Anger Management and Control

The goal of anger management is to reduce both your emotional feelings and the physiological arousal that anger causes.

Domestic abuse, road rage, workplace violence, angry and irrational outbursts that could lead to divorce, and repressed anger that could have underground roots to addictions are just a few examples of what can happen when anger is mismanaged.

Anger in itself is a normal and healthy emotion in people.

We need our anger in order to establish healthy boundaries, to say “no” when we need to, to protect ourselves and our loved ones from harm and to motivate us toward making positive changes.

Nevertheless, anger can also be harmful and destructive when it is misplaced and expressed inappropriately. If you frequently experience anger, it probably built up over a number of years before you got to where you are today.

Are Some People Angrier Than Others?

  • Yes. There is evidence that some children are born irritable and that these signs are present from a very early age. Another aspect may be educational/cultural. We’re taught that it’s wrong to express anger. As a result, we don’t learn how to handle it!

Questions that could help you identify whether you have Anger problems:

  • Do you find yourself becoming angry often?
  • Are you having difficulty in your relationships because of your anger?
  • Are your children afraid of your anger?
  • Have you ever been involved in a physical altercation or destroyed/damaged property because you were angry?
  • Do you lose your temper in traffic?
  • Do you have high blood pressure, insomnia, etc.?

Learning how to recognize and express anger in appropriate ways can help people to reach goals, handle emergencies, and solve problems. It is not unusual to find that underneath the emotion of anger other emotions (e.g. sadness) can be found.

Anger that is not appropriately expressed can disrupt relationships, affect thinking and behaviour patterns, and can create a variety of physical problems.

When anger is the primary emotion being felt, we become less able to think and respond rationally and in some cases, even our senses do not work properly because of extreme anger.

Anger is often followed by depression. When we feel particularly furious, we tend to express ourselves verbally or physically improperly, consequently feeling depressed afterwards when we realise what we have done.

Tactics for Managing your Anger:

  • When you start feeling angry, try deep breathing exercises, positive self-talk, or stop/ interrupt your angry thoughts. 
  • Avoid alcohol or drugs that can make you more prone to act angrily.
  • Although expressing anger is better than keeping it in, anger should be expressed in an appropriate way. 
  • Seek out the support of others. Talk through your feelings and try to work on changing your behaviours.
  • Try to gain a different perspective by putting yourself in another’s place.
  • Learn how to laugh at yourself and see humour in situations.
  • Visualize a relaxing experience, from either your memory or your imagination.
  • Yoga-like exercises can relax your muscles and make you feel much calmer.
  • Seek professional assistance.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Treatment for Anger Problems

The aim of the treatment is to help an angry person recognize the negative thoughts that lie behind anger. CBT approach can help you to:

  • Manage difficult life situations better
  • Deal with grief more effectively
  • Mentally handle emotional stress caused by illness, abuse or physical trauma
  • Overcome chronic pain, fatigue and other physical symptoms

Do You Need Counselling?

If you feel that your anger is really out of control, if it is having an impact on your relationships and on important parts of your life, you might consider counselling to learn how to handle it better.

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