Anger is a human emotion, one that if mismanaged can be painful, hurtful and destructive. In today’s society anger has become a major problem and because of this problem there has become a growing need for anger management groups.
Here at Counseling Solutions, Inc. (CSI) we want to help you in your time of need. We firmly believe that anger is a manageable emotion. We believe our approach is one that will give our clients the best chance at being successful and one that will empower them to a healthier life style. Our approach is CHOICE -BASED.
Webster’s dictionary defines choice as the act of selecting, the power of choosing or having options. Only you have the power to choose whether to become angry or not. Choice Based Anger Control is built on the philosophy that “Our lives are the sum total of our choices and actions”. -Gary Byrd
- To control your emotions
- To identify whether your anger is state or trait
- To identify the ABC model of anger control (ABCDEF)
- To identify your anger reducers
- To learn the 5 stages of an anger episode
- To recognize the difference between feelings and emotions
- To learn the importance of changing old habits
- To learn the importance of breathing
- To learn the difference between Time-Out vs. Walking away
- To identify your Hot Buttons (Triggers)
Just thought you should know...
We all feel angry at times; it’s a natural response...
We all feel angry at times; it’s a natural response to threats and attacks, injustice and disappointment.
Anger is a powerful emotion and releasing the pressure that builds inside you can be essential to deal with problems and move on. But if anger isn’t dealt with in a healthy way, it can have a significant effect on your daily life, relationships, achievements and mental well-being.
How does anger work?
As we go about our lives, we’re constantly weighing up situations and deciding what we think about them: good or bad, safe or unsafe etc. How we interpret a situation influences how we feel about it. If we think we are in danger, we feel afraid. If we feel we have been wronged, we feel angry. These feelings determine how we react to the situation. We translate meanings into feelings very fast. With anger, that speed sometimes means that we react in ways we later regret.
Why do we get angry?
“I could scream down the throat of people who try to crowd into the train before people have the chance to get off.”
Reasons for getting angry include:
- facing a threat to ourselves or our loved ones
- being verbally or physically assaulted
- suffering a blow to our self-esteem or our place within a social group
- being interrupted when pursuing a goal
- losing out when money is at stake
- someone going against a principle that we consider important
- being treated unfairly and feeling powerless to change this
- feeling disappointed by someone else or in ourselves
- having our property mistreated.
If we think someone has wronged us on purpose, this can make us angrier. If we’re having a bad day and are in a state of constant tension, we’re more likely to snap when something else goes wrong, even if it’s something that wouldn’t usually bother us.
We may feel angry immediately or only feel angry later when we go back over a situation. Anger can surface years later that has its roots in abuse or neglect long ago. Sometimes anger stays locked inside us for decades because it wasn’t dealt with sufficiently at the time.
What kind of problems can be linked to anger?
Anger in itself is neither good nor bad; it becomes a problem when it harms us or other people. Anger is the emotion most likely to cause problems in relationships in the family, at work and with friends. People with a long term anger problem tend to be poor at making decisions, take more risks than other people and are more likely to have a substance misuse problem.
Long term and intense anger has been linked with mental health problems including depression, anxiety and self-harm. It is also linked to poorer overall physical health as well as particular conditions, such as:
- high blood pressure
- colds and flu
- coronary heart disease
- gastro-intestinal problems
What is anger?
Anger is one of the most basic human emotions. It is a physical and mental response to a threat or to harm done in the past. Anger takes many different forms from irritation to blinding rage or resentment that festers over many years.
“I get this bubble of rage. I go wild. I feel like crying cos I don’t know how to control myself. It happens too quickly.”
At any point in time, a combination of physical, mental and social factors interact to make us feel a certain way. It’s different for each of us. Our feelings are influenced by our emotional make-up, how we view the world, what happens around us and our circumstances. Like other emotions, anger rarely acts alone.
How do our bodies respond to anger?
Many of our emotions are linked to a particular physical response. Anger gets the mind and body ready for action. It arouses the nervous system, increasing the heart rate, blood pressure, blood flow to muscles, blood sugar level and sweating. It also sharpens the senses and increases the production of adrenalin, a hormone produced at times of stress.
At the same time as these physical changes, anger is thought to affect the way we think. When we are first faced with a threat, anger helps us quickly translate complex information into simple terms: ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ for instance. This can be useful in an emergency as we don’t waste valuable time weighing up information that doesn’t instantly affect our safety or well-being.
But it can mean that we act before we’ve considered what else is relevant and made a rational decision about how to behave. It may be that we need to take more time to look at the situation and deal with it differently. When anger gets in the way of rational thinking we may give way to the urge to act aggressively, propelled by the instinct to survive or protect someone from a threat.
How do people behave when they are angry?
“When someone physically threatened my daughter when she was a newborn I exploded. I got a real physical sense of something being different that I haven’t experienced before or since.”
Anger isn’t always negative. It can be a force for good. Moral outrage can drive people to campaign for change, right wrongs and enforce the rules that govern our society.
People often think of anger and aggression as the same thing, but they aren’t. Anger is an emotional state and aggression is just one of the ways that people behave when they are angry. Aggression often takes over when people act on their instinct to protect themselves or others. Alcohol can make some people act more aggressively and drug use can similarly lower our inhibitions.
People often express their anger verbally. They may:
- use dramatic words
- bombard someone with hostile questions
- exaggerate the impact on them of someone else’s action.
Some people who are angry get their own back indirectly by making other people feel guilty and playing on that guilt. Others develop a cynical attitude and constantly criticize everything, but never address problems constructively.
Some people internalize their anger. They may be seething inside and may physically shake, but they don’t show their anger in the way they behave when they are around other people.
People who internalize their anger may self harm when they are angry as a way of coping with intense feelings they can’t express another way. This may give temporary relief from the angry feelings, but it doesn’t solve the problems in the long-term.
How can managing my anger help me?
“If I could have expressed my anger more openly and constructively it would have been less damaging to me. Otherwise you carry the hurt with you.”
Most people get angry quite often, but their anger is within a normal and healthy range. Other people experience anger frequently and intensely enough for it to interfere with their everyday life.
Both sets of people can benefit from learning how to deal with their anger more effectively. There’s lots of evidence to suggest that managing your anger in a healthy way can help people look after their mental and physical health, feel more positive about themselves, achieve their goals, solve problems and enjoy relationships with the people around them.
Anger can lead you to action, or even violence, you will regret. Bottling up your anger for a long time isn’t a good thing either. It’s important to deal with anger and move on, not let it stew inside you.