Anger Answers

How do I deal with the racist remarks that have been made to me?

Dear Riya, What a terrible experience! I'm so glad you came to BetterHelp; once you are matched with a therapist you will be able to work together to prioritize and set realistic goals to help you learn how to process experiences like this. Although this doesn’t sound like a major behavioral health disorder, if it’s causing you distress or feelings of discomfort, then therapy can help! I wanted to set some expectations for you so you know what therapy will be like with BetterHelp. Depending on your subscription you will likely have one live session a week with your therapist (by video, phone, or live texting). In addition, you and your therapist can text back and forth through the week, you can attend unlimited free “Groupinars” about behavioral health topics, and you can use the journaling feature. It’s good to shop around for the right therapist based on their specialties. When you are matched with a therapist, make it clear what you are looking for. It will not hurt our feelings for you to try out several of us until you find the correct fit (there are more than 25,000 on this platform alone, so you have choices!). We just want what’s best for you. Think of it like remodeling a home. You may just want help painting and changing some fixtures or going after walls with a sledge hammer. You would certainly want different kinds of professionals for these tasks, and you would also want to learn their specialties before getting to work. For example, I specialize in anxiety disorders, grief, sleep improvement, and sexual functioning. I also have been successful with many other areas. However, if a client comes to me asking for help understanding their dreams, I would (kindly) suggest they pick another therapist since that is not my area of expertise. Here are considerations as you look into therapy and shop around. 1. CONSIDER WHAT YOU NEED HELP WITH. As I mentioned above, there are lots of styles of therapy, and many different practice specialties. Here are some of the main areas that people usually want help with (but there are many more, of course. You may want to Google, “types of therapy.”) - Empathy (unconditional positive regard). Sometimes we just need someone to listen to us without judging. You may come from a family or friend group where this is hard to find, and a therapist can listen to you kindly and empathically. - Reality testing (helping you separate the logic from emotions). Sometimes we have difficulty understanding whether a situation warrants the kind of reaction we feel. For example, you may become enraged at poor customer service. A therapist can help you understand why you feel this way and how to deal with such situations. - Learning new patterns for thoughts (cognitions). Sometimes we fall into logical fallacies or thought distortions such as-or-nothing thinking and catastrophizing. These lead to increased feelings of depression and anxiety. Your therapist can help you understand these distortions and what to do about them. - Understanding anxiety triggers. We are creatures of habit, and we tend to be afraid of consistent things. Unfortunately, the more we avoid a fear, the stronger that fear gets (avoidance is like fuel for fear). As such, it is important to start learning about the common themes of what makes you anxious. Is it a fear of being judged? A fear of failure? A fear of not being loved or admired? Everyone is different. The best way to do this is to start keeping a log of the times you experienced the fight or flight response. Jot down in a journal or in an app like Google Keep these times, including: -- What was the triggering event? -- How long did it take to calm down?  Over time, your therapist will likely recommend that you also track “what was the automatic thought,” or the instant thought that just popped in to your mind that might have made you feel even worse (such as “everyone here is going to hate me.” Or “They all think I’m stupid.”) Your therapist can help you identify themes and come up with alternative cognitions or thoughts to battle these automatic thoughts. - Disrupt intense fear or the fight or flight response with deep breathing. Learning deep belly breathing (or “diaphragmatic breathing) is a great tool to add to effective stress management. Taking time to breathe deeply for a few minutes is a free and easy to learn method to take you out of the fight or flight zone and into a zone where you can think more clearly and not experience those side effects. You can Google “deep breathing” or “diaphragmatic breathing” to start learning a technique that really helps most people. You can find mobile apps to help (for example the Breathe2Relax or the Virtual Hope Box app – both are free and evidence-based) or watch videos online that can walk you through it. These are skills that not only help you now, but can assist you throughout your entire life (for example, dealing with road rage, poor customer service, annoying family). You can also disrupt the fight or flight response in the moment with just a minute or two of intense exercise (for example, push-ups, jumping jacks or walking up and down a flight of stairs). This helps use some of the adrenalin and glucose that are released into your blood stream when you have encountered a stressor and leaves you thinking a bit more clearly. - Accountability partner. Your therapist can help you set achievable and realistic goals and help keep you accountable for making progress. This can prevent you from making goals that are too large and unrealistic. Your therapist can also congratulate you on the small achievements that you may not want to share with others (for example, “Yay! You were able to go through the day only reading the news twice!”). - Helping you understand how your early life affects you now. In our early childhood we learn many things and have many experiences that lead to our behaviors as adults. Some therapists (especially those with psychodynamic backgrounds) can help you understand these effects. - Coping with grief, mourning and break-ups. Therapists can help you grieve and mourn losses such as deaths, break-ups, and other ways that you have lost people close to you. - Processing and working through trauma. Therapists can help you understand the symptoms of posttraumatic stress and help you learn ways to reduce these symptoms. - Learning ways to improve sleep, chronic pain, sexual functioning, and other quality-of-life factors. There are many evidence-based techniques that therapists can help you learn to improve your daily functioning in these areas. - Improving communication skills with partners, family, children, friends, or co-workers. As the saying goes, “love is never enough.” To help maintain healthy relationships, your therapist can help you learn effective and clear communication skills. 2. CONSIDER YOUR “STAGE OF CHANGE.” Sometimes we may have the need to change but not yet the motivation (like reducing substance use, quitting smoking, or other healthy behavior change). Depending on your stage of change, it may not be the right time for therapy. Here are the major stages of change. Consider where you are: - Precontemplation: This is the stage during which you may not even be aware of the issue. - Contemplation: This is when you are just starting to think about making change. - Preparation: This is when you get ready to change. This is when a therapist is MOST helpful. - Action: This is when we actually start making the change. Therapists are also very helpful here. - Maintenance: Maintaining the change can be difficult, and therapists are very helpful at this stage as well. I’m sending you hopes for quick healing and lifelong growth. Thank you so much for reaching out! Best regards, Julie Note: If you are in crisis and feeling like hurting yourself, please call 911, go to your closest emergency department, or call the suicide hotline (the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline) immediately at 800-273-8255. You could also go to their website to chat at https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/.
Answered on 08/04/2022

What are the signs that you are suffering from anxiety and depression?

