Do you find yourself blowing up at the slightest thing? Finding it hard to hide your frustrations that lead to you lashing out? Taking it out on the ones that are closest to you? Today marks the start of National Anger Awareness week (1-7 December) and we look at some tips and organisations that can help if you’re struggling with anger issues.
There are many different triggers to anger and people’s levels of anger can be very different. It can be triggered by clashing opinions, frustration, feeling belittled, feeling panicked, depression and anxiety, intolerance… the list is endless. But it’s how we deal with that anger that’s important. Some people are able to contain anger well while others can become completely out of control. So what tips do we have on how to control that anger?
Stop, take a deep breath, and count to 10 if it helps. If you can take a hold of that anger before it explodes then you’re giving yourself time to stop and think, to reflect on the situation and perhaps accept that the way you were about to react was not appropriate. Look at the bigger picture and realise that there’s little point in sweating the small stuff and if you can let those go it’ll result in you leading a happier life.
WRITE IT DOWN
Keep a mood diary. It helps to write things down and be able to reflect on them. Before exploding in a fit of rage, take yourself out of the situation and write down how you’re feeling. The action of writing your feelings down will help defuse the immediate anger and help you figure out what you’re angry about and be able to rationalise your feelings. It could help you work out if there is an underlying cause for the anger, you might be suffering with depression or anxiety, you may be grieving, it may be caused by alcohol or drugs.
CHANGE YOUR WAY OF THINKING
Try to change your mindset and accept that other people are going to have different opinions to you and that’s ok. Don’t take things personally. It’d be a pretty boring place if everyone were to agree on everything. It’s healthy to be able to debate things you don’t see eye to eye on but if this results in you getting angry then it may be best to agree to disagree and move on.
Listen to other people’s opinions and feelings. Realise that you need to be considerate to other people as well and that although you may not always agree to what they say you should still respect them and allow them to have their opinion.
Recognising that you have anger issues is the first step. If you’re aware of this then you can make a plan so that things are in place ready for when you feel those angry feelings bubbling. Have your support network ready, know who you can talk to whether this be a family member, friend or a helpline. Talking through things with people who are aware and understand that you have anger problems will help defuse the situation and might help you to overcome those feelings of anger quicker.
Remove yourself from the situation. If you feel that your anger problems are going to result in you hurting another person then you need to remove yourself from that situation immediately. If your anger has become such a problem that you are unable to control it and are hurting those that are closest to you physically and mentally then you need to look for professional help before permanent damage is done to them as well as you. Contact your GP who can treat any underlying cause for your anger issues and can also arrange counseling and anger management programmes.
There’s lots of help out there if you suffer with anger issues. Here are just a few of them:
NHS Wales has a page specifically on Anger. You can find lots of information about how to control your anger, getting help, recognising warning signs and links to lots of organisations that can help.
Mind is a charity that gives advice and support to anyone suffering with a mental health problem. They can help if you, or a family member or friend, is having issues with anger and have a downloadable guide on their website to help deal with anger issues.
- Mind Infoline – 0300 123 3393
- Text: 86463
Experts in anger, stress and conflict management offering support and training programmes. They have developed a Keep Your Cool This Yule kit as they recognise that Christmas is known to be one of the most stressful times of the year. Families get together, drink alcohol and the pressure can get too much and disagreements can happen. Money worries during this expensive time of year can also cause stress that can lead to anger issues.
They have also developed the Keep Your Cool Kit especially for Anger Awareness Week. Take a look here.
Relate offers relationship support for any issues. They have centres in Llandudno and Swansea and counselors across the country. You can also receive counseling over the phone (0300 100 1234) or live chat.
The Samaritans is not just a service for those who are suicidal, it helps those that need help with any issues they are having. You can contact them free on 116 123 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Live Fear Free is a Welsh Government website and helpline which gives information and advice to those who suffer from domestic violence, sexual violence and other forms of violence.
- Helpline – 0808 80 10 800
If you need any further information or help with anger issues or any other issue then you can contact our trained helpline advisor advocates on the phone, text message or instant messaging.
- Call – 0300 222 57 57
- Text – 07860 052 905
- Instant Message