Sean Penn, an Oscar winning actor, was recently sentenced to three years’ probation and anger management sessions by an American court. The sentence was handed down against an act of vandalism in which he destroyed a photographer’s camera. Human beings think of themselves as different from animals simply because they can speak and express emotions. Among all the emotions man shows, anger is probably the most deplorable as it harms everyone, including the person venting it. However, anger is better expressed in a controlled fashion rather than suppressed, altogether. Human beings rarely give in to the urge to physically express their rage and usually vocalize the angst, instead. But, at times, when things do get out of hand, incidents of road rage or mindless firing have been known to occur. Anger management courses, mushrooming all over, clearly point to the growing tendency in people to flip their lid. Anger management games help a lot in letting off that pent up steam, so read on and be ready with a few for times when tempers might flare!
Anger Management Games For Teenagers & Adults
Before you start this game, make sure that all the participants have a gift wrapped with them. Have everyone in the group sit around a table. Since this is a dice game, the winner will be decided based on luck. The game starts with throwing the dice and the person drawing an odd number chooses a gift from any of the players, opens it, and places it on the table. A person drawing an even number in the dice throw loses his/her turn to play to the one seated beside. Continue till all the gifts are opened. Start the game again for a fixed period of time with a small variation: this time, the player drawing an even number chooses a gift. At the end of the game, some end up getting more gifts than others, while some get nothing at all. Once over, discuss amongst yourselves how it felt to get a few or no gifts at all, or how it felt when luck didn’t seem to be favoring you, and whether or not that angered you, and how you dealt with it and so on and so forth. This fosters communication, letting everyone get rid of their anger and anxiety to a great extent. It is a great game to learn control over anger.
This game involves a lot more of the player’s mind and needs a group. Give everyone in the group some paper and pens. Ask them to write down every trigger for their anger (personal or otherwise) on to bits of paper, and then give each one of them a small balloon. Ask them to mark a heart on it and put the paper pieces with the triggers written on them, into the small balloon. Tie the balloon, without blowing it, using a ribbon. Next give them a bigger balloon and ask them to put their smaller ‘heart’ balloon into it. Blow the bigger balloon up and tie it. Ask them to write what others think about them or how they fool others into thinking about them in a certain way, onto other bits of paper. Some people cover their feelings up with humor, while others try to ignore others’ emotions. Once done writing, ask the players to discuss how and why they hide their feelings. You can even ask them if they would now like to share a secret with anyone they are comfortable with. Next you can let them pop their respective balloons in a symbolic representation eliminating negative emotions. You will only be left with bits of paper and disintegrated balloon heart pieces. Again you can ask each group member whether they would like to share their problems with anyone in the group by giving away a secure balloon to them. If they agree, you can help the person share the balloon or even ask them to read their problems out loud if they so desire.
Such a discussion will surely help people understand problems like:
The reasons behind their anger
How they try to appear in front of others
What makes them angry
How good it feels to share feelings
Why they do not share their feelings
The Board Game Challenge
Though not much of physical activity is generally required for anger management games, they can have the same intensity and frustration associated with physical games. These games can really test your anger management abilities. You can choose from a variety of board games and don't forget to have some play money on hand. For example, if “Operation Stay Alive” is the game you are playing, every piece that the player picks up without being buzzed earns him/her money along with points. Everyone should be given their turn, and the game gets over only when all the money is won. Reward good sportsmanship by giving money and penalize bad sportsmanship by taking money. Give a prize to the person who wins most play money by the end of a set time. This will make the competition more intense and give the kids incentive. The main objective of such games is to help players express their intense feelings by creating a competitive environment. Like in other games mentioned above, it is the discussion after the game that plays an important role in this game, too.
Things to be discussed are:
How was it to lose?
Why did you want to win?
Is completion good and how does it affect you?
Did you feel angry about losing the game and how well you handled the situation?
Is money the factor that you look forward to in any game?
Such games help people get rid of a lot of unexpressed emotions and teach control over rage. Emotions such as annoyance, discontent, covetousness and antipathy can be tackled much better this way.