Dear Jayzee, First of all, I want to commend you and say “way to go” on recognizing that there may be an issue with anger management and ways to productively communicate your feelings to those around you. You have been through a *lot*, and it's common to struggle with depression and anxiety after losing parents. I’m so glad you’ve come to BetterHelp for support. Although your counselor here will be able to hear more about your life and help you come up with healthy strategies, I can give some advice to get you started (especially if you are still waiting to be matched with a counselor). Learning how to communicate anger can be like learning a foreign language if you didn’t grow up with role models for appropriate expression. However, it is 100% a skill set that you can gain as an adult! A lot of anger management is about identifying the triggers, assessing your “automatic thoughts” and then developing healthy ways to respond.  We are creatures of habit, and we tend to be stressed or saddened or angered by predictable things. It is important to start learning about the common themes of what makes you feel this anger or rage. Is it when your partner does something annoying? When you feel like you are not good enough? When you are bored or lonely? When you are sexually aroused? Everyone is different. The best way to do this is to start keeping a log of the times you experienced these feelings. Jot down in a journal or in an app like Google. Keep these times, including: -- Where was I when this happened? -- What was I doing? -- How was I feeling? Over time, you will see themes that can help you attack the triggers. It’s also important to identify your own patterns of self expression. For example, it’s possible that your self-expression in the past has been punished or mocked or that you’ve seen others punished or mocked for self-expression. For example, if your siblings or peers teased you for everything you said, then it may be difficult to speak up now (because it’s hard to get rid of that nagging voice telling you that people around you are waiting for you to mess up). Or perhaps you saw one of the adult caregivers in your home mock others. Even though you logically understand that your feelings and thoughts are valid, it’s hard to undo this kind of lesson (especially when it happens early on and / or repeatedly). This is especially where a therapist will be helpful as we are trained to help you evaluate automatic thoughts (such as “everyone is going to laugh at you” or “no one wants to hear what you have to say.”) Further, we can help you come up with alternative thoughts to replace these and practice using these alternatives until it becomes natural (such as “people who love me also love to know what I’m thinking,” and “I have the right to express myself,” and “I don’t need to say things perfectly; my thoughts are better out than in.” Another piece of advice for you is to practice deep breathing in the moment when you are feeling your anger surge. Learning deep belly breathing (or “diaphragmatic breathing) is a great tool to add to effective stress management. Taking time to breathe deeply for a few minutes is a free and easy to learn method to take you out of the fight or flight zone and into a zone where you can think more clearly and not experience those side effects. You can Google “deep breathing” or “diaphragmatic breathing” to start learning a technique that really helps most people. You can find mobile apps to help (for example the Breathe2Relax or the Virtual Hope Box app – both are free and evidence-based) or watch videos online that can walk you through it. These are skills that can assist you throughout your entire life (for example, dealing with road rage, poor customer service, annoying family). You can also disrupt the fight or flight response in the moment with just a minute or two of intense exercise (for example, push-ups, jumping jacks or walking up and down a flight of stairs). This helps use some of the adrenaline and glucose that are released into your bloodstream when you have encountered a stressor and leaves you thinking a bit more clearly. All of my suggestions above focused on helping you maintain your relationship. However, it is possible that this is not the right partnership for you. Consider listing what you would like to have in a partnership (whether it is with your partner or someone else). Making a realistic wish list can help you identify your priorities. And please keep in mind that you are valuable and WORTH meeting these priorities. Ask yourself questions like: - How should my partner and I solve problems when we disagree about little things (for example, the best way to wash dishes)? How should we solve problems when we disagree about big things (for example, how we want to spend money)? - What kind of activities do I want to be able to do with my partner? - How should my partner and I talk about what we want in sex? - What kind of sense of humor is important to me? What kinds of things make me laugh, and is it important that my partner shares this? - How much are looks important to me? - What kind of dates do I expect? What do I like to do when getting to know someone or spending time with someone I care about? - How fast should my partner get back to me when I text or call? Do we always need to pick up the phone, or is it okay to have the call go voicemail if I’m busy? - Should my partner and I do fun things apart or only together? Is it okay if we do fun things with our friends without the other partner? - How important is it that my partner get along with my friends? - How important is it that my partner get along with my family? - What are my limits? Are there any things that I absolutely will not allow from a partner (like physical violence, certain kinds of substance use)? After making your list, consider how it felt. Do you feel you deserve to have these needs met? (I think you do deserve to have a good partnership that meets your needs). Are the needs realistic? Which ones are the highest priority? Of these high priority items, which ones do your current partner meet? Your friends and family are so lucky to have you – a person who *wants* to be better and who can see areas for improvement. You’re ahead of the game and I see great things in your future! Sending you many good wishes, Julie Note: If you are in crisis and feeling like hurting yourself, please call 911, go to your closest emergency department, or call the suicide hotline (the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline) immediately at 800-273-8255. You could also go to their website to chat at https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/.
Answered on 07/21/2022

Are your Anger Management class court approved? I'm under court orders for Anger Management class.

This is a great question, thank you for asking.  In my experience of 7 years of providing anger management classes for the courts, they prefer that those classes take place in brick and mortar locations, typically in group settings. They do accept virtual groups.  They expect their providers to work either under their own license or under the license of the agency that they are working for and be trained specifically in anger management. It is also expected that the client seeking treatment go through an initial assessment that takes anywhere between 60-120 minutes that covers pretty much all areas of life.  Sessions are usually conducted from a state-approved curriculum. Once you complete the curriculum successfully, you are considered successfully completed and a letter is sent to your referral agent (court, probation officer, etc) and you are done.  Unfortunately, though I have the credentials to do so, I am not state-approved as a Better Help provider to provide state court-ordered treatment anymore.  Your best options to find anger management courses accepted by the courts are your local community mental health center (Summitstone Health Services, Centennial Mental Health, Jefferson Mental Health, Denver Mental Health, Aurora Mental Health, Adams Mental Health, etc)  If you happen to be in Southern or Western Colorado where I am not as familiar, just Google your location and regional mental health center and you'll find the closest mental health center.  Those will likely be the cheapest and will work on a sliding scale.  Because of what they do, they are also guaranteed to be state/court-approved.   Another option is to check around your local community to see if any of your local agencies that provide outpatient drug and alcohol treatment provide court-approved anger management classes.  Anger management classes are often provided by those agencies and they are often court-approved.  You can ask when you make contact with them if they are court-approved.  Many of them also offer sliding fee scales based on income and the classes are also offered in group settings which save you some money vs. individual sessions. Like with the mental health centers, you will be asked to complete an intake prior to your first group where they will ask you questions about different areas of your life and how you ended up in anger management classes.  You will be expected to complete their curriculum and once you have successfully done so, a letter of successful completion will be sent and you will have been considered to have completed the required treatment.  I hope that this all answers your question.  I wish that I could help more.  If you have any additional questions, please let me know.  
(LCSW, LAC, EMDR, Trained)
Answered on 10/04/2021

How can I do away with my anger bitterness insecurities and how can I forgive myself and my past.

