Living with Chronic Pain
Tips for Anger Management
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Frequent, intense anger can complicate pain management; therefore, managing anger is critical. Tips for managing anger include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Deep breathing and positive self-talk can help interrupt angry thoughts. Repeating calm words while taking slow deep breaths can help alleviate anger.
- Anger should be expressed in appropriate ways. Outbursts can stress the nervous and cardiovascular systems, resulting in increased pain. Anger should be calmly and clearly expressed without becoming emotionally charged.
- Physical activity can improve mood and release feelings of anger. Exercise may need to be tailored for specific chronic pain conditions.
- Consumption of alcohol should be limited as it can loosen inhibitions, sometimes resulting in angry behavior.
- Support from others can help change angry behavior. Talking about feelings is a good way to prevent anger outbursts.
- Keeping a journal of angry thoughts can help identify trends that trigger anger.
- Self-help books can provide insight on how to control anger.
- If anger becomes unmanageable, a health care professional should be consulted for additional treatment. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is the most common type of professional therapy for anger issues. CBT helps individuals recognize and change negative thoughts and behaviors that may fuel anger.