Anger can be destructive

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DOCTOR CALLING: By Dr Miles Langdon

Anger is a destructive emotion that can cause mental hurt and a string of physical health problems.

That’s why the NHS urged us all to think about managing anger effectively during Anger Awareness Week at the start of December.

Embarrassment, unhappiness and feelings of defensiveness are among the causes of anger while depression is also a factor.

But it’s possible to control anger by following these top 10 tips:

* Take a timeout – count to ten before reacting.

* Get some space – take a break from the person you’re angry with.

* Express your anger once you’re calm – stewing can make the situation worse.

* Get some exercise – go for a run or brisk walk.

* Think carefully before you speak – or you may say something you’ll regret.

* Identify solutions – instead of focusing on what made you mad, work with the person who angered you.

* Avoid criticising or placing blame – this could make the other person angry or resentful.

* Don’t hold a grudge – if you forgive the other person it will help you both.

* Use your sense of humour – lightening up can diffuse tension.

* Practise relaxation skills – try deep breathing, yoga or listening to music.

Of course, anger can be a positive thing. If the Suffragettes had not got angry about women not being allowed to vote, it’s likely they would have remained disenfranchised for many more years.

But there are serious health issues linked to unresolved anger. These include high blood pressure, heart attacks, depression, anxiety, colds, flu and problems with digestion.

That’s why it’s important that we all learn to recognise our anger signs and how to deal with them.

For lots of great advice, visit and search for “anger management”.