Anger is said to be a secondary emotion,  it is the halfway point, so we need to keep going pass it and further down into our emotions.   It often ends up to be hurt, disappointment due to some unmet need.  Often what gets in the way of focusing on emotions is that fight, flight or freeze programming.  The adrenaline and cortisol rush in saying attack or run.  It is not mindful it is more like a bad habit because it is a habit that we have gone to as a way to cope--maladaptively cope for many years--so it is just like it is second nature to us.  We think it is a way to protect ourselves--cope.  Yet, when we have calmed down and can think more straight then we often if capable of being honest with ourselves see our errors and have some regrets or justify our behavior by pointing at something external.  We point at something outside of ourselves to justify our actions.  He/she was late,  he/she talked rude to me,  he/she is calling me a liar or attacking my personhood in some way.    Instructions on how to manage anger:  first--one must pay attention by noticing themselves becoming disturbed.  Notice how you are experiencing your disturbance--once you notice that you are getting upset whether you notice your strong negative thoughts, strong feelings,  bodily sensations one or all that is when one must immediately start to practice diaphragmatic breathing.  There are a million youtube videos on how to do this.  Once you start breathing it is physiologically impossible for the heart rate to not slow and the negative harmful chemical--adrenaline to slow.  Now when you are breathing there is a count going on such as breathe in counting to two and breather out counting to four.  two in and four out so that means that two in will have to be big and deep because you are counting four out. this counting distracts you from your negative thoughts and makes you focus on your counting and breathing--so it like taking a time out--  pausing.    It is at this point you ask yourself are my old behaviors and thoughts effective------the honest answer is, no.  And you know it because for years they have not served you well.  You ask yourself,  what would be the effective way of dealing with this situation?  It might be say nothing.  It might be take a walk.  it might be to laugh at how silly this is. Or it might be to realize that it is not the "me show" meaning that what others do is about them not you--it has nothing to do with you, it is bout them and them only.   It is their behavior, their attitude, or emotional state not yours.    Now as far as the bitterness, there is also a process to go through there also--it is a self-inventory of resentments and to see how hanging on to these resentments is like drinking poison and hoping it will kill the person you are bitter at.   It is a fact-finding proposition of looking at how your bitterness only hurts you and no matter who has hurt you or wronged you they are not going to fix it for you so your left to take responsibility for that if you want more happiness.  If nothing changes nothing changes, right.
Answered on 10/04/2021

How to cope with depression and anger?

Hi Kayla, Anger can be a common emotion among people experiencing depression. You may feel angry at the world, angry about events from your past, or even angry at yourself. This anger can be intense and difficult to control, to the point that it worsens your depression and affects your personal and professional relationships. What Is Depression?  Depression is more than just passing sadness. It is a diagnosable mental health disorder that involves feelings of low mood combined with other symptoms such as trouble concentrating or trouble sleeping. A diagnosis of major depressive disorder is made by a mental health professional according to the criteria laid out in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). What Is Anger?  Anger is not a diagnosable mental health condition. Rather, it is an unpleasant emotion that may be experienced by those with various mental health disorders as well as the rest of the  population. While it is natural to feel angry from time to time, feeling uncontrollable or maladaptive anger, particularly when you also have depression, can be a sign of a deeper underlying problem. Anger and Depression  Anger is a common emotion that can be destructive when it isn't responded to in an adaptive manner. In the case of depression, anger can take several different forms. Below are some examples of the types of anger you might experience while depressed. Irritability Irritability is a feature of depression itself, so it's not surprising that this form of anger is connected to depression. If you have depression, it may show up as snapping at others over trivial things or being unable to handle small disappointments without reacting in a negative way. Hostility Going a step beyond irritability, a person with depression who expresses their anger outward may become hostile toward others. This means responding not only with an irritable mood, but also being outwardly angry and attacking those around you. Rapid and intense onset of anger (also sometimes called an "anger attack") or rage can also be a feature of depression. These rapid onset attacks may come in response to trivial matters (e.g., seem to appear out of the blue). Causes of Anger in Depression  What are the causes of anger related to depression? There is some evidence to suggest that serotonergic dysfunction may be partly to blame. In other words, the balance of neurochemicals in your brain may be off-kilter, leading to irritability, depression, and anger. For this reason, medications used to treat depression may also help to relieve your symptoms of anger. I would love to meet with you and process some of these emotions and help you resolve some underlying issues you may have. Therapy is great for that. We can take a look at your coping skills and see what is working and what is not and also clarify resentments you may be holding onto.   
(LCSW, LCAS, CCS)
Answered on 09/18/2021

How do you gain control over your emotions?

Thanks for your question. I would like to offer clarification that you are not toxic, but that your emotional reaction may have been out of proportion to what was warranted in this given circumstance. We want to be careful to separate our emotions from who we are. Our emotions do not define us nor are we defined by our emotions. I think the initial key is in becoming emotionally aware before your emotions reach their peak intensity. There is always a slow progression of feelings before they become unmanageable. We can often prepare ahead to deal with difficult emotions when we know certain situations are triggering, so in the case where we know, we might become activated, develop a plan for managing the situation before the circumstance unfolds. In cases where emotional reactions are unable to be planned for, having a road map to deal with them is helpful. Most often you want to learn to set boundaries with yourself and to take a time out when you are initially activated. You then can take time to reflect upon your feelings, journal, or even engage in activities that are distracting from your emotion. The key is to distract yourself until your emotions become more manageable and controllable. Doing activities to soothe yourself, such as getting a massage, taking a bath, lighting a candle, etc. are great skills to implement to reduce reactivity when initially activated. Once more controllable, you will very infrequently regret your response. It is okay to have an urge to act when emotional, but if you cannot separate urge from action, then it is problematic. Take a deep breath as another strategy to buy time prior to responding. Anything to slow down the response so you can process its implications is key to then provide a response that is not later regretted.  I think the other key is being able to consider the risks and consequences prior to acting. If you can delay a response five minutes, then ten minutes, then longer, that might help you to think through the response and whether it is reliable and trustworthy. Its reliability will be determined based upon how you feel as time progresses about the same issue. Thinking about what you might regret if you take the risk to act now might prevent later regrets. After all, the only moment you have influence over is now. I think there is so much more that can be said about this topic. Remember start by grounding yourself to come up with a response that combines reason with emotion rather than just offering an emotional response. If interested in learning more, I highly recommend Dialectical Behavioral therapy, which is a therapeutic approach that emphasizes distress tolerance and effective emotional regulation to create more meaningful relationships with self and others. 
(PsyD, LP)
Answered on 08/23/2021

