Anger Management: Handling Anger in a Healthy Way

Anger isn’t necessarily good or bad — it’s a normal emotion that every person feels. It’s a reaction to stressful or unpredictable situations. Anger itself isn’t inherently bad, but the actions that follow can be. Violence and behaviors resulting in emotional or physical harm to self or others, feeling angry all the time, or feeling extreme anger can lead to problems at home, work, school, and in relationships.

You can’t control what makes you angry, but you can control how you respond to those feelings. 

Anger isn't a good or bad thing — it's a normal reaction to stressful or upsetting situations. However, it's important to know when to talk to a medical professional for anger management issues. Click To Tweet

There are anger management techniques that can help you express anger in a healthy way.

Use healthy coping mechanisms when you get angry

Look for nonviolent, nondestructive ways to express your anger. Avoid using substances — such as alcohol, cigarettes, and recreational drugs— to cope with your anger. Substance abuse can trigger anger management issues.

Communicate your feelings

Let people know how you feel, but do so in a clear, calm, and thoughtful way. Don’t shout, lash out, or attack others, but do voice your frustration in a nonconfrontational way.

Find an outlet for your anger

Some people use physical activity such as running, lifting weights, or other types of exercise for anger management. Others clean, fold laundry, or do yard work. Writing, painting, or drawing is a positive, creative outlet.

Manage stress

Set aside time each day to relax and manage stress. This is important for your mental and emotional help, and it can be an effective anger management tool as well.

Do things that make you happy

Positivity is a powerful thing, and it’s easier to manage anger in a positive way if you are in a positive place.

Reflect on the things that lead to anger

Think about what it is that’s upsetting — what triggers your anger, and why you feel the way that you feel. Can the problem be fixed? Are there solutions? Maybe there isn’t a problem at all. Do you need help managing your anger?

Know when to talk to a doctor for anger management issues

Treating the underlying problem is key, and there’s strength in admitting that you have a problem you need help with. Some people are more prone to anger issues than others. Sometimes people grow up in a house where anger, threats, and emotional outbursts are normal. Trauma can contribute to anger management issues.

Talk to your primary care provider if you feel like you or a loved one has trouble controlling anger, or if anger interferes with daily life. Talking to a loved one about anger issues can be intimidating, but a medical professional can help. You can start the conversation with your primary care physician and they can help get you to the right specialists.

Northwest Arkansas Psychiatry offers comprehensive mental health care

The mental health professionals at Northwest Arkansas Psychiatry provide compassionate, comprehensive mental health care for children, adolescents and adults.

Drs. Lance Foster and Randall Staley and Lance Foster were recently interviewed for the August 2019 issue of You at Your Best, an advertising supplement of the Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette. They discussed the importance of seeking medical care for anger management issues, as well as a willingness to change.

“The type of work we do as psychiatrists is more evaluation, medication treatment, and therapy that goes along with that. Specific therapies for anger management are usually done either through education practices, like classroom settings, or through therapy work”, says Dr. Lance Foster. “The therapeutic, educational, and group work is key, and that requires someone to be invested… continuing on in the work for a longer period of time (than treatment), or life even, and investing in those principles and ideas as a part of the changed life.”

Call 479-571-6363 to request an appointment with NWA Psychiatry. Northwest Arkansas Psychiatry now accepts new patient referrals from inside and outside the MANA network.