“Anger management is the process of learning to recognize signs that you’re becoming angry, and taking action to calm down and deal with the situation in a positive way. Anger management doesn’t try to keep you from feeling anger or encourage you to hold it in. Anger is a normal, healthy emotion when you know how to express it appropriately – anger management is about learning how to do this.” – The Mayo Clinic
While the above quote may be lengthy, it provides perhaps the most concise description of what constitutes “anger management.” It’s not the denial of anger, nor the attempt to suppress any feelings that may surface about the emotion. Anger management is about learning how to deal with anger. Many of us have either experienced recurrent bouts of uncontrollable anger or known someone close to us who has. Tragically, the end-result of elevated, irrepressible anger is too often emotionally and physically harmful. Many deaths at the hands of someone else have been attributed to “fits of rage” or something similar.
We all experience this surge of anger – to various degrees – from time to time. Perhaps it’s when someone cuts us off in traffic, when a family member instigates conflict, or when a co-worker refuses to work together amicably. In these and many other scenarios, the temptation to resort to anger is highly compelling. Should a strong surge of anger arise, it’s best to accept its presence and handle it. This brings us to the topic of this article: managing anger effectively.
Let’s get down to it.