Anger is a natural emotion like all the others which we feel and experience to various degrees based on what is happening around us and inside us. Like all emotions it can be sensed, expressed and repressed in many different ways.
Anger is often described as a strong powerful and raw emotion and typically more obvious than others as it is expressed through body language, physical gestures, breathing, facial expressions, tone of voice and language. Anger is simply an emotion, it is neither healthy or unhealthy. It is how we express and direct our anger which defines it as healthy or unhealthy.
The behaviours we develop over time to avoid, control or suppress our emotions are usually far more problematic then the emotions themselves. These may be using substances such as drugs and alcohol or developing problematic behaviours which are destructive or abusive to ourselves and others. Anger which is misdirected causes the most problems, anger management is about understanding and expressing our anger in a healthy way.
Anger is simply an emotion, it is neither healthy or unhealthy. It is how we express and direct our anger which defines it as healthy or unhealthy”.
When we talk about anger management we need to consider that anger is also a common symptom of stress and anxiety. Therefore anger management must also entail anxiety and stress management. It is also not enough to try manage an emotion which is a natural internal response, we need to get to the root cause of these emotions and deal with past hurt, conflict, resentment and any other experiences which have lead to anger issues. These may be rooted in past experiences, abuse, trauma, family relationships, self-esteem or simply an inability to express one self in a healthy way.
It takes time, patience and a level of self awareness to understand and overcome anger problems. Developing a range of positive anger management tools and skills can help individuals to become more balanced.
Positive Anger Management Tools & Skills
- Understand and overcome triggers.
- Develop a greater self-awareness and sense of self.
- Practicing self-acceptance daily.
- Make a clear conscious and assertive effort to change.
- Express emotions in a healthy controlled and gentle way.
- Let go of past pain, hurt and resentment.
- Stop avoiding uncomfortable feelings, emotions and conversations.
- Stop controlling, criticizing, confronting and being cynical of others.
- Expressing things you have been unable to say and express, these are often called unsaid’s.
- Stop blaming everyone for how you feel and how you react.
- Taking ownership of your feelings using I am statements. ‘I am‘, ‘I feel‘, ‘I think‘.
- Learning how to respect yourself and others around you.
- Developing stronger and closer relationships.
- Practicing self-care, stress management and relaxation techniques.
- Learning how your breathing can help you overcome strong emotions, feelings and anger.
- Engaging in anger management counselling, group therapy/support and personal development to deepen your understanding of yourself.
- Changing unhealthy or addictive behaviours such as abusing alcohol, drugs, food, sex etc.
- Practicing being balanced in mind and body and avoid excesses.
- Restoring relationships and and start to actively listen to others.
- Focus on all the positive in life.
- Find ways to channel anger in positive ways.
To manage our emotions, we must first learn to understand, accept and respect ourselves. As long as we are blaming others for our actions, thoughts and feelings we are not in control of ourselves.”
Anger management counselling helps individuals to manage and understand all their emotions including anger and deal with the underlying emotional or psychological causes. Counselling for anger management is usually attended weekly for a number of weeks or months. Some individuals also engage in regular anger management group therapy. Find out more about face to face and online therapy at www.orlaghgahan.ie