Anger management can be a significant challenge for many people, particularly because expressing anger inappropriately can cause a great deal of difficulty for oneself and others. While stifling or denying anger isn’t generally a good idea, it is also important to develop ways of expressing anger that won’t make matters worse by harming relationships or jeopardizing employment. When expressing anger, people should be careful about whom they express their anger to as well as the words and actions that accompany this expression. If they find themselves unable to control their anger, they should also seek professional help.
One of the problems with expressing anger is that this expression can quickly get out of control. For many people, going into a rage or protracted venting session can actually exacerbate anger. This prolongs a person's negative feelings and can lead to additional stress or negative behaviors. An individual who is experiencing anger may do well to find a positive outlet for himself, such as taking a long walk or exercising, which can reduce stress and relieve tension.
Sometimes it is important to discuss one's anger with someone else. In some cases, it makes sense to talk to the person who is the cause of the anger, while in other cases it may be best to seek support from a trusted friend, clergy person, or counselor. In the first case, it's a good idea to get oneself into a state of calm before approaching the other, as this can prevent out-of-control behavior and significant damage to what may be an important relationship. For example, it might be a good idea to write down the points that one wants to make when discussing the problem and sticking to this list during the ensuing discussion. By following this list, a person can address legitimate concerns while minimizing the risk of the conversation denigrating into name calling or bringing up past and often irrelevant events.
It is also important to be aware of the consequences of expressing anger. This means thinking about the possible ramifications of communicating anger to someone else. Throwing a temper tantrum at an office can result in job loss or at least hurt a person's career prospects. Expressing rage toward a close friend or family member may not only cause a rift between the two parties involved, but may also upset other family members and friends, causing additional strife.
Anger management help is available in a variety of contexts. Counseling is often available through community mental health centers and student counseling centers. In addition, support groups for those who need help managing their anger exist in many communities, and in some cases participation in these groups is free.