Why do I lose my temper so easily

Hello That Guy, Thank you for your question. I want to let you know that it is normal to experience anger. Like many emotions, anger by itself is neither bad nor good. The consequences of anger depend on how a person reacts to the emotion.    At times, anger is the appropriate response to the actions of others. When managed correctly, and kept in check, anger can be a healthy emotion and experience. However, I understand that you are reaching out because you are feeling that you are not responding well out of anger and you may be experiencing consequences that have led you to ask your question. It is our responses and actions that alienate people and lead individuals to do things they later regret, not the emotion itself.   To address your question of why I want to let you know that the causes of anger can vary. It may be triggered by external factors such as bullying, humiliation, and loss. Internal factors, such as frustration or failure, can also lead to anger. Anger is not always a reaction to your present circumstances. Sometimes a situation can remind a person of a past experience and you may be shifting your anger about the past onto the present situation. Anger typically has less to do with an event and more with how a person reacts to the event. Certain negative thought patterns often precede an outburst of anger. These patterns include:   -Blaming: Not taking responsibility for your own actions and placing the fault on others. -Overgeneralizing: This often happens when a person gets caught up in black and white thinking; the words “always” and “never” or other absolutes are often indicators that we are overgeneralizing. -Rigidity: Not having a tolerance for frustration. Being inflexible with plans or an unwillingness to compromise. -Mind-reading: Reading into a person’s intent. Believing someone’s intent was meant to intentionally hurt or be a jab. -Collecting straws: Letting anger build up until you are at your “last straw.” Not addressing things in the moment which leads to a blow up.   I encourage you to challenge these thought patterns, it is possible to reduce your anger and to work on how you respond when you are angry. Here are some strategies to help you relieve tension and to keep from impulsively responding out of anger: -Think before you speak. -Taking a time out and once you are calm, express your anger. -Get some exercise. -Identify possible solutions before approaching the other person. -Stick with 'I' statements/do not attack the other persons character. Stick to specific behaviors that the person is doing that impact you. -Do not hold a grudge. -Use humor to release tension. -Assert yourself.    I want to take a moment to draw attention to this last strategy. Assertiveness is one of the healthiest ways to deal with anger. An assertive person will state what they need in a clear and direct manner. They will try to get their needs met without hurting anyone else. Assertiveness is the middle ground between being pushy and getting walked all over. Anger is just communicating that you do not like something, a boundary has been crossed, someone has hurt you, etc. It is okay to address these things. However, being passive aggressive or blowing up is ineffective. Assertiveness communicates that you are upset in a way that you will be heard.     It is possible to get a control over your anger so that you are not at risk of losing relationships. If you continue to struggle managing your anger on your own, then it might be helpful to reach out for more support from a trained professional. People who have lasting, extreme anger may find it helpful to explore its causes with a therapist. There are many therapists here on BetterHelp that would gladly help you work through your anger.   I wish you well and hope you are able to work through your feelings. Thank you again for your question. Best wishes!
(MSW, LCSW, CADC)
Answered on 08/06/2021

I cannot forget not forgive!

