Anger Management

Anger Management can be very effective in developing copying skills for tackling bullying

What is Anger?

Anger is a universal human emotion. It is described by most psychologists as a secondary emotion. That means that it is a direct result of another emotion. We might first feel afraid, attacked, offended, disrespected, forced, trapped, or pressured. Then iIf any of these feelings are intense enough, we think of the emotion as anger.

Anger is a powerful and primitive emotion. In some ways, it could be thought of as a survival tool. It sends signals to all parts of our body to help us fight or flee. It goes back to when our lives were threatened by wild animals. Now we are more often feel susceptible to attack by other human beings.

Anger affects us physically. Adrenalin and other hormones are released, the heart rate increases and body temperature may rise,. We may sweat or even cry. These changes take sometimes only seconds to start, but they take several hours to dissipate and disappear.

Anger can be positive as well as negative. However, when anger is expressed inappropriately it can escalate and lead to dangerous and life threatening situations. This is why we have to learn to deal with conflict. This is an important and difficult skill to acquire.

Anger can be demonstrated in different ways. Some people show anger through shouting, slamming doors, swearing or even physical violence, others remain quiet, or retaliate by ignoring, spreading false rumours or simply leaving a room. It is useful to talk this ‘visible’ anger and ‘invisble anger’.

The timing of reactions differs too. Hotheads react quickly while slow burners build slowly until they release their temper.

Anger Management Programmes

Group study can be an effective way of teaching conflict resolution. The following are the recommended key subjects to cover:

Triggers. A practical exercise to help identify triggers could include role play or a sorting task where young people have to put in order a list of possible triggers beginning with the most relevant to them.

Physical impact of anger. Discussion on the consequences of poor anger control.

Dealing with anger and avoidance techniques: Often it’s a simple as counting to ten,listening to music, playing sports or doing something else physical, or perhaps lying on their bed at home. Studies show the most effective way to help young people is to allow them to recognise what already works for them and apply that technique in the run up to anger. It is recommended to encourage several different ways of ‘cooling down’ as a coping technique.

Other techniques include:
breathing exercises:
walking away: (or making arrangements to remove themselves)
stress balls (similar to executive toys)
movement to relieve growing tension and counter physical symptoms

Some recommended reading on anger management and bullying to help children develop coping skills below:

More info:

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