Anger is a part of life. Everyone is going to get angry at some time in their life. Feeling anger is not the problem. It's how we act on that anger that can become problematic.
Anger becomes a problem when it becomes a cycle that continues despite your best efforts. The cycle of anger can create problems in your life for you and those you love. The cycle of anger becomes an issue when:
It interferes with your ability to maintain a relationship with your wife or partner,
It interferes with your ability to advance your business or career,
You cause physical harm to others.
When you throw, break, kick/hit things,
Causes legal challenges, or
Causes you depression or anxiety.
And by the time we see men in men's therapy, they have been trying for a long time to get anger under control. Many men start men's counseling with some effective skills that work some of the time. Yet they find that anger still tends to rule their lives and interfere with their health and happiness.
5 Ways for Men to Help Manage Anger
There are several ways that can be helpful in managing anger. The key is consistent practice over time.
We may or may not get it right the first time. But the more effort and consistency we put into practicing these skills, the more effective the skills can become in helping you to manage your anger.
1. Take a Break or Walk Away
Just out of high school, I was looking for a good paying job. I found an ad for a wire rope warehouse worker. This was something that I had never done before but applied for the job and got it.
Part of the job was driving a forklift. I had never driven a forklift before. They gave me the basic training and emphasized how important it was to keep the forks down when you are driving. Easy enough. Got it!
Well, being new, I had dropped off a pallet of wire rope and had forgotten to put the forks down. Backing up into the garage my forks hit and bent the garage door quite impressively.
I immediately looked back at my foreman. His face went a color of red that I didn't know was possible. Jaw and fists clenched, he started daggers and then . . . walked away (well, maybe stormed away is a better description.)
One of the other foremen spoke with me about the incident. The other manager understood that he was too angry, and things would not go well if he spoke with me. It wasn't until the next day that we spoke again but never about the garage incident.
My boss understood his limits when it came to anger management. By his body language, I could tell what he WANTED to do. But instead, he did what he NEEDED to do.
If you know anger is an issue, sometimes taking a break or walking away is the best strategy. This can give you time to cool off and come back when your emotions are no longer heightened.
You can always come back and yell, scream, and fight at any time later. However, most of the time after you have taken a break or walked away, once you return, you can talk about the incident in a calmer manner.
2. Self-Talk & Relaxation Skills
In the moment when we feel the anger flaring, practicing self-talk can help tame the anger. Using self-talk phrases like "take it easy", "give it time", or "this will pass, just don't act" can help avoid an anger outburst.
While you are practicing self-talk, practicing relaxation skills can help. You may have heard of deep breathing as a way to calm the anger. But are you aware of why that helps?
When we get angry, stress hormones flood our body including adrenaline. This comes from our sympathetic nervous system. It is the activating part of our nervous system.
Deep breathing activates our parasympathetic nervous system. This part of our nervous system is the "de-activating" system. It releases hormones and brain chemicals that offset the stress hormones and adrenaline.
If you feel anger starting to flare, practicing self-talk and deep breathing at the same time can help tame the flare.
3. Exercise the Demons
No, not like an exorcism but can have a similar affect!
Study after study shows that physical exercise can help reduce stress and tension. If you don't believe me, simply google "can exercise reduce stress and tension" and see what pops up.
Before you start to exercise, it is always a good idea to meet with your doctor to get a physical and talk to your doctor about the level or intensity of exercise that would be right for you.
Once you are cleared, a practice of 30 minutes a day of rigorous exercise can help decrease stress and tension. Stress and tension are simply fuel for the fire for anger. If you can reduce stress and tension in your life, it can have a direct impact on your ability to manage your anger.
4. Using "I" Statements in Conversations
The use of "I" statements can help defuse tension in conversations. I statements are a way to avoid accusing or blaming someone. I statements help decrease defensiveness and tension.
For example, if someone did something that irritated you and made you angry, it would be easy to say, "Why do you do that? You know that makes me angry and I've told you before but you keep doing it!"
That simple statement can then produce a defensive response from the person. It is blaming and accusatory. It may be 100% accurate but this statement can increase the tension which can lead to increased anger in you.
Instead, try an I statement like, "When I'm talking with you and you are focused on your phone, I feel like you aren't interested in me. We've also talked about this before and when you still do it, I feel angry."
Taking those two statements on face value you can feel the difference in the tone of the statements. One is blaming and accusatory. The other is pointing out an action from the other person and owning your own feelings about it.
Both are accurate but one can result in your increase in anger. The other has a greater chance of not stoking the fire.
5. Get Coaching from a Counselor Who Specializes in Men's Counseling & Anger Management
Men, we like to figure things out on our own. We like to fix things and problem solve and most things we excel at.
Even with anger management, many men we work with in men's therapy and anger management counseling come in with a good set of skills that they have developed on their own that are helpful. And they come see us when after their best efforts, their anger still remains an issue. They also usually come see us AFTER things have gotten pretty bad:
Their wife or partner gave them an ultimatum,
They have experienced legal challenges as a result of their anger,
They have lost jobs as a result of their anger,
Their anger has led to unhealthy ways of coping that have made things worse,
Their anger has affected their physical health, or
Men, counseling for men is simply like having a coach. It's a coach who has coached many men like you who have struggled with anger and because of the coaching, have learned to overcome and manage their anger.
You do not need to wait until things get bad enough and have exhausted every other resource before you come see a counselor for men.
If we take some time to think through where anger is leading us, the future that holds, and are courageous enough to be objective about it, often we can see that starting your coaching for anger management will save a lot of heartache and headaches in the future.
You are worth it. Your relationships are worth it. Your business and career opportunities are worth it. Your health and happiness are worth it. And your future is worth it.
There is no commitment in this other than to meet with a men's counselor to talk about the coaching they can provide.
Katy Counseling for Men: Specializing in Men's Counseling in Katy, TX & Houston
If anger has interfered with your hope, health, and happiness, now may be the time to see a therapist for men. At Katy Counseling for Men, our counselors specialize in working with men. This is our focus, and this is the therapy we provide.
At our Katy, TX location of Katy Counseling for Men, we are ready to help. If it's time to start your coaching in helping you to conquer your anger, all you need to do is follow these three simple steps:
Contact Katy Counseling for Men
Meet with one of our specialists in men's counseling
Start your journey in building a stronger future today
Other Support Services Offered at Katy Counseling for Men: Katy, TX & Houston
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART)
Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing (EMDR)
Counseling for anxiety
Counseling for social anxiety
Board Certified Neurofeedback
Peak performance (optimal academic brain performance)
Marriage Counseling & Couples Therapy
About the Author
Jason specializes in teen therapy, young adult counseling, family therapy, and neurofeedback for teens, young adults, and adults.
Jason also specializes in clinical program development, business administration. and leading high performing teams of specialized therapists in group practice settings.
Jason is a leader in the field of teen, young adult, and family counseling as an expert program consultant providing coaching and technical assistance to teen Residential Treatment Centers across the country.
Jason is also a regular contributor to various magazines and publications lending his expertise to various mental health related topics. You can check these articles out at:
If you are ready to start building your stronger future today, call, text, or email us.
Phone Number: 832-346-9614