Have you made it through the holiday season regretting your behavior at various holiday events? Did you lose control of yourself when angry and say or do something hurtful? Anger is a normal human reaction, but it’s how we handle our anger when provoked that sets us apart. It’s not always easy to gain control of your anger instead of letting it control you, however there are some steps we can all take to help manage the situation in a more positive manner.
1) Identify what is provoking your behavior.
Take a close look at what exactly is triggering your anger. It’s important to identify the root of the feelings in order to correct your reaction.
2) Learn to take a break.
Once you identify what is causing the emotional distress, don’t react to it. Walk away from the situation and give yourself a time-out before responding. Taking time to cool down will temper your angry response and help you avoid doing something you will regret later.
3) Rethink your negative thoughts.
Challenge detrimental thoughts or habits and substitute them with expectations that are more achievable. This is also called ‘self-talk’ or a reframing technique. Instead of getting to a party late and thinking that everyone believes you are unorganized, rethink the idea in a more positive light. “Everyone here understands that I have 3 kids and it’s hard to get out the door on time”.
4) Take an anger management class.
Learn strategies and problem solving skills that will enable you to better control your angry behavior. Classes teach how to understand and have empathy for other’s feelings, effective communication skills that include calm conflict resolution, and anger and stress management techniques to gain control of your anger.
An 8-hour anger management class can be taken online rather than having to attend one in a classroom. Online classes are highly beneficial to the student because you can stay in the comfort and relaxed atmosphere of your own home to learn the material. That means no fighting traffic or having to leave work early to attend a pre-determined classroom schedule. Once you enroll in a class online, it is available to you 24/7 at your convenience. Be sure to choose a high quality course by assessing the credentials of the program designer. Make sure the online class is created by a licensed and practicing psychotherapist so you can be confident that you are getting the most current and qualified education.
Classes can also be used to fulfill court requirements in many jurisdictions. Just be sure to check with your judge prior to taking the course and get his/her approval. Upon approval, the client takes the course online and once the final exam is passed with a 70% or better, a Certificate of Completion will be sent to the address specified when signing up. This is the documentation that the court requires to prove the mandate was successfully fulfilled. Take an online anger management course today to make 2013 a better year for you and your family!