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. And it can make you feel as though you’re at the mercy of an unpredictable and powerful emotion.
The Nature of Anger
Anger is an emotional state that varies in intensity. Like other emotions, it is accompanied by physiological and biological changes. For example when you get angry your heart rate and blood pressure go up, as do the levels of your adrenaline and noradrenaline.
Many things in one’s life can cause anger. You could be angry with a specific person such as a family member, coworker or a supervisor. You might also get angry about an event like a traffic jam or a canceled flight. Anger could also be caused by worrying about your personal problems. Memories of traumatic or enraging events can also trigger angry feelings. There is sometimes a lack of predictability with anger and it is important for individuals to obtain more predictability
The instinctive and sometimes natural way to express anger is to respond aggressively. Anger is a natural, adaptive response to threats that inspire 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. Such examples are not as common as being angry and overwhelmed and behaving irrationally and in a dangerous fashion. We can’t physically lash out at every person or object that irritates or annoys us; laws, social norms, and common sense place limits on how far our anger can take us.
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?
There are psychological tests that measure the intensity of angry feelings, how prone to anger you are, and how well you handle it. But chances are good that if you do have a problem with anger, you already know it.
How We Can Help
David DeMarco, LMHCA, CAMF is a certified provider through Century Anger Management. Having a strong foundation in mental health counseling (CBT and Trauma Informed Modalities) makes our anger management protocol uniquely therapeutic. Our program is specifically designed to help in reducing and ultimately eliminating the harmful side-effects of out of control anger.
Simple relaxation tools, such as deep breathing and relaxing imagery, can help calm down angry feelings. Our protocol is aimed at helping you learn techniques that you can call upon at any time to lower your anger impulses in the moment.
This means changing the way you think. Angry people tend to curse, swear, or speak in highly colorful terms that reflect their inner thoughts. When you’re angry, your thinking can get very exaggerated and overly dramatic. Try replacing these thoughts with more rational ones.
Sometimes, our anger and frustration are caused by very real and inescapable problems in our lives. Not all anger is misplaced, and often it’s a healthy, natural response to these difficulties. Sometimes there is also a cultural belief that every problem has a solution, and it adds to our frustration to find out that this is not always the case.
Angry people tend to jump to (and act on) conclusions, and some of those conclusions can be very inaccurate. Don’t say the first thing that comes into your head, but slow down and think carefully about what you actually want to say. At the same time, listen carefully to what the other person is saying and take your time before answering.
Changing Your Environment
Sometimes it’s our immediate surroundings that give us cause for irritation and fury. Problems and responsibilities can weigh on you and make you feel angry at the “trap” you seem to have fallen into and all the people and things that form that trap. Our difficult environment is the toughest thing to remedy however it is important to take note of the stressors in your environment that cause difficulty for you and schedule some time to step away to take care of yourself.
If you or someone you love has some challenges, even if you’d like to come in for a scheduled assessment; contact David DeMarco, LMHCA, CAMF at 360-200-8287. We are here to help lead the way.