Hello Chris, and thank you for taking the time to reach out for help regarding the distress you are experiencing with the relationships in your life and the hurt that you have experienced at the hands of the women you have been in relationships with. It is completely understandable and normal to be angry and to not feel that you are able to forgive or forget at this moment. This is a very common, and very complex issue that involves many different factors in regards to how to move past them, recover from them, and prevent them from occurring again in the future. I would encourage you to see that anger as another emotion and be able to identify that underlying emotion that is being covered up by the anger as a form of protection and prevention of vulnerability, as anger is a secondary emotion. In saying this I mean that when people say they are "angry," they are most likely, truly, another emotion, such as sad, disappointed, lonely, overwhelmed, embarrassed, hurt, helpless, in pain, frustrated, insecure, grieving, anxious, stressed, threatened, tired, guilty, jealous, scared, and/or ashamed. By identifying the underlying emotion that is being "protected" or "hidden" by the anger, one can reduce the negative impact that the energy it requires to experience "anger" can have on a person and thus have the energy to focus on the solution, rather than the problem, as well as experience a reduction in the intensity of one's emotional experience. That being said, another facet of this issue is learning how to forgive one's self, as well as to forgive others. This is another very difficult concept for many to fully comprehend, let alone implement, in their lives, mostly due to it's not being a singular, single-action but something that needs to be continuously practiced, as well as a misunderstanding of what forgiveness truly is versus what it is not. The term “forgiveness” refers to a person’s conscious decision to give up resentment and any claims for redress from someone who has hurt him or her. Forgiveness is for YOU, not the other person, so that you can live a healthier, happier life. Below is some additional information on Forgiveness:   What Forgiveness Does Mean:   • Canceling the debt- When someone does us wrong, we feel as though they have taken something that belongs to us – our peace, our joy, our happiness – and that they now “owe us.” When we forgive them, we simply release the debt. It’s no longer “you’ve hurt me and you’ve got to pay”. We don’t pretend the debt never existed, we just forgive it. “You no longer owe me anything.” Forgiveness is about OUR healing. It is a way of getting the poison out of our system.    • Unilateral process- Forgiveness is something we do on our own. The other person does not need to cooperate or even be aware of it. Forgiveness does not depend on what the other person does or doesn’t do.   • Involves “letting go”- Forgiveness involves working through the feelings of what occurred and giving validity to “the loss.” It is a process that involves freeing ourselves from the emotional effects of what was done to us, getting free of the hurt, bitterness, and resentment. The number of times someone hurt us or whether they deserve forgiveness is not the issue. To forgive literally means “to give up”—to give up hatred, revenge, punishment. Our motive is to move our lives past bitter obsession. When we have truly completed the process of forgiveness, what happened between us and the other person is no longer a “live” issue in the way we think of or relate to the person, or in the way we live our lives. Signs of genuine forgiveness include:  • The ability to use anger constructively. We can use anger to initiate and sustain constructive activity (stop injustice, protect self, engage in conflict resolution). We are no longer controlled by anger or fearful of its expression.  • An increase in more neutral or genuine positive attitudes, especially toward the person forgiven. Greater life capacity to give and receive love, and experience gratitude.  • An ability to ask for forgiveness from others and to give forgiveness, even when the other refuses to forgive.    What Forgiveness Does Not Mean:    • NOT forgetting We all know the old adage, “Forgive and forget”. However, forgiving someone does not mean we forget the wrong that the person did. Forgiveness has nothing to do with forgetting. For example, what would happen if you burned your fingers on the stove, and you forgot that hurt? Remembering the pain helps us to not let the event be repeated. An important part of forgiveness is remembering and dealing with what has happened. The pain inflicted will probably never be forgotten. Forgiveness allows us to put the pain in a place where it doesn’t continue to hurt us.    • NOT condoning the person’s behavior By forgiving, we are not saying that what they did was acceptable or unimportant, or “not so bad”. It was bad, it did hurt, and it was wrong. We are not declaring the offender “not guilty” or absolving the person of the wrong. We do not need to justify or explain the other person’s behavior. Forgiving does not mean removing responsibility for what the person has done. There is nothing about genuine forgiveness that precludes holding people accountable for their actions.    • NOT reconciliation Forgiveness does not mean we have to meet face-to-face with the person who wronged us. Forgiveness and reconciliation are two different processes. The forgiveness we do by ourselves. Reconciliation requires the other person’s participation.    • NOT self-sacrifice Forgiveness is not swallowing our true feelings and playing the martyr or saying it’s all right in spite of the pain. It is not gritting our teeth and tolerating those who hurt us, or using the “grin and bear it” approach. Self-sacrifice makes life less joyful and more difficult.    • NOT a clear-cut, one-time decision Forgiveness cannot be forced, and it is a process. Researchers now look at forgiveness and unforgiveness as two ends of a continuum, with a person moving, often not in a linear fashion, between unforgiveness and forgiveness over time. There is also a new concept of “not forgiving”, which is a conscious decision to withhold forgiveness. Sometimes what people really need is permission not to forgive, to feel what they feel. It is important to be at peace with a decision to not forgive, and not let the hurt continue to disrupt our lives.    STEPS TO FORGIVENESS  1. Recognize the injury. Whom do you need to forgive? Writing a list is helpful. How have they hurt or injured you? Describe what happened. Writing out all the details helps bring the hurt to the surface, and helps you see that, no matter how horrible or extensive the offense, it does have a boundary and is not limitless.  2. Identify the emotions and feelings involved. List the feelings you have about what happened. For example: “I am afraid to look at this because...” or “It made me furious when...” or “I felt resentful/damaged/bitter.” This can be difficult if feelings have been buried or stuffed down for a long time. Try writing and just letting your thoughts flow onto paper.  3. Express your hurt and anger. Reaching genuine forgiveness almost always includes working through anger. Frequently, underneath anger are feelings of hurt. Anger that is left unresolved takes root and produces bitterness and resentment. Anger is not inherently good or bad, right or wrong. Anger is merely a fact of life. Healthy anger drives us to do something to change what makes us angry. Anger can energize us to make things better. Hate wants to make things worse. It may be important to find a trusted friend, counselor, or religious community leader who can help work through the feelings. Be sure to choose someone who is nonjudgmental and is willing to just listen.  4. Set boundaries to protect yourself. This is a way to possibly avoid additional hurts. Boundaries are limits. For example: “I will listen to what my mother tells me to do, but I won’t allow myself to feel that I have to do what she says.” Or, physically stay away from a particular family member for a time or for good.  5. Decide to forgive. This is deciding that what you have been doing has not worked and been willing to begin the forgiveness process. Choosing to forgive is about healing your own feelings. It has nothing to do with what the other person does or does not do.  6. Work on forgiveness – cancel the debt. Work toward empathy, understanding, and compassion for the offender. See the person who, like you, is part of humanity on this earth. Acknowledge your pain and let it be. Let go of the emotional IOUs.  7. Commit to forgive. Take your list of injuries and burn or bury them. Write a letter to the offender, detailing the issue and your feelings, write “Cancelled” across it, and destroy it without sending it. Make up a forgiveness certificate (for your personal use, not to be given to the offender!) and post it where you will see it every day. Such actions leave us with the memory of a definite time when we tangibly and concretely canceled the debt.  8. Hold on to forgiveness and discover your release from emotional prison. If grudge or resentment thoughts about the issue and person in question surface, remind yourself that you have forgiven him or her. Discover your own need for forgiveness. These steps work for forgiving yourself, too. Discover the freedom of forgiveness. Decide whether or not reconciliation is wanted or possible. When seeking reconciliation, the goal cannot be to restore the relationship to where it was before----- the offense has changed it permanently. A new way of relating will need to be developed.    The most important step in this "forgiveness process," in my opinion, is the setting of boundaries. For yourself, and for others. Here are a few tips to help you get started establishing boundaries with the people in your life: 1) Communicate your thoughts with one another. Be honest, but respectful when sharing your thoughts and feelings with others. It’s totally normal and okay to need time to gather your thoughts and feelings, but don’t use that approach to avoid the conversation. 2) Never assume or guess others’ feelings. Making assumptions can create a lot of misunderstandings in a relationship. You may feel like you know the other person very well that you feel you’re entitled to assume what they want or need without asking them, but it is always your best bet to ask rather than assume. 3) Follow through on what you say. Setting boundaries and not executing them lets the other person think they have an excuse to continue to overstep your boundaries. You shouldn’t make any exceptions to your own boundaries without careful consideration because you may soon find yourself on compromising things that aren't acceptable to you. 4) Take responsibility for your actions. Instead of immediately blaming the other person for the situation or how you’re feeling, take a step back and think about the choices you’ve made in the relationship and see if they may have contributed to the situation. Both individuals should be doing this! and 5) Know when it’s time to move on. You can only share how you desire to be treated in the relationship, and you can’t be responsible for the other person’s feelings or communication. Everyone has the right to be treated with respect and fairness. If the other person can’t respect your boundaries, then it may be time to end the relationship. Setting and establishing healthy boundaries is a skill, and it takes time! Remember, healthy boundaries don’t come easy, but if you trust your instincts, be open, and practice with the people in your life, the relationships will only get stronger over time. I hope you found this information to be helpful and please don't hesitate to reach out with any further questions. I wish you all the best!
(LMHC, MCAP, TIRF)
Answered on 06/27/2021

Will anger make you stronger?

Anger is a perfectly normal emotional response to perceived threats. Most people feel angry from time to time. While the emotion is linked with negative things like aggressive behavior, anger can be helpful as well. Anger has a way of informing us when something is important and when we feel threatened. Many people report feeling increased strength when they are experiencing anger. Anger is an emotion that is meant to be empowering in a sense. It arises when we sense a threatening event or situation, and anger fuels a willingness to confront a threat instead of fear of a threat, which might send you running to hide. Having the strength to stand and defend yourself is necessary for some situations. When you experience anger, the body produces adrenaline as part of the stress response cycle. This is meant to create the ability within the body to fight, faint, freeze, or flee from danger. Anger exists to help you ward off threats to your safety or even the safety of those you care about. The response of anger isn’t all roses, though. The physical process that anger triggers can cause an increase in blood pressure and other uncomfortable physical symptoms. Poorly managed anger can also cause rifts in relationships, problems communicating, and even acts of aggression that lead to serious consequences from broken lamps to broken relationships. While the heady experience of anger can give you the zing of energy to face a threat or stand firm in your boundaries, it can also cause problems. Managing anger and stress are important parts of overall health and wellness. Doctors and therapists alike typically recommend prevention and lifestyle practices to help manage and alleviate anger and stress, including: Getting regular exercise Maintaining an adequate sleep schedule Practicing mindfulness and meditation Participating in progressive muscle relaxation, yoga, and other relaxing activities Talking with friends and those you trust about your difficulties – a problem shared is a problem halved. Attending anger management classes online or in-person Working with a licensed therapist to create a plan for managing anger and to have a safe place to vent and process experiences contributing to anger issues If you’re experiencing difficulty managing stress or anger, talking with a therapist can be a wonderful outlet and means of improving communication and coping skills.
(MS., CMHC., NCC.)
Answered on 05/17/2021

Will anger increase blood pressure?

