How Taking Anger Management Classes Can Help You Take Control Of Your Life
By: Mason Komay
Updated May 28, 2021
Medically Reviewed By: Sonya Bruner
Do you notice that you have difficulty controlling your anger? Are you quick to get angry at even the slightest thing? Maybe you're slow to anger, but when you do get mad, it becomes a battlefield. Maybe you struggle to have meaningful disagreements with your friends and family members. If any of these things sound like you, then taking anger management classes may be the best thing for you and your family. It may allow you to achieve better harmony between yourself and the people who you love, which will have an incredible impact on your quality of life.
What Is Anger Management?
First of all, let's take a quick look at anger management and what it is. Remember those scenes from old movies where someone gets angry and turns red, with steam coming out of their ears, right before they start beating on something with a hammer? Well, that's not exactly what anger management entails. Some people who seek out anger management have a very serious problem to which they may react strongly and even aggressively when they're angry. Others may experience lesser emotions, but we'll dig deeper into the different types of anger shortly.
Anger management is essentially a type of program or class where you learn more about your anger and what drives it. You'll also learn how to handle that anger all the way from beginning to end as well. This means that you'll discover how to recognize what factors cause you to feel this way as well as learning how to recognize the signs that indicate aggression. You'll even learn what you can do to calm yourself down with different tips and techniques that vary for each individual.
For some, listening to music can be an excellent method to calm down. For others, it might be something as simple as reading a book or taking a walk. The important thing is finding out what works best for you. Finally, you'll learn how to make productive decisions about the situation that angers you and how to interact with your family, friends, and everyone else in your life in a much more positive way.
Do I Have an Anger Problem?
Answering the question as to whether you have a legitimate problem is difficult, but the simplest way to do it is to look at how your anger affects your personal life. Is your anger getting in the way of you having the healthy life and relationships that you want to have? If the answer is yes, then you may have an issue that can be easily treated and dealt with. You don't need to spend the rest of your life feeling this way, nor should you. Anger also becomes problematic when it hurts the people around you or when it causes you to act out violently.
It's important to note that anger is a perfectly normal emotion in every human being. When you feel that someone has treated you badly, it's completely natural to feel frustrated and/or upset. It's also common to become slightly aggravated when something doesn't go the way you want it to or the way you think it should. It's when the aggravation escalates to irrational proportions and interferes with your life that it becomes an issue for concern. The best solution is to start looking into anger management programs and classes offered around you.
Symptoms and Signs of Anger Issues
Do you think that you have issues with controlling your anger? If any of the following questions seem to resonate with you, then it may be time to seek out professional help.
- Do you punch objects to make yourself feel better?
- Do you react violently or quickly to minor problems?
- Do you have difficulty calming yourself down when you start to feel angry?
- Do you tend to break items when you argue with someone?
- Do you seem to have the same argument with people over and over again?
- Do you get frustrated with the way you act when you argue?
- Do you regret what happened immediately after an argument?
- Do you accuse your loved ones of disrespecting you when they aren't?
Any of these could be a sign that you're experiencing anger problems yourself. Emotions and conditions can all occur as a result of anger management issues. Some of these include:
- Lack of sleep
- Social isolation
They should be analyzed by a professional if you're thinking about getting help. Your doctor or mental health professional will be able to help you gain a better understanding of yourself and your situation.
Ideas to Help Calm You Down
As previously mentioned, calming yourself down when you feel angry is a very personal thing. It's going to require you to do a little work to find something that works and may even require a little trial and error. One of the best things you can do is to think about what makes you feel the most inner peace and try it out when you start to feel angry. If that doesn't work, keep trying until you find something that sticks. A mental health professional will be able to help you consider different options for you to experiment with.
Here are a few quick and easy ideas for you to try right now.
- Read a book
- Take a long walk
- Meditate or practice deep breathing exercises
- Slowly count to 10 and back
Why Do I Have Anger Issues?
There are a variety of factors that can cause problems with anger. For many, there is usually a cause rooted within the past, most particularly during childhood. These are individuals who tend to have extremely low self-esteem, which is generally caused when they don't trust the people around them or have experienced abuse. As a result, they may act out viciously to keep people at a distance, to keep themselves from getting hurt again or for any other reason along those lines. Even if they don't fully understand it, being angry has become somewhat of a defense mechanism and a way for their minds to keep them invulnerable to harm.
Underlying mental health issues can also have a negative impact on anger management. These issues can be depression and anxiety, even if the individual doesn't realize they have them, or at least not to a degree of concern. If aggression seems to come out of nowhere or the individual never displayed anger problems previously, it's important to consider mental health disorders as a possible cause. Another area to look into if anger issues seem to be sporadic is possible brain injuries. An injury to specific areas of the brain can cause a change in mood and personality as well, in which case it must be treated differently.
Before you look into mental health treatment, consider trying out some of these helpful alternative solutions to gain better control over your anger.
Physical activity is a proven method to help dramatically release tension and aggression in a positive and productive manner. Lifting weights, going for a run, hitting the punching bag at the gym, etc. are all fun exercises for you to enjoy. Give it a shot and see for yourself!
Often times, we forget to see things from a perspective other than our own. Before you lash out at someone, no matter how justified you feel it is, try to imagine how that person feels. Taking the time to go the extra mile and have a more empathetic approach can help you calm down and rethink your level of aggression.
Think Before You Act
Though it may be difficult to control your anger once you release it, you can reduce your aggression beforehand by thinking before you act. This might be harder in the heat of the moment, but it doesn't hurt to try. Take a minute and evaluate the situation while asking yourself if violently lashing out is the appropriate response. Most of the time, it isn't.
When to See a Therapist
Sometimes we need a little extra help in managing our anger. In that case, speaking with an in-person or online counselor is an option. A therapist can offer a supportive and understanding environment in which we can explore possible reasons for our anger. A therapist can also work with us, without judgment, as we learn to manage anger and repair relationships affected by our anger.
Get the Help You Need with BetterHelp
Anger management and therapy can be embarrassing for a lot of people. For one, you probably don't want everyone to know what's going on in your personal life and how it's affecting your family. By attending therapy online, you never have to worry about anyone knowing any of your business. Instead, you can simply log on from your computer anywhere with an internet connection, meaning you can sit in your favorite chair, relax on the couch, or hang out at the hotel while you're on a business trip. No matter what you prefer, you will always have access to a discrete and anonymous counseling session with a licensed professional therapist or counselor at BetterHelp. Read below for some reviews of BetterHelp counselors from people experiencing similar issues.
"Steve is amazing and does a good job at making this seem like less of a counseling session and more of a conversation between friends. He helped me talk through my anger issues and road rage and gave me lots of problem-solving tools. I highly recommend him!"
"Regina helped me pinpoint where my anger issues stemmed from in the very first session and has been helping me become more self-aware of my warning triggers. Very insightful and helpful!"
Keep in mind that getting professional help is a marathon, not a sprint. If you have anger problems and tried to manage them on their own, seeing a mental health professional might be something to explore. A therapist can get you back on the right track and help get your anger under control. Take the first step today.
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