Anger Management

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Control your anger before it controls you!!

Anger is a completely normal, usually healthy, human emotion. But when it gets out of control and turns destructive, it can lead to problems, problems at work, in your personal relationships, and in the overall quality of your life.

 

The Nature of Anger

Like other emotions, it is accompanied by physiological and biological changes; when you get angry, your heart rate and blood pressure go up, as do the levels of your energy hormones and adrenaline.

Anger can be caused by both external and internal events. You could be angry at a specific person or event, or your anger could be caused by worrying or brooding about your personal problems. Memories of traumatic or enraging events can also trigger angry feelings.

Expressing Anger

The instinctive, natural way to express anger is to respond aggressively. Anger is a natural, adaptive response to threats; it inspires powerful, often aggressive, feelings and behaviors, which allow us to fight and to defend ourselves when we are attacked. A certain amount of anger, therefore, is necessary to our survival.

People use a variety of both conscious and unconscious processes to deal with their angry feelings. The three main approaches are expressing, suppressing, and calming. Expressing your angry feelings in an assertive, not aggressive, manner is the healthiest way to express anger.

Anger can be suppressed, and then redirected. The aim is to suppress your anger and convert it into more constructive behavior. If it isn't allowed outward, your anger can turn inward, on yourself. Anger turned inward may cause hypertension, high blood pressure or depression.

Unexpressed anger can lead to pathological expressions of anger, such as passive-aggressive behavior or a personality that seems cynical and hostile

The goal of anger management is to reduce both your emotional feelings and the physiological arousal that anger causes. You can't get rid of, or avoid, the things or the people that enrage you, nor can you change them, but you can learn to control your reactions.

Are You Too Angry?

People who are easily angered generally have a low tolerance for frustration. They can't take things in stride, and they're particularly infuriated if the situation seems somehow unjust.

What makes these people this way? The causes may be genetic or physiological: Some children are born irritable and easily angered, and these signs are present from a very early age. Another may be sociocultural. Anger is often regarded as negative; we're taught that it's all right to express anxiety, depression, or other emotions but not to express anger. As a result, we don't learn how to handle it or channel it constructively.

Family background also plays a role. Typically, people who are easily angered come from families that are disruptive, chaotic, and not skilled at emotional communications.

It's best to find out what it is that triggers your anger, and then to develop strategies to keep those triggers from tipping you over the edge.

If you feel that your anger is really out of control, if it is having an impact on your relationships and on your life, you might need counseling to learn how to handle it better. A psychologist can work with you in developing a range of techniques for changing your thinking and your behavior.

Remember, you can't eliminate anger, and it wouldn't be a good idea if you could. In spite of all your efforts, things will happen that will cause you anger. Life will be filled with frustration, pain, loss, and the unpredictable actions of others. You can't change that; but you can change the way you let such events affect you. Controlling your angry responses can keep them from making you unhappy in the long run. 

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