Anger is a perfectly normal, healthy emotion. Everybody has different triggers, and what causes one person to see red might not bother the next person in the slightest. Anger only becomes a problem when it gets out of control. If you, or a man close to you, has trouble controlling anger, steps must be taken to deal with it in a more positive way. If ignored, high levels of uncontrolled anger may lead to relationship problems.
Give Yourself a Timeout
If you can catch your anger just as it starts to grip hold of you, you have a better chance of keeping it under control. Whenever you find yourself in a potentially volatile situation, emotionally distance yourself from it for a few moments. Concentrate on breathing deeply as you slowly count to 10, advises Mayo Clinic in the article "Anger Management: 10 Tips to Tame Your Temper." Resume the conversation when your anger has subsided. If you still feel that your anger could get out of control, walk away and give yourself more time to calm down.
According to therapist Steven Stosny in the article "Anger, Men, and Love," for Psychology Today, most male anger stems from feeling like a failure. If a man is unable to deal with feelings of inadequacy or insecurity in a positive, productive manner, he may release them the only way he knows how -- by unleashing anger on someone else (typically a partner or loved one). This may come across as controlling. Tell yourself that real power doesn't come from dominating others, but from acknowledging difficult emotions and communicating your needs in a respectful way. Remember, no matter how much someone is winding you up, you always have a choice how to react.
Switch Your Focus
The next time you get angry, pay attention to the physical sensations you experience. Common bodily responses to anger include rapid breathing, a headache, clenched fists or jaw, and a tense feeling in your stomach. By concentrating on these sensations, rather than the situation that is making you angry, the emotional pressure of your anger may subside, suggests psychotherapist Jeanne Segal, Ph.D., and Melinda Smith in the article "Anger Management," for HelpGuide.org. Next, focus on easing these physical reactions. Go for a walk to get rid of pent-up energy, massage tense areas such as your neck or shoulders, or use visualization to picture yourself in a happy, calm place.
Lighten the Mood
When used appropriately, humor can really help to defuse anger. For example, if you are getting angry after a squabble with your wife about how much you contribute to the household chores, picture your wife as an octopus, using each of her many hands to tend to some chore she accuses you of neglecting. Draw a picture of her, if it helps. If you can smile about the situation, when you resume the discussion with your wife you may find yourself in a calmer place. However, don't use humor in a sarcastic way to score points in an argument or bring someone else down, warns the American Psychological Association article "Strategies for Controlling your Anger." The purpose of using humor as a technique to manage your anger is to stop taking yourself too seriously.
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