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Anger Management



Bite Your Tongue - The Ultimate Anger Management Guide for Men and Women to Control Your Life Again

By Will Harris















Copyright © 2015 by Will Harris

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Contents





Introduction



We all get angry sometimes even though we may not know it immediately. Anger is a natural emotional response to unpleasant situations. It can exhibit itself in mild forms like dislike or simple displeasure towards something or someone. When you are faced with criticism, opposition or some form of threat, you are likely to become angry if you do not know how to handle these three without getting emotionally involved.

Anger, if not put under control, can cause us to use our judgment irrationally and in the process lead us to do things or say words that should not ever be done or said.

According to psychologists and other scholars, anger is a normal emotion, but can be destructive if left to its own devices, both at inter and intrapersonal levels. However, it can be a healthy and positive emotion, especially when it is used as an avenue through which to find solutions to challenging situations or negative occurrences in our lives.

Anger can act as a motivator, especially in a situation where the anger stimulant is an undermining situation, comment or person that is trying to bring down your self-worth or to discourage you from attaining your life goals.

This book aims to help you understand what anger is and how you can manage it, especially when it creates destructive negative energy within you and threatens to tear up you and those around you.



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Why are you getting angry?





Picture this scenario. It is a Monday morning. The alarm fails to go off at 5.00am and you end up waking at some minutes to 7:00 am. You jump with a start, knowing that you will not make it to work on time and this is not how you had planned to start your week.

You get ready in a rush and can feel a surge of adrenaline rushing through your veins. On getting to the road, the jammed up traffic is the final guarantee that you will not make it to work on time.

You look at your six-year-old son seated next to you and even before you can say a word, he looks at you and asks you if he will get to school in time. You begin to become uneasy and you can feel your face turning hot with frustration. You manage to reassure him that it is well and he has nothing to worry about. You continue to drive through the traffic and manage to drop him at school just as his first lesson is about to end.

The teacher wants an explanation from you but you have none. Therefore, you mumble an apology and promise it will not happen again. You get to work just to find everyone settled at their workstations and you can feel all eyes on you as you walk to your table.

You spend the rest of the day grumpy and hardly productive, and at some point angrily speak back to a colleague who jokingly teases you for coming to work late. When you get home in the evening, you realize you should have behaved better, but you blame it on the frustrations you had to endure since morning, not realizing that the entire day, you were angry at something that you could not put a finger on. Sounds familiar?

Sometimes when we get angry, we do not realize it until someone points it out to us that we are behaving or acting out of anger. There is an expression that says “you should control your anger before it controls you.” Most people often find it difficult to pinpoint exactly what is making them angry. If they could, it would be easy to resolve their anger through finding a solution. This will stop them from getting progressively angrier.



Main Reasons for Anger


There are many reasons why people become angry, and while some reasons are mild and may be the result of an overreaction, others are concrete and quite justifiable. Anger is often treated secondary to other emotions like sadness, fear or loneliness, depending on how a person responds to these primary emotions. In many cultures, people are asked to control their anger and not to express it, to avoid damaging relationships.

Several authors and psychologists have tried to classify a number of reasons or situations that normally lead to anger. These are discussed in this section.


Pain


Pain is the result of an unpleasant experience. It can manifest physically or emotionally. Physical pain plays the role of motivating an individual to withdraw from a situation that may damage his body organs. For example, when you burn your fingers accidentally, the natural response is to quickly jerk and remove your fingers from the stimulus (excessive heat) in order to prevent any further damage to your fingers.

Physical pain in the body also serves as an indication of disease, which calls for immediate medical attention, as many physicians term pain as a number one symptom of many medical conditions.

Pain can also be emotional and is associated with suffering. In many times, emotional pain and anger work hand and hand. In fact, they can have such a firm grip on an individual that reactions to situations can be considerably compromised.

It is worth understanding that in most situations, the unconscious emotion of choice is anger, particularly if you are experiencing any type of pain. In fact, people find it generally easier to feel angry than to endure pain. In more psychological terms, you may experience emotional pain to the extent that you feel you are losing control of the situation or of your emotions. The result of this type of anger is anxiety.

Pain, whether physical or emotional, is responsible for the quality of life, and also greatly affects one’s day to day functionality. Always keep in mind that behind most anger there is great pain. This makes it easier to cope when other people are angry towards you.



Failure





While it is often said that there is no success without failure, the fact that failure sets you back from realizing your goals as soon as you would like to is reason enough to make you angry. This anger can have two effects depending on how you deal with it; it will either propel you into greater action in an effort to realize your dream and goals, or it will make you stagnate and abandon your course altogether.


Grief


Grief is a reaction to loss, and is mostly characterized by crying. It is associated with the pain that comes as a result of losing someone or something that one held in high regard or had some special attachment to. Psychology of loss and grief tells us that anger is a natural reaction to loss and it is usually preceded by denial. Anger is the second stage of the grieving process. Bargaining, depression and acceptance follow in that order respectively.

