How good is your anger-management?

anger and frustrationAs a psychologist I find that its all about frustration tolerance and managing your expectations!

I have clients who report that they have days when they feel more and more frustrated, to the point where they are ready to explode!

Often their frustration results from problems in their relationships, either at home or at work, or it arises in certain situations, such as when when driving in traffic.

I talk about frustation being a sign that one’s expectations of a person or situation are unrealistic – we have an idealised idea of how a person or a situation should be (in the perfect world!) and then feel frustrated and angry when things don’t turn out as we would wish.

How would you rate your anger-management (on a scale from nought to ten – ten being perfect!)?

If  you find that you need to improve in this area – what can you do?


1. Examine your internal dialogue  – the conversation you have (hopefully silently!) with yourself throughout the day. If you are tending to wind yourself up, you can work on this. Listen to the conversation, and change the self-talk to a calmer, problem-solving tone.

2. Examine your expectations. If they are tending to be unrealistic, alter them to match reality. For example, if you are caught in a traffic jam thirty kilometres away from your office, rather than fuming about not being able to get to the meeting which is to begin in five minutes time, estimate how long it will take you to get there and perhaps consider how you could let people know that you will be late.

Of course it is important for each of us to work on our anger-management skills for a number of very good reasons – such as to preserve our relationships, our jobs and our sanity!

It is important to note that an ongoing pattern of anger and hostility can seriously affect your health. Research has consistently found that A-type personalities who are competitive and also angry and hostile are much more likely to suffer from high blood pressure and have higher rates of heart attacks than people who are driven but not angry.

So being a lover not a fighter is better for one’s health too!

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