Anger Management Techniques That Work Even on the Beach


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    Vacations are great. We all need to get away and find happiness from time to time. And there’s no reason to get angry if all the daily stresses are gone and you can relax. Unfortunately, anger doesn’t really take a vacation. And many people, men especially, can find a need for effective anger management techniques even if they’re sitting on a beach.

    So, what kind of men need anger management techniques while on vacation? A man like Steve does.


    When You Need Anger Management Help On Vacation

    Steve was on vacation in Hawaii with his family last week. While at the beach with his 8-year-old son, Steve lost his temper when his son kept throwing sand in the air while building a sandcastle.

    What’s the big deal? Sand, beach, Hawaii -- what could be wrong?

    Well, the sand was landing on Steve's tablet. Even though they were on Maui and supposed to be enjoying family time, Steve still felt the need to stay connected to work.

    So, when sand landed on his tablet Steve erupted like Kilauea (Hawaii's volcano). Kilauea means "spewing" in Hawaiian, which is exactly what he did all over his son.


    Steve had thought this vacation was going to be the perfect break from everything -- even his anger management problems. Unfortunately, he didn't realize that along with his swimsuit he also packed his anger issues.

    Many people mistakenly believe anger is something that’s completely situational. If you can get away from the things that cause you stress and make you angry, like work, chores, or bills, your anger will just go away too. Sadly, that’s wishful thinking.

    Anger issues and the need for anger management isn’t just about eliminating the triggers. If anger is a problem for you it will find new triggers and remain a problem regardless of where you are. So, Steve, who had hoped and planned for a vacation without having to deal with his anger, found himself in uncomfortable but all too familiar territory.

    Fortunately, a few weeks before the trip Steve had begun anger management classes at Guy Stuff. Although he's just beginning to learn anger management techniques, Steve quickly recognized his anger problem and put to work one of the tools I'd taught him.

    When we met again after his vacation he told me,

    I probably wouldn't have recognized it before. But I remembered the anger management technique you taught me and started using it. That made me think about my anger and realize I needed to do something before it grew."

    Later on, when Steve's wife, Rebecca, heard from their son what had happened she snapped at Steve, "When are you going to start anger management classes?"

    He told her:

    I already have. And after only the second meeting I already have a tool that works."

    What Anger Management Techniques Can Look Like

    True anger management isn’t about quick tricks or soothing mantras. Although these can help, real anger management technique takes time to build and master. And management is only part of it.


    Really handling your anger means getting to the root of it as well.

    Overwhelming anger is a product of something deeper that hasn’t been dealt with properly. And while a person may never fully be rid of their tendency toward anger problems, learning and practicing proper techniques as well as working toward resolving the internal issues causing it, can lead to a much happier life and more successful relationships (like Steve with his son).

    What I teach in my classes on managing anger is a combination of techniques to use in the moment to reduce anger, along with lifestyle and relationship changes necessary to prevent the triggering of anger in the first place.

    That being said, here are 3 simple responses that can help you manage your anger when it erupts like Steve’s did. The anger management techniques I teach in counseling are much more complex than these, but this is a good place to begin.

    • Walk away. One of the simplest ways to begin to manage your anger when it arises is to remove yourself from what’s just triggered you. This takes some self-awareness and self-control but walking away gives you time to compose your response as opposed to just reacting. This approach is easier said than done, and most people will need more help in order to do it effectively.
    • Take several deep breaths. Or 10 if you need it. The act of slowing down your breathing, and taking deeper breaths will relax your body and give a moment for your anger dissipate a bit. Doing this can help lessen your likelihood to explode.
    • Have a repeatable word. Taking a moment to repeat a word a number of times can be calming and help you manage your anger as well. Repeating something like “relax” or “calm,” or any other word that works for you, will assist you gaining control over your emotions.

    These aren’t long-term fixes, but they can help you get started. You may be like Steve and need a tool you can begin to use right now.


    But, like Steve, if you need lasting ways to manage your anger (and eliminate it), it will take a commitment to learning more thorough techniques and resolving the sources of your individual anger problems.

    Can you relate to Steve's anger management problems? Ever lost it with your kid and regretted it like Steve? Then do what he did and start learning some anger management techniques that really work.

    Editor's Note: This post was originally published October 23, 2010 and has been updated with new information for accuracy and comprehensiveness.


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