Anger is a strong feeling and a normal part of the human experience. Everyone was angry at one time. Anger is not a bad thing in itself. However, if you express your anger in an unhealthy way, it may become a problem. Learning how to develop an anger management plan can help you cope with situations that sometimes lead to increased anxiety and panic symptoms.
It is not uncommon for people with panic disorder, agoraphobia, or other anxiety disorders to feel depressed because of their condition. Sometimes this frustration develops into anger-anger at oneself, anger at one’s own situation, or anger at others. Anger can exacerbate your anxiety and make your symptoms worse. In the worst case scenario, you may encounter debilitating and troublesome angry attacks.
If your anger gets out of control, it may be difficult for you to maintain a healthy personal or work relationship. There is also evidence that unhealthy expression of anger may be a risk factor for heart disease.
Steps to start developing an anger management plan
If you can’t control your anger, here are some steps to help you get started with an anger management plan:
Determine your goals and action plan
Consider your goals in terms of specific behaviors and reactions. Use a time frame to measure your progress. For example, suppose your first goal is to avoid verbal attacks on your spouse. How will you do this? If you feel angry, can you walk away and calm down? How long do you think it will take to reach this goal?
Don’t play the blame game
Blaming others will not help you overcome your anger. In addition, self-blame will only make feelings of anger and resentment longer than they should. When things don’t go as you want, learn to take responsibility for your anger and your reactions.
Learn and practice relaxation techniques
Regularly learning and practicing relaxation techniques can help you stay calm. Some examples include:
Take a deep breath
When people feel anxious, they tend to breathe quickly and shallowly directly from the chest. This type of breathing is called chest breathing or chest breathing. When you feel anxious or angry, you may not even realize that you are breathing like this. Taking a deep breath can help you calm down and prevent your anger from getting out of control.
Progressive muscle relaxation (PMR)
Anger can cause many physical sensations, including muscle tension. By using PMR, you can combat these physical changes and sensations, thereby achieving a “relaxation response.” During PMR, your breathing will slow down, and your heart rate and blood pressure will drop. Being in a relaxed state can reduce the many unpleasant effects of anger on the body.
By using visualization to imagine yourself in a calm, stress-free environment, you can achieve a state of physical and mental relaxation. For example, imagine yourself sitting by a beautiful and peaceful lake. Focus on the scene for a while. Feel the soft sand on the soles of your feet. As the breeze blows over the water, imagine the warm air on your face as you watch the magnificent sunset on the horizon.
Many people find that meditation calms and rejuvenates. Mindfulness meditation can provide a sense of clarity and calmness. You can sit or lie down for meditation practice. Make sure your surroundings are quiet and comfortable to wear.
Please follow the steps below to try it out:
- Close your eyes and take a few minutes of deep breathing.
- Focus on a word or an object. For example, slowly repeat the word “relax”.
- If you find yourself distracted during exercise, just take a deep breath and refocus.
- Continue this process until you feel calm and refreshed.
Get help and support
If you are unable to express your anger, please talk to a friend, family member or mental health professional. Building a strong support system allows you to vent pressure in a healthier way: through open communication and trust. You can learn how to express your feelings constructively instead of letting anger express for you.