Anger

Uncontrollable anger can impact on your daily life and relationships.

You have probably heard the term ‘anger management’. What does this imply? That there is no valid reason for your anger? Does it mean anger is not a ‘good’ emotion, or that we should not feel anger?

Understanding Anger

It is not helpful to categorise feelings into ‘good’ or ‘bad’ boxes. Your feelings are valid and arise as a means to observe important internal processes. This includes anger. Whilst it may be undesirable or uncomfortable, anger can be used to help motivate us and direct our energies towards constructive purposes: anger is a normal, healthy response to a threat.

Anger can be viewed in terms of a continuum that can range from mild annoyance to intense rage. It triggers part of the fight, flight, or freeze response and activates a number of physical conditions such as increased heart rate and blood pressure, and increased adrenaline and noradrenaline in the body.

When Anger Becomes a Problem

There is nothing wrong with feeling angry. However, if it becomes uncontrollable or is left unexpressed, anger can lead to destructive thoughts or actions and can impact on your daily life and relationships.

Obviously if we perceive threat where there is no threat, or we activate our fight, flight or freeze response for extended periods of time we need to understand what causes this, and how to cope and express ourselves differently.

Anger can be a response to distress; trauma, unexpressed feelings, being overwhelmed, stress, or grief, and can leave you feeling out of control.

Therapy can help us to understand the cause, and process situations and events in our lives in a way that gives us better coping mechanisms and insight into why we react the way we do. This work will empower you to make positive changes, creating internal stability, greater capacity for harmonious relationships, and will improve the overall quality of your life.

Anger management Nowra
Anger therapist Nowra

HANDY TIPS

  • Recognise the physical warning signs – such as pounding heart, sweating, tension in your body, creating fists with the hands or gritting teeth. The earlier you can recognise warning signs, the more chance you have at calming yourself.
  • Practice relaxation strategies regularly – they will not be effective when you need them if you do not practice regularly. To rewire the brain and change responses we need repetition to create new pathways.
  • Learn to be assertive – this means not being passive or aggressive but clear with others about what your needs and wants are and respecting they may have different concerns. Be prepared to negotiate.
  • Understand your anger – ignoring your anger or not taking responsibility will not make it go away. In fact it is more likely then to come up in inappropriate situations and cause more conflict in your life. Often there are valid reasons for our anger, talking with a psychologist can help to understand the ‘why’ and give you back control.

“Anybody can become angry- that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way- that is not within everybody’s power and is not easy.”

Aristotle