Anger temporarily increases blood pressure, but it is unlikely to cause long-term damage to overall health for most people because it's temporary. Anger is an emotion, and like all emotions, it has a physiological response within the body. Anger triggers what most people know as the fight or flight response. This response is also triggered by stress, anxiety, or perception of a threat. The response itself isn’t harmful. In fact, the ability to respond to perceived threats has played a large part in the success of humanity’s ability to exist on the planet! The ability to perceive a threat and the chain reaction of events within the body make it possible to respond quickly and effectively when faced with potential danger. In the case of stress, anger, and anxiety, we may not always need the full response of the fight or flight system. Being angry that your boss has demanded you work overtime isn’t a direct threat, but the body can respond to it as though it is. The brain releases the stress hormone cortisol, and other signals within the body cause the release of adrenaline. This prompts the body to increase blood pressure to help it pump blood where it may be needed to help us fight or flee a dangerous situation. This is just one of many physical aspects of the stress response cycle in the body. This increase in blood pressure and the stress response is temporary and usually not harmful for most people. If you struggle to manage stress, anger, or other emotions that cause the stress response cycle to activate frequently, or if you have difficulty returning to your pre-anger state, it may result in an increased risk of other health concerns. For people with existing cardiovascular health issues, it can lead to potential problems. If you’re concerned about your level of anger or how often you enter the stress response cycle, talk with your doctor or licensed mental health professional. Learning coping skills and relaxation techniques can help prevent harm to your health and increase your overall wellness and quality of life.
(MS., CMHC., NCC.)
Answered on 05/17/2021

How does anger affect the brain and body?

Anger is an emotion that everyone experiences from time to time. Contrary to some thinking, anger isn’t necessarily a negative occurrence. Emotions are communication, clues we give ourselves and others about where we stand with things, what is important to us, or where our boundaries may be. For example, you might feel a sense of anger when someone intrudes on your personal life with certain types of questions – a clear sign that you have a boundary being violated that may need to be communicated or reinforced. Aggression, which can result from anger, is the part typically linked with the downside of anger. Slamming doors, breaking things, physical violence, or lashing out at those close to you are aggressive acts rooted in anger, but not anger itself. How a person handles anger is a key component of whether or not it is helpful or harmful. Anger, like all other emotions, has a physiological response in the body. Like the human body's response to stress or a threat, anger triggers what most people know as the fight or flight response. This triggers a series of responses in the brain and body. The brain triggers the release of hormones that prompt responses in the body. Cortisol, famous as ‘the stress hormone is released. The adrenal glands begin to produce adrenaline. The body reacts to these increased hormones with raised blood pressure, increased heart rate, and faster breathing. Each of these is designed to prepare the body to fight, faint, flee, or freeze in the face of a threat. These reactions send blood to larger muscle groups, cause oxygen to move more quickly through the body, and heighten the senses. The response of raised blood pressure is of particular concern for people who already have an existing blood pressure problem or cardiovascular health issues. Prolonged anger or difficulty managing the response can result in exacerbated underlying health conditions. Fatigued and tightened muscles, tension headaches, and more can result from anger. Managing anger and stress are important to overall health and wellness. If you’re struggling with anger or having difficulty managing stress, talking with a therapist can be very helpful.
(MS., CMHC., NCC.)
Answered on 05/17/2021

Can body language be learned?

Body language is something we all use, whether intentionally or unintentionally.  It can be interesting to think about the body language you use and where it came from.  Most of our thinking patterns and behaviors are formed in our formative years of life.  Therefore, our body language patterns are also typically formed in our formative years of life.  We are like sponges in those formative years of life and soak in all the different types of body language that we observe.  For example, if I observe my mother and father hitting the wall or table when they are angry, I will be more likely to use that same body language when I am angry.  Even though we learn a lot of body language when we are young, that does not mean we cannot change our body language as we get older.  Using the same example from above, if I become older and feel like I do not like that type of body language when I am angry, I can learn other types of body language appropriate to use when I am angry.  Body language is also learned and influenced by the society and culture that we live in.  Again, we can be like sponges, and we can start to absorb the body language of those around us.  For example, in some societies and cultures, it is appropriate to kiss the cheek whenever you greet someone, whereas, in other cultures, this would be perceived as encroaching on someone’s personal space.  We tend to assimilate to what those around us are doing, and body language is no exception to this.  Body language can be learned in a specific setting if the setting requires it.  In different careers, relationships, etc., some people might be required to learn new types of body language. For example, when someone becomes a counselor, they are taught different types of body language in graduate school training that conveys someone who is listening and cares.  Even if somebody's language is somewhat uncomfortable at first, it can be learned with more practice and should become more comfortable with time.
(MA, LPC, NCC)
Answered on 05/14/2021

What anger does to the brain?

Anger is a normal emotion that most people experience at points in life. It gets a bad reputation as being useless or “poison,” but anger actually serves some positive purposes. All emotions are a form of communication. They let us know what we feel about a particular event or situation, and they can prompt us to change situations that aren’t helpful to us or others. Anger is often the starting point for recognizing when a boundary is crossed or when an injustice has occurred. This can lead us to positive action in many situations. Anger gets its bad reputation because of its link with aggression, which is the physical embodiment that some people turn to when feeling anger. Slamming doors, throwing things, or even getting into physical fights can spring from the aggression that anger may prompt in some people. This behavior is often hurtful to others and may even damage the person experiencing the aggression themselves. Every emotion has a physiological response in the body, and anger is no exception. The process we go through when experiencing anger is the stress response or fight or flight response cycle. When we encounter a situation that creates the emotion of anger, a process begins to unfold. First, the amygdala activates, sometimes before you even have a chance to think, “Wow! This makes me angry!” The amygdala then activates the hypothalamus, which is involved in stress control and regulating the endocrine system and pituitary gland. The pituitary gland is activated by the hypothalamus, which causes the release of stress hormones. The pituitary gland activates the adrenal glands, which secrete adrenaline into the body. This process causes a suppression of the prefrontal cortex, which is the part of the brain that makes logical sense of things and helps inform decisions. Short-term memory can also be affected by the physiological process of anger as the hormones released during the process suppress activity in the hippocampus, which impacts memory. Anger can also contribute to chronic stress, which can have negative impacts on overall health. The management of stress and anger is vital to overall health and wellbeing. Meditation, regular exercise, eating well, and stress-busting practices like mindfulness and yoga can all help manage stress and anger. Talk with your doctor or licensed mental health professional if you’re struggling with managing stress, anger, or aggression.
(MS., CMHC., NCC.)
Answered on 05/06/2021

Why anger is dangerous?

