Thursday, March 17, 2011


Anger can be an overwhelming and destructive emotion which can easily grow if not checked.

Regard anger as a warning signal – recognize it, let it go, and search for the root of the anger so as to identify and be able to work on the solution to the trigger event.

Imagine what a reconciliation would look like and how you would feel. If reconciliation is not an option, imagine what it would be like to be ok with letting go of a difficult situation in order to make room for a better one.

When you are no longer feeling intense anger, you can then decide which of the above options would suit you better and begin working towards that goal. This may be as simple as agreeing to disagree or it may be more difficult requiring comprise or ending an abusive relationship.

Get outside perspective by talking to friends or family. They may be able to provide you with an outlook that isn’t confused by such a powerful feeling.

Be willing to admit you overreacted. This is not to say that the reason for your anger should be ignored, but that a violent reaction, emotional or physical, is not helpful in reaching a solution.

Try to understand the other person’s point of view. It may be possible they didn’t intend to hurt you.

Talk to the other person, when you’re less angry. By communicating you can help them understand your perspective as well as learn theirs so that missteps don’t occur in the future.

Understand how being angry can negatively affect your health, such as increased risk of coronary heart disease, and the people around you.

Find things to counteract your anger such as watching a funny movie.

Be willing to apologise and just as important, be willing to accept an apology.

Take a deep breathe and relax your muscles.

Have a few quotes or mantras written down to remind yourself of the negativity of anger and the benefits of letting it go.
“For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness.” (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
“In a controversy, the instant we feel anger, we have already ceased striving for truth and have begun striving for ourselves” (Abraham J. Heschel )
“To forgive is the highest, most beautiful form of love. In return, you will receive untold peace and happiness.” (Robert Muller)

There is increasing evidence that venting anger does not help alleviate the emotion and may actually increase it. From a cognitive perspective, venting can be viewed as practicing. It can also harm the people around you.

Questions to Help Angry People Think More Logically
• Why am I angry?
• What else contributed to this state of mind?
• What other feelings do I have?
o Am I feeling rejected?
o Hurt?
o Shocked?
o Threatened?
o Am I afraid of change or of losing something?
o Am I feeling vulnerable?
o Bewildered?
o Guilty?
o Insulted?
o Harassed?
o Manipulated?
• What did I expect in the situation?
• Did I check to see if my impressions are correct?
o What is the proof?
o How else could I interpret this?
o And how else?
• Am I overreacting or blowing things out of proportion?
• Who am I angry at?
• Am I venting my anger at someone other than the source of my frustration?
• Am I overlooking the good aspects of my relationship with this person?
• Is the event really less important than I first thought?
• Am I blaming someone for the anger I responded with?
• Did the person I am angry at intentionally hurt me?
• Could a difference in lifestyles, values, opinions, or upbringing play a part in this conflict?
• How do the other people involved in this situation probably feel?
o In what other ways could they possibly feel?
• Am I being selfish and forgetting the needs and desires of other people?
• How can I best bring about the changes I need?
• Do I need to learn to accept a situation that won't change?
• What would I say to a friend in this situation if I were trying to help?
• What would a counselor, teacher, or minister trying to help say?

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