What are some good ways to manage anger throughout the day?

At times in the past I have let my anger get the best of me in situations. Which has caused issues in my relationship, leading to a break after 5 years.
Asked by Androth84

Hello and thank you for posting your question in this forum.

This is a rather difficult and complex concern but we will attempt to help you deconstruct it as much as possible. You have asked about anger management techniques you can use throughout the day to help you work through anger. It’s important to first understand what anger is and from where it normally arises. Anger is considered to be a ‘masking emotion’ in that it masks some other feeling, which is its true root. Often we feel very negatively about a situation, we are sad, we are experiencing grief, etc. And these feelings are too difficult to confront with real motivation. So we then turn to anger which is like an emotional shortcut and keeps us from dealing with the root of the problem. The main way to overcome this is to face the core of what is really making you angry. Again, keep in mind that it is a masking emotion. So we might ask: what is it masking? Are you dissatisfied? Are you feeling sadness over something? Reflect on that at length as that is the thing which needs to be confronted and addressed.

If you are successful in doing that you will end up at a place of acceptance for the issue where you are struggling. This is the ultimate way to cool your anger as it will address what you’re experiencing with some finality. Essentially, acceptance is the place where we try to get most people struggling with anger management issues. It’s not so much about in the moment coping strategies as it is about being able to fully accept whatever is making you angry. All that being said, in the moment strategies for anger management can have their use in helping you to pass over a difficult moment. One such strategy is to count to 10, slowly, while breathing mindfully. In fact, breathing or taking deep breaths can generally be helpful when confronting your own anger.

However, the best strategy in such a situation is removing yourself from the stimulus or the situation. Removing yourself from whatever might be making you angry is an important measure in helping to control your anger. Sometimes when we become angry in a situation we stop hearing what others are saying and we enter a sort of flight or fight response. The parasympathetic system takes over and we can no longer hear what others are saying and often we cannot act logically. In that situation our anger response will dominate, however, we may regret what we do in such a state of mind. So the best thing is to try to not end up in that mental space. And you would accomplish that by being sensitive to how your body is responding and being able to perceive that you are becoming angry. Then taking steps to separate yourself from that situation, as much as possible.

Hopefully some of these suggestions will be helpful to you as you seek to manage your anger response. Thank you again for posting your question in this forum. I wish you good luck in the future as well as good physical and mental health.