Many people live for family get-togethers, especially around the holidays. But for many, these times generate anxiety and frustration. You may even turn to substances to ease the tension. However, when you learn simple anger management techniques, you’ll find any event can be much more enjoyable for you and your family.
1. Apply the Five-Second Rule
No, this isn’t that rule that makes children feel okay to eat something dropped on the floor. It’s the few seconds you need to process how you’re feeling.
If you’re new to anger management techniques, then five seconds isn’t enough time to fully process emotion. But it is enough time to think before you speak.
Will what you planned to say or do improve this situation? Or will it cause the event to deteriorate?
2. Take a Timeout
If something is really bugging you, then now may not be the time to discuss it. If you need more time, take it. Walk around outside or excuse yourself.
During this time, you may “cool off” and find that whatever triggered you wasn’t really worth getting upset about. Or you might think it through and decide you do need to calmly speak with someone about how you’re feeling.
3. Think in Terms of Solutions
Have you ever noticed that the more you think about the problem, the more rage-filled you become? How could they do that? What gives them the right?
It’s essential to identify what’s causing you to feel anger. But you’ll reach a much better place if you then shift to positive ways to improve the situation. Some of these may be short-term fixes. But with time, you’ll learn how to develop longer-term solutions that reduce the frequency of fits of anger and help you process it more quickly.
Anger isn’t “bad”. It’s an emotion like any other. Emotions tell us something. If you’re feeling anger, then there’s something you need to work out with yourself or another person.
The family gathering may not be the best time to work that out. But you can make note of it and come back to it one-on-one later.
You may need to set healthy boundaries. Because when you learn to manage anger effectively, it becomes a tool to enforce healthy boundaries.
4. Make “I” Statements
Don’t play the blame game. Only when you stop blaming and shaming, can you start applying anger management solutions that fix the problem, not make it worse.
When you feel anger, that anger is yours. Someone else cannot make you feel anger. Instead, they do something that you feel angry about. When you take responsibility for how you feel, you retake control of your emotions.
So instead of “You make me so angry”, try, “I feel upset when you turn the TV up loud”.
I feel upset when you:
- Don’t offer to help with the dishes
- Make a mess in the living room and don’t clean it up
- Pry into my personal relationships that I don’t want to share
5. Speak with a Professional About Personalized Anger Management Techniques
Many anger management techniques are universal. But how you use them is often personalized. Speaking with someone leading up to a family gathering or after one has taken place allows you to work with someone who can share more methods with you and help you process your angry feelings.
Red Oak Recovery® offers anger management classes in several settings like:
- Outpatient individual counseling
- Family therapy programs
- Clinical rehabilitation when addiction or mental health challenges are involved
- Trauma therapy when out-of-control anger results from a traumatic life event
Learn to apply the above anger management techniques and more to live and love life. Contact us at 866.457.7590 today to learn more.