The anger that is experienced in the grieving process is usually triggered by the feeling of helplessness and regret. In the situation where one is grieving the loss of a loved one, the anger emanates from the reasoning that the grieving person should have prevented the loss but did not do anything about it.

In the process, the person blames him or herself for the loss hence aggravating the anger that has already taken root within them. In other situations, the anger can be directed at the deceased person for leaving too soon. According to Freud, the thought of disinvesting from the dead person or the lost person causes more pain and anger to the bereaved person.

Hunger





Hunger is a natural body function that occurs because of low sugar levels in the body due to prolonged periods of not eating. When this happens, a person is bound to become very irritable. According to a study that was recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, it is evident that hunger is a major cause of crankiness in people, which causes them to respond to other people and situations in anger.

The study recommends that people should avoid having discussions that are likely to cause conflict just before a meal as the likely effect is a highly emotionally charged discussion that is not at all productive.



Disappointment


Disappointment occurs when things do not happen according to your expectation. Say you were to meet a friend at 5.00 pm after work to go home together. You wait for forty minutes, looking at your watch every ten minutes. You try to call and your communication goes unanswered. As your anxiety increases, and your disappointment at being let down, then the level of your anger is likely to increase.

Such disappointment, if not dealt with in the right way or in the right context, may build up into resentment, which eventually gives way to anger that can create a deep wedge in your relationship. If you never get to discuss this, your anger will eventually come out destructively, initially in tiny bits and eventually in doses that cannot be managed outside a counseling room.



Financial Difficulties


When you are in a situation in which you cannot meet your basic needs and those of you family, it is normal to feel as though you have lost your grip on life.

You could become anxious; not knowing what will happen the next day or how bills will be paid at the end of the month. In this state, it is very easy to get irritated even by minor things. This irritability results in anger. Anger from financial difficulties can be two-fold; if you are financially incapacitated, your partner and family may no longer treat you the same if you are no longer able to provide for them.



Embarrassment and Humiliation


Supposing a close friend of yours intentionally dunks cold water on you in the middle of an argument while all your colleagues watch at the office. How would this make you feel? Of course, your initial reaction is likely to be shock due to the embarrassing situation in which you find yourself.

Anger is most likely to build up, first towards your friend for taking the argument too far and secondly towards your colleagues for not standing up in your defense. This is because you will feel humiliated.



Rejection


Being rejected by a person who means a lot to you for no apparent reason will make you angry towards life and towards the person in question. Rejection by a company or organization that you have always wanted to work for or have been working for but no longer find your services important can cause bitterness.



Injustice


At one point in life, you will be subjected to an unfair situation. You might experience a friend’s betrayal, or a traumatic marriage or even unfair dismissal from work. All these situations are painful and if they happen unexpectedly, they can result in anger.

The more you give thought to the injustice, the more persistent your anger will be, and eventually, there will be a hefty price to pay in terms of being robbed of your happiness and consequently degrading your health status.


Alcohol and drug abuse


Alcohol and drugs have a negative effect on your mind and judgment. Alcohol and drug addicts are usually angry and rage against the world as they tend to blame the world for the problems around them and for their addiction.


Life’s Pressures


Lack of proper prior planning ultimately leads to undue pressure, which eventually triggers anger at the slightest provocation. When it is clear that you cannot meet an important deadline, the response is to become anxious, irritable and fearful, a combination of emotions that easy lead to anger.

Understanding these anger triggers will make it significantly easier to recognize when you are getting angry, and the best way that you can handle the situation.



Effects of Anger- Positive and Negative









Now that you are aware of what anger is and how it comes about, it will pay to understand what effects anger brings about. It is interesting to look at both sides of the coin, in this context, the positive side of anger, as many people only tend to think of all the negativity that comes with being angry.



Positive Anger


To begin with, anger in most cases propels us into action. Look at it this way, when we are treated unfairly or situations around us are unfair and unjust, we will feel angry about it. The kind of anger within us is positively charged, it should motivate us to take action towards making the situation better and dealing with the injustice in a mature manner instead of simply accepting the status quo.

Once we respond like this, our anger speaks on our behalf without causing harm to others and instead makes other people understand just how highly we value fairness and equity. In historical times, anger played a great role in seeking justice for black people against the injustice that was meted to them by the whites. Anger led to most of the well-known global revolutions that led to the freedom of the people who were otherwise oppressed.

The ability to get angry only means that you are human and can respond to issues. Sometimes a bout of anger can speak volumes to people as opposed to speaking a million words to them. Unfortunately, more often than not, people tend to interpret anger in its negative sense and you might receive more criticism and hatred for publicly and so easily exposing your ‘weakness,’ which is, in this case, your generous expression of anger.



