How to Reduce Aggressive Behavior

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Aggressive behavior is defined as any conduct which produces a harmful result, whether the result is the result of physical or verbal hostility or even solitary feelings of anger or rage. Aggression usually manifests itself in threatening manner, verbal or physical abuse, intimidation, frantic body language and a raised voice. Aggression is a problem for many people, which can be easily managed provided that those who experience it learn to recognize their behavior and take active steps to reduce it.

Prevention

  • Find the source of your aggression. Why do you feel so angry? Is there a particular individual or set of circumstances which is likely to offset your anger? The best way to prevent your aggression from surfacing is to travel to the root of the issue.

  • Consider what causes you to behave aggressively. Many individuals who behave aggressively do so as a result of frustration. If you, your child, a family member or a friend exhibits aggressive behavior, it may be because they feel that a situation is out of their control.

  • Take steps to avoid repeat behavior. Once you have identified your trigger situations and the reasons why you react to those situations with aggression, you can begin to prevent a repetition. When a situation arises in which you think you may become aggressive, try to calm yourself down by either distracting yourself by taking a break, or by trying to see the situation from the point of view of the individual who your aggression is pointed towards. As a last resort, you can avoid the situation altogether, but this will not help you to learn how to deal with your aggression.

Behavior Management

  • Accept responsibility. The best way to manage aggression is by accepting that a situation has deteriorated as a result of the aggressive behavior. Irrespective of the trigger, aggression rarely solves a problem but almost always exacerbates it. You are not accepting responsibility for the underlying factors causing your aggression, only for the aggression itself.

  • Engage in a sport. Aggressive behavior has been shown to decrease when people take part in intensive exercise, most likely because exercise reduces endorphins which are said to lift mood.

  • Seek professional help. A professional can help you, not only to identify the source of your aggression, but also to give you ways to cope with and disperse your aggression when you feel that it is about to become unmanageable.

  • Seek help from others with the same problem. Group therapy can be a huge help for anger-management issues. Meeting others with the same problem will help you to discuss your problems with individuals who have found themselves in similar disorders. You can target your problems in a supportive and non-judgmental environment.

References

  • Photo Credit Piotr Stryjewski/Digital Vision/Getty Images
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