Anger Control for Men
Why we get angry — And why uncontrolled anger is a serious health threat
Controlling your anger continued...
Spielberger says that there are two wrong things to do with it. One is to
think that it’s healthy and normal to have uncontrolled anger released in an
explosive rage. Some guys just assume that screaming at people, throwing
things, and punching walls is cathartic and will make them feel better. In
fact, getting into a rage can just ramp up your reaction — making you even less
in control of your anger.
Here’s the other wrong thing: to push down the bile and keep smiling. Some
men think that any expression of anger is unhealthy or antisocial and should be
Studies show that both approaches — noisily expressing your anger or
soundlessly burying it — are equally harmful and may pose the same health
risks, Spielberger says. But if neither corking up your anger nor blowing your
stack is a healthy option, what’s an angry man to do?
There is another option. Let anger out, but control it, Spielberger says.
The first step is to become self-aware. Don't let yourself fly into a rage.
Instead, be conscious of your anger. It’s the only way to figure out exactly
what is making you angry.
Once you can identify the real problem, you can try to solve it rationally
instead of getting pointlessly furious. If you’re angry with someone, talk
about it in an assertive — but not aggressive — way. If a certain situation
predictably sparks uncontrolled anger, learn how to prepare for it. Better yet,
learn how to avoid the situation altogether in the future, if possible. The
advantage to channeling your anger in this way is that you get a concrete
benefit: You’re actually trying to deal with the problem rather than just
yelling about it, and you’re more likely to get the result you desire.
Chill out, man: Tips for cooling down
Since feeling angry is in part a physical process, you won’t be able to just
talk yourself out of it logically. Instead, you need to calm yourself down
physically. With these techniques, you can lower your heart rate and
blood pressure as well as control your anger.
- Take a deep breath. Breathe in and out deeply from your diaphragm,
which is under your chest bone. After a minute or so, you should feel some
tension ebb away. The advantage to breathing exercises is that you can do them
anywhere, says Spielberger. Once you’re good at them, you can even do them in
the middle of a marital spat or a staff meeting.
- Take a break. If you feel your anger getting out of control, get a
change of scenery. If possible, leave the room or go for a walk.
- Focus on something else. Count to 10. Try imagining yourself in a
calm place. Or repeat a soothing word to yourself.
- Get some exercise. Building physical activity into your schedule can
be a great stress reliever.