Anger is a normal human emotion that can be healthy. Often, anger can be a secondary emotion to feelings like sadness, fear, or disgust. In some cases, people may find that their anger feels like rage or hostility or drives unwanted behaviors. However, utilizing anger management tips can help them manage their emotions and respond in a more constructive manner. When anger becomes unhealthy, finding an anger management therapist for your problematic anger can be beneficial. Anyone of any age, gender, or background can take advantage of anger management services from a trained mental health professional.
Anger is both an emotional and physiological response. As a natural emotion, it can cause changes in body chemistry, leading to increased heart rate, elevated blood pressure, and the release of adrenaline and noradrenaline. If you experience anger or behaviors that are challenging to control, consider seeking professional help from a qualified anger management therapist. They can teach you anger management skills, such as relaxation techniques, communication skills, and expressing anger in constructive ways, to ensure healthy responses to angry feelings.
Causes Of Anger
Anger is an emotion akin to sadness, fear, and love. It can serve a purpose, such as assisting people in managing threats by providing the physiological and emotional responses necessary to confront dangerous situations, ensuring overall health and safety. Moreover, feeling angry may signal to someone that another person's behavior is unhealthy, helping them recognize when to end a relationship. When managed correctly, anger can be an important aspect of self esteem and emotional well being.
The intensity of the anger response can vary depending on the individual and the event that triggered it. Thoughts, memories, and past adverse experiences can be emotional causes or triggers. involving conscious and unconscious processes. For many, reflecting on people, places, and events that elicited anger in the past might evoke the emotion in the present. Additionally, stressful stimuli such as a new job, difficulties at work, or your car breaking down might cause anger, potentially increasing the risk of mental health conditions if not properly addressed.
Anger management therapists are licensed providers with experience treating various symptoms of mental health issues, mental health conditions, and emotional concerns. Although many people believe that attending therapy is only allowed for those with a mental health condition, over 41.7 million adults saw a therapist in 2021, and not all were diagnosed with a mental health condition. Therapists are trained to support various concerns, including anger management interventions. You do not necessarily have a mental health condition if you struggle to manage your anger.
Understanding What Causes Your Anger
An anger management therapist can do more than provide you with techniques for managing your anger. A qualified mental health specialist can help you understand the sources of your anger, common triggers, and other important information about being an angry person or a person who experiences anger frequently. For instance, if you commonly find yourself angry at work, you and your therapist can discuss why work triggers distress and develop a unique treatment plan, informed by peer reviewed studies, to help you avoid outbursts violent behavior, or unwanted actions towards yourself, coworkers, customers, or management. When you understand anger and how it affects you, you can learn to control anger before it controls you.
Understanding Your Past Experiences
A professional mental health therapist can also help you examine your life experiences and how they might contribute to your anger issues. Perhaps you grew up in a household where uncontrolled anger was the only way emotions were expressed; or you may have grown up around caretakers who never found a healthy way to express anger, which may have encouraged you to repress your own anger until it becomes explosive, resulting in anger problems. If you experience explosive anger toward other people or external events, you might experience feelings of regret or shame afterward. Working through memories, relationships, or thought patterns can allow you a greater self-awareness to understand the root of anger that may have influenced your patterns of behavior or thinking.
Understanding Impulse Control
Your therapist can also address impulse control. If you struggle to not follow through on angry behavioral urges, your therapist can teach you techniques to calm yourself down or remove yourself from a situation or problem before reacting. Practicing and implementing impulse control with the support of a therapist can allow you to understand the differences between an urge, an emotion, and behavior when you're feeling anger arise.
Various forms of therapy may be effective in treating anger concerns. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is commonly used to address anger due to its approach to changing thoughts and beliefs to change behaviors. Cognitive behavioral therapy can also help with any co-occurring mental health conditions you may experience alongside anger issues, such as anxiety or depression.
Another method that may be used is psychodynamic therapy. This type of anger management therapy uses self-reflection to help clients discover the potential root causes of anger and other symptoms or emotions. In addition, family therapy can be used for those experiencing arguments, conflict, or anger concerns with their family. Additionally, the American Psychological Association states that psychodynamic therapy can provide long-term benefits for a range of mental health concerns.
Home Anger Management
While you're in the process of seeking and obtaining professional help, you may also consider at-home anger management therapy techniques, including the following.
Breathing techniques can help you control your nervous system by allowing oxygen to circulate properly. You might find your breathing getting shallow or heavy when you feel angry. Focusing on an exercise like box breathing could help you feel more in control of your body while you're upset. You can try it through the following steps:
- Take a breath in for six seconds.
- Hold your breath for five seconds.
- Breathe out for six seconds.
- Hold your breath for six seconds.
- Repeat the exercise until you start to feel more relaxed.
As a short-term strategy, leaving a situation when you feel angry may help you control your emotions and avoid negative consequences. If you feel angry with friends or family, let them know you're going to step outside for a moment and try to wait until you feel less angry to come back to have the conversation. In addition, give yourself a 24 to 48-hour rule for responding to distressing messages or emails.
Some people may find that partaking in healthy physical activity like running, stretching, or swimming can relieve feelings of anger. When exercising, your brain releases endorphins, often referred to as "happy chemicals," that can improve mood, physical health, and well-being. In addition, anger often involves action urges, so putting your energy into a positive form of action may be beneficial.
Many people may experience feelings of shame or guilt when they express anger, which can make receiving therapy in person challenging. However, there are multiple options when it comes to finding a therapist, including anger management classes and support for other mental health issues and conditions. For example, online therapy can be a more discreet option.
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