Negative anger


Whether it is a false sense of power, or it truly happens to some people, anger makes people feel powerful. In the moment of anger, you are able to express yourself, especially when you lash out all the words in your heart and mind. At that moment, you feel as though you have the whole world under your feet. However, watch out that you do not enjoy a temporal moment of power at the expense of the dignity, respect and happiness of the people around you, even though they are the ones who might have stirred up your anger.

In the same light, anger is an emotion that elicits respect. This is because people tend to associate anger with being able to stand up for yourself and speak your mind. This way, you leave no room for people to take advantage of you or your emotions. It may just show how assertive you are as well as be interpreted as an icon of strength and a show of confidence.

Anger is an avenue through which you can get results. When you confront people in a moment of anger, they are more likely to tell you the truth or get something done than when you remain calm, pleasant and collected. Anger intimidates people, especially if they are your juniors and you are in a workplace situation.







The downside of anger is a side, which far outweighs the upside of anger. The biggest negative impact that anger has is that ‘in the blink of an eye’ it can ruin and bring down all the relationships you worked so hard to build before. As you lash out harsh words in an effort to get some feelings off your chest the moment you have been offended, you risk hurting other people emotionally by saying things that you can never take back.



Negative Anger and Health


Words can kill internally and forever leave other people’s ego wounded. The common nursery rhyme that words cannot break bones can be proved wrong in an instant moment of getting angry. Prolonged anger leads your body to ready itself for defense, just like it does when the system is invaded by harmful pathogens. Do not be surprised when you start developing stress-related disorders like social anxiety disorder.

More damaging effects of anger on your own body is the fact that it can make you sick. The moment you become angry, you body starts producing acid, which if left unattended to, and if it accumulates over a long time can lead to the development of ulcers in the digestive system.

Talking of the heart; anger puts a lot of pressure on the cardiovascular system. According to research by Harper Perennial in Duke University, it was discovered that during moments of anger in potentially hostile individuals, there is a larger than usual upsurge of blood flow to the muscles, meaning that the heart gets overworked pumping more blood and at a greater speed than normal.

There is also an increase in adrenaline, which poses a great risk to the cardiovascular system. For people with high cholesterol levels, an increase in the secretion of adrenaline exposes them to the risk of arteriosclerotic clots build up. This is not just it as far as sicknesses are concerned.

Other diseases that are attributed to anger and the resulting stress include but are not limited to stroke, depression, insomnia, high blood pressure, heart attack, eczema, digestion problems, phobia, headaches and abdominal pains due to an increased production of gastric juices, most of which are acid in nature.

People who do not know how to control their anger once it builds up tend to have fewer friends and are considered less social. Less socially affiliated individuals also tend to have more stress hormones in their systems than people who have strong social support networks.

Due to the stress of not being able to have sustainable friendships and relationships, anger-prone individuals characteristically do not give much attention to their behaviors, many of them are known to engage in health-destructive habits like overeating, smoking and excessive drinking to compensate for their anger-related weakness.

They also suffer a great deal of untold emotional pain, mainly because they do not have someone they can confide in about the struggles that they go through internally trying to deal with anger issues.

Think of all the upheaval of emotions that you have to deal with once you calm down and probably get over your anger if you eventually do. You might have to deal with guilt, especially if your anger leads you to get into a fight with people around you. You will have to contend with embarrassing moments, as you will become the talk of the town as people point fingers at you whenever they see you, as a reminder of how you misbehaved in a bout of anger.

When you are not able to deal with the guilt and the embarrassment, the likely effect is to plunge into a state of depression and consequently suicidal attempts if you do not get professional psychiatric help in good time.



What Is Anger Management?





Anger management is a therapeutic approach to recognizing and dealing with anger issues. It is an approach to gain skills, which will effectively help you to recognize when your emotions are giving way to anger, and train you to react to the emotion in a less-threatening, less damaging manner.

Anger management has nothing to do with holding back the feeling of anger when it arises or denying that you are actually angry at a person or a situation. Student Center of Health defines anger management as an elegant way of recognizing what triggers you to become angry and in the process develop better and more acceptable ways of dealing with the anger without stepping on other people’s toes.

Usually, people who want to effectively manage how they react when they get angry are taken through anger management classes. However, this can only happen when they reach out and seek help, as the exercise cannot be imposed on an individual.



Anger Management Classes



The classes in most cases are designed to run for about 12 weeks at most and each session is about 3 hours long each day. Participants in these classes are usually grouped into six, in an effort to encourage them to have more participation and a greater chance to share their personal experiences and learn from the other members.


In order to create an atmosphere of acceptance and rapport, the members of a group will be asked to do an introduction of who they are and share about what they hope to achieve at the end of the class-based therapy. This way, members can know what to expect in these classes.

In anger management classes, the main focus is you. You are encouraged to understand your body and identify the changes that take place when anger gets hold of you, both the physical and chemical changes. In addition to these changes, you should take note of the thoughts that come into mind the moment you become angry and the actions those thoughts propel you to do.

