Anger is something everyone experiences from time to time. It’s a normal human reaction. But if you’re prone to bursts of anger, you need to learn how to cool off before it leads to violence. People who display bursts of anger are more likely to become violent. Instead of allowing their anger to defuse, they allow their anger to simmer until it becomes uncontrollable and then explodes. If you have anger that acts like this, chances are you need help in controlling your behavior. Otherwise, you may do something you regret — something that could hurt someone or could get you into serious trouble.
Anger is a normal behavior, however, some ways that people display anger is not normal. If you are an exceedingly volatile person, chances are you learned this behavior from someone else. Maybe a family member, a bully, a teacher, or a boss acted in an explosive manner. Maybe they acted violently towards you, and you and turned had to act violently towards them. In some households, violence is common, as are explosive temperaments. If you grew up in such a household, you’re more likely to behave explosively as well.
Warning signs of violent anger include loss of temper, alcohol or drug abuse, threatening other people, physical fighting, hurting animals, vandalism, string property, and other signs of violence. If you show any of the signs or if someone you know behaves in any of these ways, it’s a sign that you or they may need counseling and would benefit from anger management.
If you have explosive, uncontrolled anger and you want to control it better, the good news is you can unlearn your behavior. Controlling your anger starts with recognizing what triggers your anger. When you can identify what causes you to get angry, you can will readily predict what situations can cause an outburst and prepare to deal with it.
Come up with the phrase that will calm yourself such as “I will be calm.” When you start feeling angry, take deep breaths and count to five as you exhale. Some people like to count to 10. If you feel like you’re going to explode, take a time out and leave the situation. Take a walk, go someplace else, practice your breathing, and calm down. Think about why you are getting angry and what would be the correct response to the situation that would make it better. Lastly, if you find your anger is truly out of control, get help with it. A psychologist who specializes in anger management can help you learn to react appropriately in situations.