Anger is not only dangerous for the person experiencing the emotion, but it can also be dangerous to the recipient of the anger. Anger triggers the body’s ‘fight or flight response. The adrenal glands flood the body with stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol. The constant flood of stress chemicals and associated metabolic changes that go with ongoing unmanaged anger can eventually cause harm to many different systems of the body. Some of the short and long-term physical health problems that have been linked to unmanaged anger include a weakened immune system, headaches, digestion problems, insomnia, high blood pressure, skin problems, heart attacks, and strokes, to name a few. In addition, anger can be linked to crime, emotional and physical abuse, and other violent behavior.  It is also linked to mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety. If you’re a worrier, it’s important to note that anxiety and anger can go hand-in-hand. In a 2012 study published in the journal Cognitive Behavior Therapy, researchers found that anger can exacerbate symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder, a condition characterized by an excessive and uncontrollable worry that interferes with a person’s daily life. Not only were higher levels of anger found in people with GAD, but hostility, along with internalized, unexpressed anger, in particular, contributed greatly to the severity of generalized anxiety disorder symptoms. Numerous studies have linked depression with aggression and angry outbursts, especially in men. In depression, passive anger is common, where you ruminate about the anger but never take action. When people internalize anger, it causes them to turn against themselves and become self-critical and self-hating. If this process reaches serious proportions, it plays a significant role in feelings of depression and worthlessness. It can lead to self-defeating, self-destructive, and at times, suicidal behaviors. Psychoanalysts have traditionally understood depression as being primarily due to anger directed against the self. Anger is a natural and inevitable response to frustration or stress. The degree of anger is proportional to the degree of frustration experienced at the time, whether or not one’s feelings of anger are rational and appropriate to the situation or irrational and entirely inappropriate. It is beneficial to understand that anger is a healthy emotion, and it is ideal to feel the emotion fully. However, what we do with anger is what matters most.
(LMHC, CSAYC)
Answered on 05/03/2021

How does anger effect the brain and body?

How does anger affect the brain and body? Anger is a natural and often healthy emotion that everyone experiences. There are both physical and psychological changes that take place when something triggers an angry response. Myths surrounding anger are often not expressed until the feeling is overwhelming and the emotion is very intense. Prolonged anger and physical and behavioral changes in the body and brain are not always good to experience. Physical changes are often traced back to the fight or flight response, which is the body’s way of responding to a possible threat. These include an increase in blood pressure, heart rate, and respiration. These are in response to the body getting ready for a possible confrontation. The mind will also become more focused and thinking sharper to deal with possible conflict. When anger is very intense, often the senses will become more acute.  There is also a strong correlation between anger and symptoms of depression. Frequently when depression is “stuffed” and not handled appropriately, it will manifest itself as anger. In the short term, these changes to the brain and body are not problematic, and anger can be a positive emotion. However, experiencing these symptoms of anger long-term can be taxing. Over time, a prolonged increase in blood pressure can cause damage to the cardiovascular system. There can also be issues related to mental health if anger is continued for long periods of time and not handled in a healthy manner. Identifying what is leading to the anger can be the first step towards healing and learning how to deal with the issue properly. When anger builds, it can lead to an eventual outburst over a moderately benign situation. Think of this similar to a carbonated beverage being shaken repeatedly without release. Eventually, the bottle will erupt.  The same is true of humans when anger becomes extreme. Something that is normally a minor irritant will elicit a response of something much deeper. Identifying the issue sooner rather than later can help avert an outburst over the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back.
(MA, LPCC)
Answered on 05/03/2021

When do Alzheimer’s patients get angry?

What is Alzheimer's? Alzheimer's is the most common type of dementia that affects different areas of functioning in individuals. It can affect memory, thought processes, and behaviors. The progression of Alzheimer's varies but will ultimately lead to diminished functioning. While it mostly affects the older population, there are cases of individuals having the disease at younger ages. There is currently no cure for the disease, but some treatments help manage the symptoms. Behaviors associated with Alzheimer Memory loss is the hallmark behavior people associate with Alzheimer's as it is most common and the most debilitating for the individual and the loved ones caring for them.  Other behaviors such as agitation, anxiety, confusion, aggression, and anger are likely to occur. It is important to look for what might have triggered the behaviors and respond with calmness and empathy.  Why do Alzheimer’s patients get angry? Anger and aggression with someone who has Alzheimer's may appear out of the blue and maybe scary to observe.  There is no clear-cut answer as to why anger is a symptom for those with Alzheimer’s.  As well as it is a common symptom, it may also be caused by another symptom: confusion and memory loss, as this can be very frustrating to the individual when they cannot remember, or they become confused, so they lash out in the anger. Another trigger that may bring on anger is the discomfort that they may be feeling.  In later stages of the disease, most must be placed in nursing homes unfamiliar to them, which can cause discomfort.  It also can be from lack of sleep, lack of food, or even pain.  Think about why you may be angry, as it is a normal reaction and then add what symptoms the disease adds.  Being able to empathize and be aware of the triggers can help in helping the individual manage this feeling. Try not to ask too many questions about what is going on during the outburst, as this will probably further escalate the situation.  Be calm and have empathy and validate the feeling that they are experiencing.  Take time for yourself when you are caring for someone with Alzheimer’s, as it can be taxing on yourself.   
(M.Ed, LPC)
Answered on 04/29/2021

Who started mindfulness?

