Discover practical tips, exercises, and mindfulness practices that target anger management, emotional regulation, and communication skills. Start your journey towards a healthier and happier life today with our guide on how to cure anger issues.
The Benefits and Drawbacks of Expressing Anger: Is It Ever Appropriate?
The Root Causes of Anger: Identifying the Triggers for a Healthier Lifestyle
The Long-Term Effects of Anger: Busting the Myths and Overcoming the Costs
Techniques for Managing Anger: Tried-and-Tested Methods for Self-Control and Emotional Regulation
More More More
Why can the relationships closest to us bring out the worst sides of us?
For much of my life, I have held the belief that anger is a pointless and destructive coping management technique…..an emotion that serves no purpose and is best avoided at all costs.
Being with my partner for the last 8 years, however, has meant I’ve had to challenge that belief….. Don’t get me wrong, I love him very much but catch us on the wrong day and you would think that we’re sworn enemies and yes we don’t argue very often but when we do we go all out.
This used to worry me a lot back in the day. I would question whether these arguments were a reflection on the state of our relationship but I’ve come to realise is that these arguments were not about our lack of love for each other but simply 2 different people with 2 different styles of communicating trying to find a common ground where we both felt heard and understood……. and being honest sometimes when one of us would do something really stupid we probably deserved a bit of retribution directed our way.
I’ve also realised It’s not just us either. I see these ideas every day in the therapy workplace with my clients and listening to their stories about relationships….. Some of them have had real damage inflicted upon them by others and so the anger they feel is completely warranted and justified. If it were me I would feel the same way (Kassinove & Tafrate, 2002).
So this is the focus of this week’s blog. If you let me I would like to share with you my thoughts and knowledge on the topic of Anger. We’ll explore Its complicated nature, the reasons why we get angry when it’s appropriate to feel the way we do and how to cure anger issues when we need to learn healthier ways of dealing with the emotion.
The Benefits And Drawbacks Of Expressing Anger: Is It Ever Appropriate?
Working as a Counsellor for the last 8 years and listening to others talk in therapy about their abuse and trauma I’ve come to understand how anger can be great as a coping management technique. For some people and what they’ve been through getting angry is a way for them to take back control, fight back and become empowered to find ways through their situation.
We also can experience anger collectively and on a much larger scale. In today’s, we live in a society where injustice runs rife (DiGiuseppe & Tafrate, 2007) and the people in power act in ways that are harmful and unjust and the only way to keep them in check is to fight back…..This is never more true with the fight for gay and lesbian equality. We have never been gifted our rights voluntarily, we’ve had to fight for every single piece of equality that we have…. and the fight continues.
I think there is a very fine line between anger being useful or damaging…. Constantly living in a bubble of anger every day not only damages our mental health, but has an effect on our physical health and the relationships we have with others so developing the right tools and techniques to harness the power of anger for positive change and self-improvement is essential.
The first step in this process is learning where anger comes from.
The Root Causes Of Anger: Identifying The Triggers For A Healthier Lifestyle
Anger is a natural human emotion but like all other emotions, there is a fine line between it being an appropriate response to a situation and it turning into something problematic.
What I’ve learnt listening to my clients in therapy who want to deal with their anger issues is that it has to start with self-awareness and understanding the triggers. If we want to get to a certain place we have to understand where we are starting from so learning what our triggers are is a very good place to start although everyone’s experiences are unique there are some common ones that fit into everyone’s story and these can include.
Stress: Stress is one of the most common causes of anger. When we are under stress, our bodies release the hormone cortisol, which can trigger feelings of anger and frustration. This can be particularly true if we feel like we are not in control of the situation or if we feel like we are being treated unfairly.
Unmet Needs: Another common cause of anger is unmet needs. When our basic needs for food, shelter, love, or safety are not met, we can become frustrated, irritable, and angry.
Perceived Threats: Perceived threats are another common cause of anger. When we feel like we are being threatened or that our safety is at risk, we can become angry and defensive.
Lack of Control: Feeling like we are not in control of a situation can also trigger anger especially if we feel like we are being forced to do something against our will or are being manipulated or controlled by someone else.
Past Experiences: If we have experienced trauma or abuse in the past, we may be more likely to become angry in certain situations if we are reminded of our past experiences in some way.
The Long-Term Effects Of Anger: Busting The Myths And Overcoming The Costs
Anger is a natural human emotion that can be triggered by various situations, events, and experiences. While anger can be a healthy and normal response to certain situations, it can also become problematic when it is not managed effectively. In this chapter, we will discuss the effects of anger and how it can impact our lives. The most common effects Anger has on us are;
Physical Effects: When we feel angry, our bodies release adrenaline and other stress hormones, which can cause physical symptoms like increased heart rate, high blood pressure, and tense muscles.
Increased risk of heart disease: Anger can cause stress on the heart, increasing the risk of heart disease.