Actions that show the ‘wrong’ side of you will probably cause you to feel guilty long after the action has taken place. During anger management classes you will have a chance to take responsibility for your actions and not blame them on others or on your anger.

Through the process, you will learn how to build or rebuild lost or damaged relationships by taking responsibility and apologizing for probably hurting other people’s feelings. Among other things, in anger management classes you will also learn how to control your feelings, listen to other people and relax in the midst of a situation that is likely to cause conflict and probably lead to a blow-up of anger.

If you are the kind of person who goes drinking and finds solace in drugs and alcohol after an episode of full-blown anger, these classes will be crucial in helping you understand how these substances blur your judgment and affect your control mechanisms.



Anger Management outside the Classroom



To understand more about anger management outside the classroom setting, you can begin by verbalizing your emotions. Strive to understand the emotions that you experience when you get angry. For example, when you recognize that you are simply disappointed at some event that did not work out as per your expectation, you sure can start working on ways to feel less disappointed in future under similar circumstances.

If you are dealing with feelings of being treated unfairly, say by a friend, you can visualize yourself confronting your friend in a friendly manner and letting them know that what they did was not fair and did not go down well with you. Visualize yourself talking calmly and purposely to find a solution or to make things right but not to create enmity or to have some sort of revenge by putting your friend down.

Anger management also includes techniques like meditation. Meditation works by calming the nerves and the mind at the same time. It is known to get rid of clutter in the mind, and so can it help you get a grip on your emotions.





However, meditation requires that your mind be alert and clear for the most effective results. If you are new at meditation and would like to try it on your own because you believe it will give you the results that you desire as far as managing your anger is concerned, here are a few things that you should keep in mind:

  • Always put aside at least twenty minutes for meditation each day. Anything less than this may not be productive.



  • Use the same procedure each day and meditate at the same time every day. This is will enhance brain elasticity in that the mind will get used to emptying itself at a particular time of day each day.

  • Meditation should help you become more aware of yourself than talking to a therapist can. If you give it the seriousness it deserves, you will recover within a very short time and without having to incur the costs of hiring a therapist to walk you through anger management lessons.



  • Familiarize with several meditation styles and talk to people who are good in the practice. You will realize that there is a lot more that you can learn in a group setting than when you are just doing it on your own. In fact, it takes a lot of mental strength to achieve the desired results.





When you apply meditation as an anger management technique, there are some don’ts that you should be aware of so that you receive the desired result:



  • Do not rush through meditation to arrive at the desired results. For meditation to work effectively, you need to have patience and control over the desire for quick results. Without reaching the point of self-awareness first, meditation can never be productive.



  • Do not engage in meditation with the hope that the practice is sufficient to solve your problems. You are the only one who can solve your problems. All meditation does, is clear your mind of clutter so that you are able to focus on what is important.



  • Do not use meditation as an escape route from reality or from facing your responsibilities. You have to know better.



  • Do not think that meditation will work for you are the same way it works for everyone or anyone else. This is a personal experience, and only you can experience the world that you transcend into while you meditate. Each person’s consciousness is atypical.



Anger in Children and How to Help





Children get angry too, and though their reasons for getting angry may be a little different from what aggravates adults, the impacts of their anger can be equally devastating. It is not surprising that children pick anger traits from their parents, especially because they grow up on the receiving end of their parents’ anger.

Unfortunately, it is common to see a parent punish a child for a mistake that is not theirs, or vent out their anger on their children after a hard day at work. Children easily get hurt both emotionally and physically, and in many circumstances, they grow up carrying these negative emotions within them.

In later life, they react just the way they saw their parent do in times of anger. If a child grows up in such an atmosphere and does not learn how to deal with anger, they most likely than not, also become abusive in their adult life. Theirs becomes a life marked with aggression and anger outbursts, while a few others become fearful, passive receptors of the brunt of other people’s anger.

Children who grow up in homes where there is no love or where their parents exhibited hostility traits and never expressed their love to their children are more likely to have difficulty establishing long-lasting, meaningful relationships with their friends or spouses later in life.

Children show their anger in different ways at different stages. At the baby stage, all a baby does is cry to express displeasure, say for example to express that they are hungry or uncomfortable or even lonely. At the age of two, a child will throw tantrums to express annoyance and if it goes to the extreme, they will hit their head against surfaces to seek attention. If this is not controlled, they may develop serious mental and cognitive problems and then become social misfits.

Since it is clear that expression of anger in an inappropriate manner is a behavior that children learn from their parents, it is equally appropriate to say that children can also be taught how to express and manage their anger in an appropriate manner. Parents can play a very crucial role in helping children deal with their strong feelings of anger. Below are a few methods that parents can adopt.



  • It all begins by leading by example. Telling children to do as you say and not as you do will never work. Your children cannot fail to express their anger in a hostile way if you are the kind of person who gets angry and fights everything that crosses you path, the cats and the dogs included. You must desire to be the kind of parent whose action you would not mind if your children imitated, even in public scenarios.



