The frequent ups and downs of your daily lives as men may lead you to experience feelings of anger. Anger stems from many experiences, such as frustration, disappointment, annoyance or hurt. In some men, anger is a defense mechanism, the only weapon they have when they feel powerless. This may have developed as a result of traumatic childhood experiences such as abuse, shaming or danger.
In such circumstances, telling a man to control his anger can lead to strong resistance, because it is like telling him to lower his defense mechanism. Anger in men, therefore, arises as a result of this emotion being their go-to response for many other emotions that they may feel, such as grief, stress or frustration.
Managing anger is an important way for men to address the underlying emotions that they may be facing. In addition, properly managing anger can enable one to avoid disrupting relationships, and to keep a level head during difficult situations.
Tips for managing your anger
1. Address the underlying emotion
In most cases, your frequent outbursts of anger are a response to an underlying emotion you are feeling. Look within yourself to discover what you’re feeling and why. The next step is to accept the existence of the emotions that you are going through and take steps towards addressing them.
For example, if you’re feeling insecure in a relationship or powerless in a particular situation, talk to the people involved and open up about how you feel. Seek out the support of friends and family in working through these situations.
2. Remove yourself from the situation
Take the time to understand what triggers your anger outbursts. This can enable you to remove yourself from situations that are likely to make you angry and lose control of your emotions. Keeping a log of when you experience anger outbursts can help you predict your anger in advance and anticipate when it is likely to come.
3. Learn to be assertive
Being assertive is an effective way of expressing your emotions without losing your temper. Express your feelings calmly and directly when faced with a situation that makes you angry. Being assertive however does not mean that you should be hostile or defensive. Take the time to also listen to the other person’s concerns, and learn to be patient with others as they express themselves.
By being assertive, you can more clearly express what you’re feeling and let out your inner frustrations in a controlled manner.
4. Seek comfort in humor
Humor has been shown to be effective at defusing anger. When feeling angry, find comfort in what makes you laugh or feel light-hearted. Think of previous funny thoughts and experiences, or try to make light of situations that make you upset.
Lightening your mood can help you divert your focus from angry thoughts and gain comfort from the funny moments that you recall.
5. Take Deep Breaths
When facing an anger outburst, take deep breaths and divert your thoughts away from what is making you angry. Focusing on angry thoughts will only fuel your frustration. Use positive self-talk and reassure yourself with soothing messages such as “relax”.
6. Consider professional help
There are many psychological issues that can lead to frequent outbursts of anger. If you feel like you can’t control your anger no matter how hard you try, you should seek the help of a psychologist or other mental health professional. They can help you channel your inner emotions and get to the root cause of your anger problems.
Author Bio: Suzie Wolfer is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Somatic Experiencing Professional. She has over 25,000 hours in face-to-face work with clients, and also worked in the business world in international trade as well as a University research director and as a professional artist and teacher. You can read more about Suzie and Counseling Services of Portland by visiting their website.
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