same. Once everyone is calm... speak clearly and directly.... without hurting others or trying to control them.

Physical activity can help reduce stress that leads to becoming angry. When you start to feel angry, go for a walk or run, or do other activities you enjoy. Take short breaks during stressful times. A few moments of quiet time might help you feel-better-prepared to handle what's ahead... minus the anger or irritability

Instead of focusing on what made you mad, work on resolving the issue. Does your child's messy room bother you? Close the door. Is your partner late for dinner every night? Schedule meals later or agree to eat on your own a few times a week. Remind yourself that anger won't fix anything and might make things worse.

Try forgiving the person you are angry with. Forgiving is a powerful tool. If you allow anger and other negative emotions to crowd out positive feelings, you might become overwhelmed by your bitterness and sense of injustice. However, if you can forgive someone who angered you, you might both learn from the situation and strengthen your relationship.

Using relaxation skills is a great way to manage anger. Use deep-breathing exercises, repeat a calming-word-or-phrase, like "Take it easy.” Concentrate on a poem, prayer or spiritual writing. Try listening to music, writing in your journal, or do a few yoga poses. When you are angry, learn to apply the discipline of relaxation.

Jerry Strausbaugh, EdD, LPCCS, Executive Director

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