  • Talk to your children about anger. From a tender age, make them understand that anger is a natural emotion that cannot and should not be confined to the inside, but it also comes with some impacts if not carefully addressed or expressed.



  • Talk to them about the various emotions that usually go hand in hand with anger like frustration and disappoint, how they can distinguish between the various emotions and how they can respond to different emotions based on the circumstances that lead to a particular emotion.



  • Always strive to treat your child with respect and pay attention to their feelings. Do not dismiss them when they come to you and tell you for example that they are unhappy about something. Remember the more you shun your children away, the more resentment will build up in them, and you never know when it will blow up as fully grown anger.



  • Set time aside each week to teach your child about practical ways in which to deal with day-to-day problems that come their way while they are in school or in the neighborhood with their friends. Simple exercises like role-playing with a focus on situations that trigger anger can go a long way in sharpening the mind of your child to realize how they ought to respond or behave in volatile situations.



  • Always give your child an opportunity to express their anger in an appropriate manner. If you child gets angry and you stop him without allowing him to express it the anger will definitely accumulate and time will come when they will no longer be able to bottle it up again.



  • Teach your child the difference between anger and aggression. Aggression is violence, which is a common characteristic of bullies. The violence usually has no tangible stimulus and is an avenue through which people just want to hurt others for their own gratification. Once your child understands the difference between the two, always be sure to punish aggression, but not anger that is appropriately expressed.



  • Let your child learn how to walk away from situations that are likely to make them angry. In addition, teach them of the different ways there are of calming down before exploding out of anger. Breathing in deeply is a technique that works perfectly in a situation where emotions are highly charged.



  • Let your child know that there is nothing intimidating about walking away from situations where anger is the center of control, and in any case, they will realize later that walking away actually makes them the bigger one. They can always confront the situation of person that made them angry later when they have soothed themselves and are in a relaxed state of mind.





Anger Management in Adolescents







Your children become teenagers marks the beginning of a difficult stage that sends chills down the spine of many parents. The stage is marked by a mixture of hormonal changes in both boys and girls.

These hormonal imbalances are responsible for emotional changes that become apparent between the ages of 13 and 17. They can even cause a parent to be unable to tell when their child is in low moods, angry or simply just keeping it cool. This makes parenting difficult for some people, with some wishing the period away while others seek professional help for both themselves and their children.

Other behaviors that arise during the teenage period include violent behavior, alcohol and drug attempts, unhealthy relationships, reckless living and depression. Despite the hardship that comes with parenting such a teenager, there are steps that a parent can take in an effort to help the child transit into a healthy happy young adult.



Normal Teenage Behavior Compared to Angry Behavior



In some teenagers, one of the outstanding changes that take place is in the behavioral habits of your child. The previously sweet, humble and apparently obedient child who always wanted to be around you refuses not to accompany you for your shopping sprees. Attempts at the small, sweet conversations you previously had with your little child are now met with a roll of the eyes and a shrug of the shoulders, not to mention a slam of the door.

It then hits you that you child is no longer in their childhood years, but they are slowly transiting into young adults through being a teenager. You will also realize that your child adopts a new behavior, desires to have a change of clothes and friends, has an increased tendency to argue and rebel, and is struggling with peer pressure and experiments with various substances.

These are normal behaviors of teenagehood and you probably will just cope with them while doing your part as a parent in terms of counseling your child and ensuring that the behavior is controlled, but what do you do when your teenage daughter or son has serious anger issues to deal with?

Some of the behaviors in your teen that may require urgent anger management include but are not limited to:


  • Obsession with violent games, video games and always visiting websites that display violent behaviors



  • Playing with weapons, be it in games or any sport activity



  • Bullying others and using violence and abusive language



  • Cruelty towards pets and animals


  • Verbal talk marred with violence or acts of violence.



Once you are able to distinguish between normal and abnormal behaviors, you will be able to identify any red flags and make an informed decision if it is time to get professional help for your teenage child. Finding professional help for your teenage child who is dealing with anger issues is not the end of your role in your child’s life.

You also have a big role that you can play at home as a parent. It all begins by understanding your teen and the changes that take place during teenage development; a stage that wires the person inside differently from childhood to adulthood. A teenager may look mature because of the physical aspects of a full grown body, but mentally, they still need support when it comes to making decisions as they are unable to reason at an adult level. This is where they succeed at frustrating their parents and teachers, although they do not do it consciously.

Due to this clashing school of thoughts between the adults and the teenager, the child tends to see anger everywhere all around them. They tend to be very quick at picking the emotions on the faces of adults and since they rely on the amygdale part of the brain, they in many cases tend to misinterpret the emotions in other people and to them, every emotion equates to anger.

They can easily pick this anger, which they have wrongfully picked from other people and internalize it within them and slowly they begin expressing it verbally and when it gets overboard, their behavior becomes violent and can become as aggressive as kicking doors, punching walls or breaking objects. For more violent ones, and especially if they are into drug abuse, they might direct their rage towards you. How then do your deal with anger in your teenagers? Here is how.



