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Anger occurs when we refuse to accept a reality that we hate, be it someone being impolite, a politician acting contrary to our beliefs, or someone otherwise wronging us. It is often an automatic reaction to these situations.  Anger can sometimes motivate us to act or get someone to listen to us, but more often it is destructive to our happiness and well-being, as well as to those around us.  Holding on to anger is THE predictive variable for who is more likely to die, following a heart attack. 

Anger almost always feels justified.  For many, it feels like they have no other choice but to get angry.  Unfortunately, many don't consider what impact their outbursts have, especially on relationships.

Take a moment and consider who you hurt with your anger.

Work at RESPONDING to situations, instead of REACTING.  This means reflecting on the situation an not reacting without thought.  This may be the single most important strategy
Begin toning down your "shoulds" and "musts" to preferences, ex. "Impolite people are awful an should be punished" to "I don't like impolite people, but I accept that they exist and getting angry hasn't converted any of them yet!"  When you are able to let go of how the world MUST be, you can move away from anger to frustration and disappointment.

In order to end the automatic reactions of anger, it generally is necessary for one to monitor oneself for frustrations, especially those that have been previously problematic.  Then, when they occur, the person can take several (or more) deep breaths while they repeat calming thoughts such as, "I can deal with this without blowing up," "I'm not going to let them upset me," "Be cool," etc.

Make a daily commitment to manage your frustrations.  It is necessary to work at keeping this on your mind.  Also, anticipate as many frustrations as possible.  This makes it much easier to be prepared and to have a plan, in order to deal with the possible frustration.

It is also necessary to have a plan on what to do if you DO lose your cool.  This may begin with saying "excuse me" and walking away to cool down.

If you have a child with an anger problem, look at what you and your spouse may be teaching by example.  Most angry children have at least one angry parent.  Many with ADHD respond angrily at times, as they automatically

There is no "anger pill," although anti-depressants are helpful to many to help them calm down their strong emotions. In more extreme situations, excessive anger can be part of a bipolar situation, which is something that should be diagnosed by a mental health professional.

Controlling Anger -- Before It Controls You

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