Anger self-help, also sometimes known as anger management, refers to techniques that can help control anger. Uncontrolled anger or improperly controlled anger can damage relationships, contribute to depression, make tasks more difficult to complete correctly, and even lead to legal problems in extreme cases. Experts generally agree that anger, as an emotion, serves a purpose, and that attempts to deny or suppress anger may be harmful. These same experts also believe, however, that expressing excessive anger does not typically help to minimize or mitigate feelings of anger. Effective anger self-help typically involves using exercise and relaxation techniques to cope with stress, and that overcoming anger also generally involves making changes to the way a person perceives himself and others.
Most experts agree that stress-relieving activities such as exercising, meditating, spending time with friends and loved ones, or listening to soothing music can help reduce the occurrence of anger. Relaxed, happy people are generally the least likely to experience uncontrollable anger. Anger is, however, considered a normal emotion. Almost everyone will experience anger once in a while. Learning appropriate anger self-help techniques can help make anger productive, instead of damaging.
Minimizing stress with exercise and revitalizing activities can help diminish the occurrence of anger. When feelings of anger are strong and difficult to control, a simple breathing technique can help someone calm himself. Experts advise taking a deep, slow breath to the count of three, and then exhaling that breath to the count of six, so that the exhale is longer than the inhale. Other effective anger self-help techniques include concentrating on a happy event in the past or on a thought that inspires happiness and peace.
When expressing anger, it is considered important to remain reasonable and non-threatening. Anger self-help experts usually point out that many of the causes for anger are inconsequential in the long term. Events without far-reaching consequences are usually considered bad reasons for anger, no matter how annoying they may be.
Experts similarly advise that people often make others angry unintentionally. Anger self-help therefore often involves understanding that the people who make someone angry may simply have done so by mistake. Those with anger management problems are generally advised to remember times in their own lives when they have angered others by mistake, as this can help to inspire sympathy and a willingness to resolve problems calmly.
Psychologists generally believe that anger is a self-defensive emotion, that arises when one feels one's personal boundaries have been violated. People who use their anger productively usually know how to express angry feelings while continuing to respect the person or people who caused the anger. They normally try to refrain from hostile or abusive behavior, and they also typically refrain from suppressing or denying anger.