Anger Management: Will Counseling Help?
Seeing red when a driver cuts in front of you or steals a parking slot you already have. Raising your voice when talking to a particularly insensitive customer service agent. Getting irritated when you get a prank call at 3 a.m. We all have felt the full range of anger – from mild annoyance to intense rage. It’s normal to feel angry. Anger, after all, is one of the emotions in our bag of human feelings and expressed properly, it is healthy. Anger is sometimes the body’s way to respond to attacks and threats, it enables us to defend ourselves against such threats.
However, there are “proper” ways to express your anger and there are ways that are not. You can suppress anger, express it or manage it. The best way to manage your anger is to express your feelings in an assertive (and not aggressive) manner. This allows you to make your feelings and needs known (and possibly have these met) without hurting others.
Anger may also be expressed in unhealthy manners. You may blow up and physically or emotionally hurt the people around you. Another way to express anger in an unhealthy manner is to try to suppress it or turn it inward. You can try to ignore your angry feelings, but in doing so, it may result in high blood pressure, tension or depression. It can also lead towards behaviors that display hostility and bitterness, or perhaps, passive-aggressiveness. Angry people who aren’t able to express their emotions well tend to be hypercritical, cynical and have a tendency to put others down.
When Anger takes the Better of You
How do you know if you have a problem managing your anger? Here are some symptoms to look out for:
– An attitude of being constantly critical, short-tempered and easily provoked
– Tendency to want things done his way
– Uncontrollable outbursts that are often triggered by seemingly trivial matters and are manifested by throwing things or hitting people
– Tendency towards threats or acts of violence. Tendency to get into trouble with the law.
– Easily gets into a fight
– Tendency to abuse substances such as drugs or alcohol
– Vulnerability towards depression and anxiety
You may have to go for counseling in Utah when you feel that your angry feelings are going out of control. This will help you thresh out the root causes of your anger and provide you with tools to effectively express these feelings. Anger management Provo family counseling can help you identify the triggers that cause the anger, develop healthy reactions towards these triggers and give us tools to solve our anger management issues.
An anger management counselor will provide you with strategies to effectively manage anger:
– Relaxation techniques. This is one way to calm yourself and keep angry feelings at bay. You can imagine yourself as a cube of ice that is slowly melting. You can take deep breaths and slowly count from one to ten (or even a hundred!). Other relaxation techniques include yoga exercises and calming yourself down by repeating a word or phrase such as “calm down” or “relax”.
– Try to keep perspective. It is easy for you to be swept away by the angry emotions and feel that the world is conspiring to make life difficult for you. In your anger you might exaggerate the true nature of the situation. Keeping the proper perspective will help you keep your anger at bay when you realize that that anger isn’t warranted. It can also help you more easily answer the question, “Is this matter worth getting angry about?”
– Learning to communicate. Anger may be caused by a mismatch of your and the other party’s expectations and behaviors. When you fail to communicate your expectations and also jump to conclusions about the other party’s behavior, anger can erupt. In learning better communication skills, you are able to express your feelings and also listen to what the other party has to say.
– Getting solutions. Sometimes anger is caused by a real problem that needs a solution. Rather than chafe at the situation, you can explore ways to solve the problem or get around it. When trying to find solutions, anger can be a positive force to change things for the better. However, it is vital that you know which problems can be solved and which issues are out of your control.
– Laugh it out. Keeping a good sense of humor can keep the edge of the angry feelings. Instead of raging at a situation, you can choose to find the humor in things. Remember, though, that sarcasm will not also work.
– Sweat it out. One other outlet for anger is some exercise – such as jogging or going for a quick walk. Exercise produces “happy” endorphins that loosen up the anger and relax you.
– Express your anger when you’re calm enough. This way, you are less emotional and confrontational and will not hurt others with your words.
– Let go of grudges and forgive. They say that forgiveness is actually releasing a prisoner – you. As long as you hold a grudge, feelings of anger swell up every time you remember the incident or the person that did you wrong.
– Change your environment. If you are able to identify some things that trigger your anger, it is sometimes best to avoid the aggravation. If going through a certain road at a certain time causes the traffic that so angers you, try to drive through another route or drive earlier in the day. If your child’s room particularly upsets you, close his room so you don’t see it. Avoid discussing important matters when you are tired or hungry.
Remember, anger management therapy is not about doing away with anger but with how you can positively and healthily express this anger. There are therapists that hold individual and group therapy sessions. If your anger issues may be affecting your relationship with your spouse, you can also go for Provo couples counseling.