How you prepareBy Mayo Clinic staff
A number of books and websites offer information about ways to manage anger. But, if learning skills on your own isn't enough to help you stay calm and in control, you may benefit from seeing a mental health professional or by taking an anger management class.
It can take a little work to find an anger management program, a counselor specializing in anger management, or other resources. Here are some places to start your search:
- Check your local library for books, videos or other resources.
- Search online for resources, such as blogs, support groups or books.
- Ask your primary care doctor for a referral to a program or counselor.
- Ask someone who completed an anger management program or took other steps to manage anger.
- Check with your health insurance company, employee assistance program (EAP) or church.
- Ask state or local agencies for recommendations.
- Check with your district court.
When you start working on anger management, identify your particular triggers and the physical and emotional signs that occur as you begin to get angry. Pay attention to these, and write them down:
- Identify any stressors that commonly trigger or worsen your anger. Examples include frustration with a child or partner, financial stress, or issues with a co-worker.
- Pay attention to physical signs that your feelings of anger are rising — for example, clenching your jaw or driving too fast.
- Take note of emotional signs your anger's on the rise, such as the feeling you want to yell at someone or that you're holding in what you really want to say.
- Barbara Woodward Lips Patient Education Center. Understanding anger. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2004.
- Controlling anger — before it controls you. American Psychological Association. http://www.apa.org/topics/anger/control.aspx. Accessed April 12, 2011.
- Scott CL, et al. Psychotherapeutic approaches to treating chronic aggression. In: Hales RE, et al. The American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Psychiatry. 5th ed. Washington, D.C.: American Psychiatric Publishing; 2008. http://www.psychiatryonline.com/content.aspx?aID=319794&searchStr=aggressive+behavior. Accessed April 12, 2011.
- Reilly PM, et al. Anger management for substance abuse and mental health clients: A cognitive behavioral therapy manual. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. http://store.samhsa.gov/product/SMA08-4213. Accessed April 12, 2011.