Weakened immune system: Anger can weaken the immune system, making us more susceptible to illnesses.
Digestive problems: Anger can cause digestive problems such as indigestion, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and acid reflux.
Insomnia: Anger can make it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep, leading to insomnia.
Increased blood pressure: Anger can cause a temporary increase in blood pressure, which can be harmful to our health in the long term.
Mental and Emotional Effects: Anger can also impact our mental and emotional well-being. The mental and emotional effects of anger may include:
Anxiety and depression: Anger can contribute to anxiety and depression, making it difficult to manage our emotions.
Low self-esteem: Anger can cause us to feel bad about ourselves and our abilities, leading to low self-esteem.
Relationship problems: Anger can cause problems in our relationships with others, leading to conflict and tension.
Reduced problem-solving abilities: Anger can make it difficult to think clearly and solve problems effectively.
Risk-taking behaviors: Anger can lead to risk-taking behaviours, such as substance abuse, reckless driving, or aggression.
Techniques for Managing Anger: Tried-and-Tested Methods For Self-Control And Emotional Regulation
Dealing with anger can be a challenging experience that leaves us feeling frustrated and overwhelmed. But, the good news is that there are many effective anger coping mechanisms that can help us manage our emotions in a healthy way (DiGiuseppe, & Tafrate, 2011) In this section, I want to share with you some tips and tricks I’ve learnt over the years that will hopefully help you in your situation. Some of them we can reflect on, some we can practice on and some we can simply just incorporate into our daily life.
Take a Timeout: When you feel yourself becoming angry, it’s important to step back from the situation and take a timeout. Removing yourself and going for a walk, breathing fresh air, listening to music, or engaging in any other activity that you find calming can help you refocus and calm down
Breathing techniques for anger: Deep breathing can help regulate your heart rate and reduce the intensity of your anger. The key is to focus on your breath, inhaling slowly through your nose and exhaling through your mouth. Try to inhale deeply into your stomach and feel your belly expand. Then, exhale slowly and feel your belly deflate.
Use humour: Humor can be a powerful tool in diffusing tense situations and reducing feelings of anger. Try using a lighthearted joke or making light of the situation to help ease the tension.
Identify Anger triggers: It’s essential to identify the triggers that cause your anger. Knowing what sets you off can help you address it before it spirals out of control. This requires self-reflection and introspection. You may notice that certain events, people, or situations are likely to trigger your rage. Once you know what they are, you can create a plan to avoid them or manage them better.
Improve your communication skills: Anger can often stem from misunderstandings or miscommunications. By improving your communication skills, you can reduce the chances of misunderstandings and diffuse tense situations before they escalate.
Write a letter (but don’t send it): Sometimes, when we’re feeling angry, we want to express our thoughts and feelings at the moment. However, sending a message in the heat of the moment can often make things worse. Instead, try writing a letter expressing your thoughts and feelings, but don’t send it. This can be a therapeutic way to express your emotions without the risk of causing more damage.
Develop healthy coping mechanisms: When you feel angry, it can be tempting to lash out or engage in destructive behaviours like substance abuse. However, these behaviours only provide temporary relief and can make the problem worse in the long run. Instead, try developing healthy coping mechanisms like exercise, meditation, or talking to a trusted friend or family member.
Chewing gum: Believe it or not, chewing gum can help reduce feelings of anger and frustration. Research has shown that the physical act of chewing can help release tension and stress, which can help calm you down.
Take a cold shower: Taking a cold shower may not sound like the most pleasant experience, but it can be an effective way to cool down and reduce feelings of anger. The shock of cold water can help activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which can help reduce stress and tension.
Reflecting on this blog 2 things stand out to me. The first is how I’ve learnt that sometimes Anger is OK and it can be used in a very positive way and the second is a theme that runs throughout this website and what I write, and that is Acceptance.
It is only through acceptance of our lives and ourselves that we can start to deal with whatever issues we have….. When we resist and deny our reality, we limit our ability to learn from our experiences and make positive changes in our lives
As always, If you enjoyed this blog please share it with your friends on your socials. Additionally, I’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback about my posts and if you like them or not.
Bye for now
More More More
angermanagementresource.com – This website offers a variety of free resources to help individuals learn how to manage their anger, including worksheets, articles, and tips.
mind.org.uk – Mind is a mental health charity in the UK that provides information and resources about a variety of mental health topics, including anger. Their website offers information about managing anger and how to get help if you are struggling with anger issues.
Amazon books and Audibooks on Anger – Amazon offers a range of resources related to anger management, such as books, workbooks, and DVDs.
If you’re interested in learning more about how to deal with anger issues, I encourage you to use the Google search box to explore the topic further. Simply type in “Dealing With Anger” or a specific aspect of the topic you’d like to learn more about, and you’ll find a wealth of resources and information to help deepen your understanding. Happy searching!