  • Always strive to help your teenage child uncover the real thing behind the anger. This is because, in teenagers, anger is usually masked in underlying emotions like hurt, fear, shame, embarrassment, humiliation, rejection by peers, sadness, failure at school, vulnerability and identity crisis problems. Once you are both aware of the underlying issue, you and your child will be able to deal with the root cause of the anger.



  • At a time when both you and your child are in good moods, talk to them about the consequences of expressing anger inappropriately and make them know that it is unacceptable for them to express their anger in the wrong way for as long as they live under your roof.



  • Identify and always be aware of the trigger signs. As a parent, you need to observe your child’s behavior and establish what usually happens just before they explode with anger. Could it be that they get a headache, or go quiet all of a sudden? Help your child to identify the warning signs and talk to them about the control measures they can take at that time to take appropriate action to deal with the anger.



  • Give your teenagers room to cool off. If your teenager is the kind of person who prefers to walk away when they get angry, let them. Do not try to stop them and do not take this to be a sign of disrespect. They would rather retreat and keep off the argument than lash out hurtful words to you.



  • Sharpen your own anger management skills. If you have a temper, how do you expect your own child to deal with their own anger issues? Strive to remain calm and reasonable under all circumstances. You teen will sure be compelled to follow in your example.



Anger Management in the Workplace





For any employed individual, the workplace is where you spend most of your waking hours. This is where most of your energy emanates from and goes to, whether positive or negative energy, anger included. Once in a while, employees will undergo ‘that’ situation when their patience will be tested.

A project you worked so hard for to initiate will be cancelled, a customer will snap at you for just a little mistake overlooking everything else that you did right in their service, a friend or a close colleague will be laid off unfairly, you will be overloaded with work by a boss who sees you as a threat to the company…..the list is simply endless.

How you handle these situations will greatly determine your professional reputation and will affect your productivity, especially so if you blow things out of proportion and snap back at your client or rebel against your boss for overloading you with work. Studies show that there is no other place that brings as undue pressure like the workplace, but the inability to handle the pressure from this source may also mean a crumble in your control over situations in other areas of your life.

People rarely need skills on how to handle positive emotions like joy which comes with a promotion or salary increase, but come in salary cut-offs and all emotions come ablaze with anger. This is why this chapter has a focus on how to deal with specific negative emotions in the workplace.



  • Frustration: usually happens when you feel like you are stuck in a rut. Ever heard of the rat race? A situation in which you get tired of routine, doing the same thing day in day out and the results are nothing to report home about because they give you no satisfaction.



For easy tips on how to deal with frustration at the workplace, stop to consider why you are feeling frustrated in the first place and put it down on paper very specifically. Look for something positive out of the situation. Maybe all you need is a little change in your thinking and you will be able to curb the negative emotion before it grows into violence.

  • Worry or anxiety: You may worry that you will lose your job or that your boss will give a bad report to higher management about your performance. Worry can very easily get a grip on your system, especially because you may be worried and not even realize it but it sure does affect your productivity. How to deal with it?



To begin with, avoid situations where all your colleagues talk about is job cuts and all the negativity that goes on in the workplace. When worry creeps in, try to breathe deeply and to hold the breath for as long as you possibly can. This exercise usually has a calming effect on the nerves. As you do this, think of ways in which you can improve the situation that is causing you to worry. Why worry when you can do something?



  • Anger: Anger in the workplace is the most destructive of all the emotions. Unfortunately, most people also do not have the grace to deal with anger situations, yet how you react when you are angry plays a big role in determining whether you keep your job or not.



This said you need to watch out for anger by taking note of those signs that indicate anger coming. Once you know your danger signs, you are better placed to choose your mode of reaction. If you realize that you have become angry, immediately stop what you are doing and close your eyes then take a very deep breath. This goes a long way in interrupting your thought process and provides you with an opportunity to at least reason within yourself. Consider the damage your anger might just bring about if you leave it to its own devices. If you are able to walk out of the room in which the anger stimulus is, walk away in a composed manner, without stamping your feet too hard on the floor or making it obvious to your colleagues that you are raging in anger.



Practice figuring out how you look and behave when you are angry and consider if this is how you would like the people you spend most of your time with seeing you; at your weakest and most vulnerable.



How to Recognize and Deal with Anger





How many times have you heard people say that they regret doing what they did in a fit of anger? Are you one of those people who regrets your actions long after they have already caused damage either through words or deed, all in the name of venting out anger? If you can identify with any of these situations, you must have been wondering if there is a way to identify the signals that indicate that anger is on the way, and how to cut it short before it turns into danger.

One sure way of finding out if you are the angry type is to run some psychological tests that seek to establish how angry you are, how prone you are to getting angry or just how equipped you are to deal with anger when it arises.

