Everyone experiences feelings of anger from time to time but what differs is how we express these feelings. Anger is a powerful, unpredictable emotion that if left uncontrolled can become destructive. When it gets out of control, it leads to instances of uncontrolled outbursts and violent behaviors.
This can cause problems in different facets of life — including relationships, career and can potentially destroy one's quality of life. While anger is a natural human emotion, learning to manage doesn't not mean suppression of this emotion. By seeking anger management therapy, you can prevent a bad temper from taking control of your life.
Anger is an intense emotion characterized by feelings of annoyance, dissatisfaction and antagonism. Like other emotions, anger conveys a message. It communicates that an individual finds a situation upsetting, unfair, or threatening. Even though it is typical to feel angry for these reasons, anger becomes a problem when it is expressed in a way that is harmful to yourself or others. Contrary to popular belief, anger is not necessarily a negative emotion. It is the behavior which you exhibit in that particular moment of rage and fury that becomes a problem.
It is important to remember that we cannot control the situations we find ourselves in or how it makes us feel, but we can control how we express our feelings about them.
Unmanaged anger tends to spiral out of control and may have serious consequences that may affect physical and mental health. Anger itself isn't a diagnosable mental illness. But it has been found to be related to other mental health conditions like mood disorders, substance use, and psychotic disorders. When a person gets angry, they experience physiological and biological changes, including a rise in the heart rate and blood pressure.
For some individuals, constantly being in high levels of stress and unmanaged anger triggering environments can make them more susceptible to cardiac diseases, insomnia, and high blood pressure. Furthermore, in many instances, a lack of anger management skills can predispose individuals to committing crimes in a moment of fury and damaging their relationships with their loved ones.
The first step to successful anger management is to find out what instigates the angry emotions, otherwise known as anger triggers. Although it is not always possible to change the circumstances or situations that provoke anger, anger management strategies can help you recognize triggers and learn to cope with them or avoid them effectively. For someone who easily loses their temper, it helps to take note of the factors that trigger these emotions. With a better insight of your triggers, you can learn to express these emotions assertively rather than aggressively.
Moreover, your life experiences impact how triggers choose to surface.
Generally, a trigger could be anything that spurs an uncontrollable emotional reaction, regardless of your current mood.
Experts recommend recording anger triggers in a worksheet or diary. This can help identify the causes of your anger over time. Understanding these triggers can help you plan accordingly when you are faced with a situation that you know has triggered your emotions in the past. Structuring your day differently or using proactive stress management techniques so that you can avoid triggering situations. These simple coping strategies will prevent frustrating anger episodes.
To prevent a tense situation from getting out of hand, de-escalation strategies can be used to diffuse them. Think about it like taking a timeout, allowing the body and brain to respond to stress in healthy ways. Each technique is situation-specific, and one single response or technique will not work in every situation. These de-escalation strategies should be applied depending on your individual needs, the circumstances, and the overall context of the situation. With these simple anger management tips, you can remain in control of your emotions and prevent rage filled moments from escalating.
First, consider whether getting angry, in such a case, is helpful to the situation or not. This way, you can recognize the difference between events that can change and those beyond your control.
Sometimes our immediate environment gives rise to irritation or fury. Consider moving to a private area. If it seems feasible, move away from public spaces or change the environment until the feelings of anger have passed.
Physical activity can help reduce the stress that is commonly associated with triggers. Going for a brisk walk, run, or any other physical activity can prevent anger from escalating.
Humor is a great way to help diffuse tension. Although it's not easy to laugh things off when you are upset, sometimes the best way to de-escalate the situation is to find humor in it.
Practice techniques that could calm and relax the body and mind. These include deep-breathing exercises, repeating calming words, or thinking of your happy place in great detail.
Anger management is a psycho-therapeutic program for anger prevention and control. It has been described as learning to deploy anger successfully. Using different techniques, anger management helps people discern, cope and express their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors in a healthy and productive ways. Anyone can learn anger management as a skill. Even if an individual thinks their anger is under control, there's always room for improvement.
Never getting angry is not healthy. Anger erupts regardless of how hard you try to suppress it. The true purpose of anger management is not to suppress feelings of anger but rather to understand the message behind the emotion and express it in a healthy manner without losing control. The goal is to give you as much control over your life as possible by using a combination of psychotherapy, self improvement, and coping strategies.
It makes sense to seek help for anger management if your anger seems out of control or causes you to do regretful things that hurt those around you. Anger management can help identify and change unhealthy thought patterns that fuel anger. You can learn to regulate emotions, control actions, and develop practical coping skills with therapy.
Several therapeutic options are available, including both inpatient and outpatient treatments. Depending on a lot of factors, treatment for anger management could take the form of:
In any case, it is highly recommended to speak with an appropriately licensed mental health professional such as clinical social workers, psychotherapists, psychologists, physicians or mental health counselors. Professional evaluation and consultation can help pinpoint underlying mental health challenges at the root of the problem.
At Bloom Clinical Care Counseling and Therapy Services, we are Social Workers registered with the OCSWSSW. We have 25+ years of experience in supporting people experiencing grief & bereavement, depression, anxiety, guilt, anger, low self-esteem, stress, relationship issues and other mental health challenges. We do not require any referrals and are always welcoming new clients.
If you are looking for therapists near you in Toronto, Bloom Clinical Care is located at 1200 Markham Road, Suite 306C, M1H 3C3. We also offer virtual therapy options by phone or video call across Ontario. Help is available, and we may be able to help
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