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Anger, Hostility, and Violent Behavior (cont.)

Prevention

To prevent anger and hostility and to avoid violence:

  • Seek nonhostile ways to resolve conflicts. Arguing is fine, even healthy, as long as it does not turn violent.
  • Prevent violence with guns and other weapons.
    • Do not provide your children or teenagers with unsupervised access to guns or other dangerous weapons.
    • Do not keep guns in your home.
    • If you have guns in your home, unload them and lock them up. Lock ammunition in a separate place.
    • Do not keep guns in a home where there is someone who has a drug or alcohol problem, is prone to violent behavior, or has threatened suicide.
    • Make sure that no one in your home will have access to guns or other weapons unless he or she knows how to use them safely.
  • Take steps to lead a healthy life.
    • Engage in some type of regular physical activity. Exercise is one of the best ways to release all types of stress, including anger. A brisk walk is a good way to start. For more information, see the topic Fitness.
    • Eat a balanced diet. Remember to drink plenty of water.
    • Establish a healthy sleep pattern. Try to get the same amount of sleep each night.
    • Limit your use of alcohol, and do not use other drugs, such as cocaine, crack, or methamphetamines. Alcohol and drugs may make your feelings of anger and hostility worse and make them even harder to handle. For more information, see the topic Alcohol and Drug Problems.
    • Practice a relaxation technique such as yoga, meditation, or tai chi.
  • Consider your feelings before you become angry:
    • Talk about your feelings with a friend.
    • Draw or paint to express your feelings.
    • Write in a daily journal.
    • Think about your relationships with others. Don't spend time with people who are apt to make you angry or who add negative energy to your life.
  • Think before you act. Take time to stop and cool down when you feel yourself becoming angry. Count to 10, or practice some other form of mental relaxation. When you have calmed down, you will be better able to deal with your conflict thoughtfully.
  • Teach your children that anger is not a solution.
    • Give your children consistent love and attention.
    • Settle arguments without yelling or hitting.
    • Do not use physical discipline, such as spanking or other forms of corporal punishment. If you need help controlling your children, consider taking a course in parenting skills.
    • Limit your child's exposure to TV, movies, and video games. Watch television with your children to discuss or limit violent content.

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