From these tests, if you find out how volatile you are, you are then in a better position to find solutions to handling you anger based on the findings of what triggers your anger. These tests are available online and they entail a set of questions that seek to find out how you would react in specifically given circumstances.

Through these tests, you will realize that different people are angrier than others, and while some do not show their anger in loud conspicuous ways, others cannot control their violent actions and verbally destructive words. Other people, when they get angry usually withdraw and sulk and to worse extents they get physically weak and sick.

Symptoms of an Anger Disorder



Since you do not just wake up one day and realize that you have an anger disorder, there are some signs that you can look out for, which can help you establish just where you are headed with the situation. In many circumstances, the people around you will be the first ones to point out to you that you are struggling with anger issues.

They may not be able to say it right in words for fear that you might explode out on them in case you become angry. In most cases they tend to withdraw from you, especially when you are in a situation of conflict, which is likely to cause a charge of emotions.

Once you identify how angry you are, with the help of a psychologist or psychiatrist you will be able to classify it under one of the categories below:



  • Volatile anger - which entails a sudden outburst of anger.



  • Chronic anger - which takes a long time to get over and in many cases is the cause of other mental disorders like social anxiety disorder.



  • Judgmental anger- usually directed towards other people with the intention of blaming them as the source of your anger.



  • Passive anger- is usually difficult as anger because it can exhibit itself in other forms. People with this kind of anger tend to withdraw from social situations yet inside harbor some strong negative emotions.



  • Self-inflicted anger- in this, an individual takes blame for misfortunes, for example when a loved one dies, the person in question blames themselves for not having done anything to prevent the death.



  • Overwhelmed anger- is usually as a result of a life that is too demanding. For example, a single mom trying to bring up three teenage children; pays all the bills by herself and works in a hostile environment is very likely to be a victim of overwhelmed anger.



Anger and Social Anxiety Disorder





Just like many psychological disorders, anger has not only physical and emotional connotations but psychological as well. This means that apart from the fact that it is a mind function; it also can exhibit other characteristics of mental disorder if not put under control.

Social anxiety disorder is one of the developing conditions of uncontrolled anger. As we had earlier mentioned in this eBook, angry people have a tendency of losing friends and building relationships that do not last for long.

Once such people get over their bouts of anger and realize just how unfriendly they were to the people around them and how unbecoming their behavior was, they unconsciously withdraw from social situations and slowly over time they develop unreasonable fear. Following this fear, self-consciousness takes shape and the fear of being watched in public or being criticized takes its toll. This develops into a social anxiety disorder.

People who suffer from the disorder are afraid that they will not fit in, or that they will look bad or be humiliated in front of people. It only gets worse if the person in question does not have any social skills or develops unfit mechanisms like projection in order to cover up for the weakness.

Social anxiety disorder can completely wreck the lives of those who experience it. The disorder has nothing to do with being shy. Statistics have it that approximately 15 million people in America suffer from social anxiety disorder and a big percentage of these people have suffered from the condition from the age of 13 years. About 40% of this population took more than 10years before they sought help because they felt as though society would judge them harshly and only make the condition worse.

The disorder can bring your life crumbling down when the fear of crowds, no matter how small they are becomes excessive and unreasonable because the person is worried that they might embarrass themselves or get humiliated. This can definitely cause discontinuation to a normal routine and daily performance at work or even in the family setting.

Apart from ruining social relationships, social anxiety disorder also cripples one’s ability to; eat, drink, write and speak in front of people, interact with people or even publicly express their views or opinions. Being the center of attraction instills fear in such people and use of public facilities like toilets of telephone booths make them feel as though all eyes are on them ready to judge their next move.

In situations where they have to attend public meetings, these people rarely ask questions of giving their reports, and it is not because they are shy, but because they fear being wrong, being laughed at or being judged wrongly. They always want to be held in a positive regard and hence they avoid situations that would shed a bad light on them.

Some people with uncontrollable anger realize that there is something wrong with them, but in many circumstances, they are not able to recognize that they what they are feeling is a major symptom of the illness. Some of the other symptoms that come with social anxiety disorder include:



  • Intentional avoidance of social gatherings or situations.



  • Uncontrollable anxiety in social settings.



  • Shaking, trembling, sweating, confusion, tension in the stomach, restlessness, blushing among other physical symptoms of anxiety.



  • Small children with social anxiety disorder usually exhibit signs of clinginess to a significant other, crying or throwing tantrums. Just like anger, social anxiety disorder has a number of causes as outlined below:



  • Psychological factors which are triggered by embarrassing situations like bullying or being humiliated in public



  • Environmental factors which include observation of others people’s behavior and adopting the same, just like children learn how to behave when angry from the adults around them.





To the extreme, the disorder can develop into a panic attack, brought on by the simple thought of being a social gathering. A panic attack entails a sudden feeling of being terrified, and it can occur anywhere at any time, including even in sleep.

