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Mind Gym
Anger Management

Who Did It?

Who drives you angry? Did they do it? No!

Therefore, you emotions are not affected by the negative events but by your negative thoughts.

Anger Management Strategies

The Anger Cost-benefit Analysis

E.g. Anger shows others of your disapproval of them; getting angry may also sour your relationship with those people or their acquaintances. After the analysis of cost-benefit, you come up with other ways, other than getting angry, to cope with the situation.

Cooling Those “Hot Thoughts”

Write down all the “hot thoughts,” and list the corresponding “cool thoughts.” Compare them using your third ear and you will notice all kinds of highly colourful language and vengeful fantasies in the “hot thoughts.” Substitute them with the “cool thoughts” which will soothe your emotional arousals.

Imaging Techniques

Those negative “hot thoughts” that go through your mind when you are angry represent the script of a private movie that you project onto your mind. Their influences can be detrimental. These daydreams actually keep your anger alive after the initial insult. You may try to reduce the anger-generated images and transform them in a creative way – humour is a powerful tool that you can use.

Rewrite the Rules

You may become frustrated by your own rule-bounded solutions to life problems. Set your “should” and “shouldn’t” list by experiences but not predictions or assumptions.

“Should” Reduction

Many of the thoughts which generate your anger involve moralistic “should” statements. Make a list of all the reasons why you believe the other person “shouldn’t” have acted as he did. Then, challenge these reasons until you can see why they are unrealistic. Eliminate your unrealistic “should” statements then.

Negotiating Strategies

When you want to negotiating with others about your own views, compliment them on what they have done correctly then to tell him off. The next step is to bring up the problem tactfully. If they argue, disarm them by finding a way to agree with them regardless of how absurd their statements are. Then you can immediately clarify your points of view again calmly and firmly.

Accurate Empathy

Empathy is the ultimate anger antidote. It’s a magic, and its spectacular effects are firmly entrenched in reality. With empathy, you do not need to feel the same way that the others feel, nor does it mean to blindly support them. Empathy is the ability to comprehend with accuracy the precise thoughts and motivations of other people, and to let people feel that you understand them. When you have this extraordinary ability, you will understand and accept without anger why others act as they do even though their actions might not be what you prefer.
Ten Things You Should Know About Your Anger
1. What have happened around you do not make you angry. Your “hot thoughts” create your anger.
2. Most of the time your anger does not help you. It only immobilizes you and keeps you hostile.
3. The thoughts that generate anger more often than not involves distortions. Correcting these distortions will reduce your anger.
4. Ultimately, your anger is caused by your belief that someone is acting unfairly on you or that some events are unjust to you. The intensity of anger will increase in proportion to the severity of the maliciousness perceived and if the act is seen as intentional.
5. If you learn to see the world through other people’s eyes, you will often be surprised to realize their actions are not unfair from their point of view. The unfairness in these cases turns out to be an illusion that exists only in your mind.
6. Other people usually do not feel they deserve your punishment. Therefore, your retaliation is unlikely to help you achieve any positive goals in your interactions with them.
7. A great deal of your anger involves your defence against loss of self-esteem. You get mad when people criticize you, disagree with you, or fail to behave as you want them to. Such anger is always inappropriate because your negative distorted thoughts are taking your own self-esteem away.
8. Frustration results from unmet expectations. Since the event that disappointed you was a part of “reality,?your frustration always results from your unrealistic expectations. You have the right to try to influence reality, yet this is not always practical. The simplest solution would be to change your expectations.
9. It is childish to pout and insist that you have the right to get mad. Of course you do; the crucial issue at the end of the day would be: is this madness to your advantage?
10. You rarely need your anger in order to be human. It is not true that you will be an unfeeling robot without getting mad. In fact, when you free yourself from that sour irritability, you will feel greater zest, joy, peace, and productivity. You will experience liberation and enlightenment.


Burn, D. (1999) (3Rd ed.). Feeling good: The new mood therapy. New York: Avon.

Novaco, R.W. (1975). Anger control: The development and evaluation of an experimental treatment. Lexington, MA: D.C. Heath & Co.

Kellner, M. H., & Tutin, J. (1995). A school-based anger management program for developmentally and emotionally disabled high school students. Adolescence.