The concept of mindfulness has evolved from Buddhist practices into a secular approach founded on Zen principles. Literally, thousands of years old, mindfulness meditation is a practice that is helpful to multiple issues, including stress, anger, depression, anxiety, chronic pain and illness, and more. Imaging studies have demonstrated changes in the brains of those who practice mindfulness to help manage stress. The movement of mindfulness from Eastern traditions into modern Western culture is largely due to the work of Jon Kabat-Zinn. Kabat-Zinn learned about meditation from a Zen missionary and went on to study it after benefitting from it personally. He founded Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction or MBSR at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center. To create a practice that would be appealing and helpful to everyone, references to Buddhist teachings were removed from the MBSR approach regardless of their religious or spiritual views. Framing mindfulness in scientific terms and a methodical system of practice has also made it possible for researchers to study the effects of mindfulness on practitioners and their brains. As Kabat-Zinn published research on the MBSR program, imaging studies using magnetic resonance imaging began. Scientists were able to see that the brains of people who practice mindfulness show decreased size in the portion of the brain that detects the threat initiates the stress response cycle. Mindfulness may be a buzzword in mental health and other circles, but it is due to the merit that the practice has and the evidence that supports the claims about its helpfulness with myriad issues. If you’re interested in mindfulness practice, look for programs in your area, mindfulness-trained counselors, apps, and online programs. Jon Kabat-Zinn’s book Wherever You Go, There You Are, is a guide that discusses the value of concentration in mindfulness and contains step-by-step guidelines to beginning a mindful meditation practice. If stress, anxiety, or other difficult emotions are difficult for you to manage, talk with your doctor or licensed counselor about those emotions. They are likely to recommend establishing a mindfulness practice and other lifestyle changes that may be helpful to you.
(MS., CMHC., NCC.)
Answered on 04/28/2021

What to do when anger takes over?

            Thank you for your question, reader. Anger is a natural and normal emotional response to feeling threatened, so it is important to have the tools to manage anger effectively. When people feel angry, which can be an intense and often uncomfortable sensation, without knowing how to calm the body or express anger without aggression, it can lead to harmful outbursts of anger and even violence. Since anger is a natural occurrence, we cannot always control when we will feel angry. However, we can learn how to diffuse and express anger in a way that does not hurt others or ourselves. Anger Management             We often refer to the tools we use to identify and express anger as anger management skills. Tools to manage anger can be used to help a lesser feeling (like frustration) from building in intensity, and also to help calm the body and not act impulsively while in the process of feeling angry. Research suggests that the sooner a feeling of anger is addressed, the sooner the feeling can subside. Anger that is not identified and expressed has more of a chance of building over time, and therefore harder to handle later. So what can we do to help ourselves cope with anger?             The following practices are effective for helping us manage anger and return to a calmer state of mind and body: Know your bodily response to anger so that you can recognize when anger is building When feeling angry, ask yourself “what am I angry about” and try to be specific. Take at least 3 full, deep breaths from the abdomen If possible, change your environment or remove yourself from the situation Practice letting go of things beyond your control (For example, if you are feeling angry in traffic because you are running late, recognize that anger is not going to get you to your destination any faster). Practice expressing yourself in an assertive, but non aggressive manner when angry. Use phrases that you can easily communicate when angry such as “I feel frustrated and need a moment”, or “I’m hitting my limit”. Say to yourself “this anger is not helping me”, and practice channeling your energy into something more positive like rigorous exercise or dancing to upbeat music Try to find some humor in your situation or think of something else that is very funny. Studies show that laughter can help diffuse anger. If you are concerned about your level of anger or feel that you do not have the tools needed to manage it, please reach out to a mental health professional.
Answered on 04/21/2021

Will anger raise blood pressure?

Anger is a normal and healthy response to many situations. Although it has a bad reputation because of its link with aggressive or violent behavior, anger can be a powerful motivator. Feelings of anger may let us know when our boundaries are being crossed or when an injustice is being perpetrated and prompt us to take action that comes with positive benefits for ourselves and others. Anger may also cause problems. Poorly managed anger can result in aggressive behavior that comes with its own complications. Unchecked and chronic anger may result in a myriad of health problems that have long-term and dangerous consequences. Anger causes physiological changes. Stress hormones like adrenaline are produced, and as a result, the heart beats faster, and blood pressure rises. High blood pressure comes with many potential cardiovascular health risks, including heart attack and stroke. While anger that leads to this type of serious health event is rare, it can happen. Improving your stress management skills and anger management skills can help you decrease the likelihood of developing anger-related blood pressure or anger-related health event. This may involve embracing lifestyle changes like: Attending an anger management program Taking breaks from situations that trigger anger Learning positive assertiveness skills Cultivating time alone to manage stress Spending time engaged in enjoyable activities Getting regular exercise Eating a healthy diet Learning and practicing stress management skills like meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, yoga, and mindfulness Engaging in therapy to learn positive communication and cultivating a safe space to “vent” emotions, and learn coping skills For some people, other underlying health conditions may prompt their doctors to approach the management of anger with medications, like blood pressure medication. If you experience chronic stress, are quick to anger, and have concerns about your health, talk with your doctor to determine the best course of action. While anger is usually short-lived and the risk of cardiovascular events resulting from anger is relatively low, these events aren’t unheard of. High blood pressure that occurs over long periods of time due to anger can be dangerous.
(MS., CMHC., NCC.)
Answered on 04/20/2021

Will anger cause stress?

Anger and stress, like many other things, are neither all good nor all bad. Anger can be an emotion that prompts you to activate when there is a problem. It can create a feeling of power within you that helps you tackle difficult tasks or situations. Stress, like anger, can have a positive side. Healthy stress, called eustress, can be positive in helping you take action on important things and often arises out of the normal situations of life, such as the stress of going on a first date. If either of these gets out of balance, a problem can occur. Anger is a stress reaction, and so anger triggers the stress response cycle in the body. This means that anger can cause some of the same negative impacts that stress does for overall health. The cardiovascular system can be affected by anger and the stress it causes. People with more anger tend to have fewer friends, and friends can be a protective factor for loneliness, increasing stress and an increased risk of depression. Research on anger has shown an exaggerated stress response in angrier people. Anger may actually shorten your life, according to research. Stress shows many of the same downsides and headaches, low back pain, muscle tension, and poorer immune system health. Anger is one of many emotions underlying stress. Since it and stress both have the potential to harm your physical and mental health, stress management and anger management may have equal shares of importance. There are some lifestyle recommendations that doctors and therapists often discuss with patients, including: Limiting or avoiding caffeine Limiting or avoiding other stimulants like nicotine and illegal substances that act as stimulants Getting regular exercise Participating in hobbies Increasing and improving positive communication skills Journaling Actively participating with friends in social activities Meditation Mindfulness Yoga If you notice anger that dominates your life or stress that doesn’t seem to ease with lifestyle changes, or becomes a focus of each day, talking with a licensed counselor can help. Counseling is proven to help improve communication skills, help you identify and reach goals, improve relationships, and gives you a safe and supportive space to discuss anger, stress, and any other emotion or situation.
(MS., CMHC., NCC.)
Answered on 04/20/2021