Anger is a normal emotion we all feel. Sometimes we feel angry in response to being criticized or ignored. It can happen when we become irritated with daily hassles or annoyances. An angry response is especially likely to occur during a conflict when we feel we are being attacked.
When anger is expressed appropriately, it can lead to constructive change and healthy coping. Anger can protect us and can let us know when something is wrong in our lives. In contrast, if anger is not controlled or handled well it can cause significant harm to ourselves and those we care about most. If your anger is frequent and ongoing, anger management is needed. With anger management, you can take back control and protect your life and those you love.
Not all anger looks the same
When we think of anger we usually think of yelling, aggression, intimidation and physical violence. But not everyone expresses anger in the same way. Some people are silent and say nothing. Instead, they allow it to fester and boil inside. While this appears to be less damaging, it is incredibly harmful to the person. People who are unable to control their anger experience a range of physical effects that they may not understand is related to their anger. These issues may include headaches, blood pressure spikes, stomach problems, and other physical health issues.
Approaches to anger management therapy
Different people have different causes for their anger and a one-size-fits-all approach is not always beneficial. Some people need to explore past issues relating to family and upbringing. Others benefit from learning new skills on how to manage their anger. Sometimes a different mindset needs to be cultivated. Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) is one approach shown to be very effective in anger management.
CBT and Anger Management
Several effective techniques have been used for anger management. Below are just a couple
Enhanced Personal Awareness
For some individuals who have struggled with anger for a long time, it is difficult for them to know exactly where the anger is coming from. At times, our minds operate below our level of awareness. Automatic thoughts that are detrimental to the self and based in fear may occur without us even noticing. But we are left with the emotion. Without proper self-monitoring and exploration, the true cause of anger can remain elusive.
An exploration of certain questions with a therapist can help. For example, when and where does the anger happen? What events, memories and images trigger anger? What are you thinking when you become angry? What do others do when you become angry? How may this help or hinder the situation?
Enhanced awareness allows us to take control over our emotions and our reactions. Insight into the true cause of our anger can lead to a freedom from past triggers that we didn’t know was possible.
Techniques that remove you physically or mentally from a heated situation is a helpful way to control anger before it gets out of hand. Anger is a quick, hot emotion. Sometimes it is wise to simply get up and leave the room. It may also be wise to wait to respond to the offending person until you’ve had a chance to calm down.
We all know what can happen when we respond to an email or text when angry. We can’t take it back, and it is often a very wise thing to wait.
If you would like to learn more
There are many more CBT techniques to anger management. Too many to include in this post. If you are ready to stop the destructive patterns of anger, therapy can help. psychotherapy, CBT and other techniques that are individualized and tailored to your situation are available. The sooner you reach out for help, the sooner you can change your reactions and take back control of your life.
I’m here to help. You are welcome to call and book an appointment or simply fill out my contact form and press send.