A person with a panic attack may behave in the same way as a person with a heart attack and they usually believe that they are dying. The fear within them is usually not proportional to what is going on around them. In fact, the attack may completely have nothing with what may be happening around them at the moment. Some of the symptoms of a panic attack include:



  • Incoherent speech which is unrelated to the real situation.



  • Pounding of the heart as it races faster than usual.



  • Numbness of fingers and hands.



  • Feelings of fear, helplessness and loss of control.



  • Pains in the chest and stiffness of the same.





Despite all these numerous symptoms, panic attacks usually last less than 10 minutes long but some of the symptoms may persist for longer even after the attack has subsided. People who experience panic disorders are more likely to experience another attack, more than people who have never had a panic attack. For people with anger issues, the problem is compounded further by the fact that they do not know when they might just flare up and anger as during that time they are more susceptible to a panic attack.

Just like anger can be managed so can a panic attack be treated, especially if is diagnosed early enough. Psychotherapy approaches have used before and have proved to be successful in treating panic attacks, which are just one of the developing conditions of social anxiety disorder.

If diagnosed early enough, social anxiety disorder can be treated through psychological approaches, just in the same way that anger can be treated first by examining the degree of intensity of the conditions.



Tips to Managing Anger





You are probably reading through this book this far because you recognize that you have anger issues that you need to deal with once and for all. You may also have found that you could help a friend. Congratulations for coming this far.

There is definitely hope for your situation and this section contains some of the approaches that you can make use of, with the assurance that over time, your anger will be under control and you will no longer have to endure being the enemy of the people.

The first and the most important step towards anger management is to acknowledge that you are indeed angry. Although in some cultures, anger is treated as a taboo, that culture and belief have long been overtaken by events; you cannot deal with what you have not identified.

Once you have a word for whatever it is you feel, you can begin to unravel the factors that led you to that situation of anger. Learn to view your anger as a warning sign for something that lies ahead and never be tempted to run away from your anger; neither should you suppress it. The sooner you learn to accept and give attention to the anger, the sooner you will be able to deal with any other underlying issue.

In that state, identify the purpose of your anger; does it seek betterment, enhancement, growth, development or does it seek to destroy and hurt others and to edify yourself in the process? Identification of the motivation behind your anger comes from within you. If your anger is deficiency-driven, in which you seek to revenge for a wrong done to your, purpose to let go of your right to be right; give up the wrong and forgive those who hurt you. Life is not always fair and do not try to insist that it should be.

Now to more practical steps that can help to immediately help you manage your anger.



  • Physical activity- taking a walk at the moment when you feel anger arise within you is always a sure way to help you calm down first before you can confront the source of your anger or before you can react to the anger.



  • Always think rationally before you act. This may sound easier said than done because when you are in a state of anger you just want to vent it out in whichever way you can think of at that very moment. However, once you start taking control of your mind, you will increasingly be able to give thought to the best course of action to take at that moment of anger.



  • Let it out in an appropriate manner. This means that you can find someone you trust to talk to about how you feel. It always is a nice feeling to have someone whose shoulder you can lean on, someone who will wipe away your tears and walk with you through the journey. Allow yourself to go through the full cycle of the emotion without suppressing it. Suppressed emotions will flare up eventually in the fullness of time.



  • Breath deep. Deep breathing, deep enough from the diaphragm has a way of calming your nerves. Practice deep breathing five times each day and when caught in the middle of anger, you will be thankful that you practiced in advance.



  • Practice acceptance of yourself and others, but do not settle into the comfort zone. Learn the difference between tolerance and passivity. Passivity turns you into a ‘doormat’ and always puts you on the receiving end, but tolerance gives you the power to understand the problem that people grapple with when in anger and gives you the strength not to judge them or behave in a manner to hurt them right back.



  • At that moment when you feel like you will blow up in anger, take a glass of water and hold the water in your mouth for a moment. At that moment, you will avoid lashing out harsh words and your mind will have reasoned rationally on how to deal with the anger. As you hold the water in the mouth, count from 100 backward. By the time you are done, you will realize that it was not worth getting angry in the first place and if you still must confront the situation, it will be in a sober state of mind.



Conclusion



Anger is real, and so are the effects of untamed anger, but all hope is not lost. You are faced with choices; you can make a choice to either let this crippling emotion make you bitter or make you a better person altogether.

Whether it is you, your little child or your teenager who needs lessons on anger management, make a choice to empower yourself today. Decide that anger will no longer have to control you or your family members, decide today that you will find help and you will come out of the situation a stronger, more informed and a friendlier person.

Keep the power of the spoken word in mind. Each morning, look yourself in the mirror and tell yourself (purposely declare) that you are not a slave to anger and that you are becoming a better and better person every day. If you need to shout or scream in order to release the pressure due to anger, be free to do so, but ensure that you do not infringe on other people’s right to quiet space and privacy. You should probably take a walk in the park and find space where to release the anger.


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