Emotions are a big part of our lives. They define our actions and reactions. Anger is amongst the strongest and dominating emotions. A person might find him or herself in full fury over insignificant incidents or they may just show little gestures of displeasure in considerable events. Anger can arise from other sentiments and feelings like frustration, sadness, irritation, stress, impatience, regret, disappointment, and threat.
Anger can be bad or good; good in cases where it is controlled and secondary to being mistreated or wronged, while bad when it is unrestrained and with unfavourable effects. It can easily and readily escalate to violence and end up with regrettable physical and mental harm.
Anger management comes into play when the loss of temper is overpowering, exhaustive, or when it provokes to actions that have severe and adverse consequences.
It enables the person to convey the message behind the anger in an effective way without fury and aggression. It empowers the person to let out the anger in a constructive manner instead of suppressing it and building more rage. Once the person is in more control of the emotions, the opportunities of self-growth become boundless.
Importance of Anger Management
Anger attacks affect a person’s physical and mental health in both short and long terms. It makes them susceptible to a lot of conditions and diseases, like high blood pressure, diabetes, heart issues, weakened immune system, sleeplessness, depression, anxiety, and reduced thinking capacity. It also affects the personal and professional life of the person, such as difficulty in keeping relationships, trust issues, and unable to take creative criticism and differences in opinions. All such incidents lead to others having reduced trust and respect for the affected individual.
Anger Management Counselling
The form of treatment involving communication with a mental health expert, to identify and recognize factors causing the mental issues is referred to as psychotherapy or therapy. These communication sessions can be one-on-one with the expert or in groups. It is a part of anger management and can be practised to treat the anger issues alone or in combination with medications. In the context of anger, it is referred to as anger management counselling, cognitive behavioural therapy, or anger psychotherapy.
The anger management sessions start with identifying the triggers that incite the anger, and the physical and emotional signs that come before the anger outburst.
The triggers or stressors can be identified as job stress, sleep disturbance, relationship issues, traffic problems, and any sort of frustration. The signs preceding anger include rising anger, wanting to yell, clenching jaws, rapid heartbeat, disturbed sleep, and rash driving.
The sessions further focus on behavioural skills to manage with such events. These skills help prevent encounters with stressors, and in case a trigger is unavoidable, then to manage the reactions non-aggressively. The experts guide the people to handle the situations with logic and patience, communicate with the people involved, and focus on using the energy positively. They also recommend people to take breaks if the situations get out of control and reflect on problem-solving.
Furthermore, therapy guides people towards maintaining a healthy body and healthy relationships. It helps by giving them the right direction away from alcohol and substance abuse.
An important aspect of therapy involves realizing the cause of anger. These are not the triggers but the actual reasons for anger. It may relate to incidents of the past, like holding a grudge, repetition of what is remembered from childhood, or as a mask over embarrassment or insecurity, even to cover up anxiety and depression. Certain conditions and disorders can also be a cause of anger and need to be treated before anger management can be effective. These include alcohol abuse, obsessive-compulsive disorder, bipolar disorder, grief, intermittent explosive disorder, and attention deficit hyperactivity syndromes.
Tips and tricks
- Maintain the cool even if you don’t like what’s happening
- Even if just for a few seconds, think before speaking and reacting
- Express your anger and point of view when calm
- Exercise, breaks, physical and mental activities; all relax the mind and give time to reflect
- Deep breaths, massage of tense muscles, and slowly counting to 10
- Get enough sleep and refreshment time
- Learn to let it go and seek help when needed
- Look for solutions instead of problems and issues
- Respect others and their opinions
- Learn to be a critic of your own actions and not of others
- Don’t over think a problem, or obsess over rules
- Think positive, give the other person the benefit of doubt
- Forgive and forget, focus on the significant factor of the bigger picture
- Be humorous and light-hearted, less sarcastic
- Don’t be too hard on yourself, have fun, relax and lighten up with productive hobbies.
- Venting out is healthier than keeping it in: suppressing anger is not advisable but controlling it rather than venting it out is the better option.
- Anger makes others respect you: just like bullying, aggression doesn’t gain respect; on the contrary effective communication makes others respect you.
- Anger is not controllable and it controls the person: even if the situation is not what according to our preference, anger is something we can control and manage.
Anger is a unique emotion. Anger itself is not a problem but when it gets out of control and damages the person bearing it and others around them, it needs management. Psychotherapy or anger management therapy enables the person to recognize their troubles and focus on converting anger into productivity and positive energy. Through therapy and self-help, the person can explore their emotional depth in a safe and guided manner.