We all experience anger from time to time – it’s part of being human.
Feelings of anger may be generated when you have words with someone, when someone cuts in front of you in the traffic, or when you’ve dropped a can of tomato soup on your foot!
There are different levels of anger, from mild irritation to fiery rage; it is when it gets “out of control” that it becomes an issue, and anger management counselling may be of benefit.
Anger can in fact be a mask for many different emotions. There may be times when we are embarrassed, shocked, frustrated or even fearful, yet anger becomes the outlet. This can occur if we didn’t learn how to deal with or express these feelings in childhood.
When Anger gets out of Control
So how do we know if our anger (or somebody else’s) is out of control? When:
- it leads verbal, emotional, physical or psychological abuse;
- the person feels angry a lot of the time;
- others have expressed concern about the frequency or level of anger;
- the anger is causing problems at work or in personal relationships;
- it feels like anger is the only way to get the desired outcome;
- the anger is out of proportion to the event that set it off, and/or lasts long afterwards;
- the bouts of anger are causing anxiety and depression;
- the angry person turns to alcohol or drugs to try and cope;
- anger is taken out on the nearest and dearest, rather than dealing with the situation that sparked the anger in the first place.
Some people try to excuse their anger by saying it runs in the family, or just the way they are. However if anger is interfering with personal relationships, work, study, social life etc, then it can cause terrible damage, and professional anger management counselling may be of benefit.
What to Expect at Anger Management Counselling
There are a number of techniques which may be used in anger management counselling, such as include:
- identifying a situation which could make you angry, the triggers, how it makes you feel, how you would normally react, and the effects of that anger;
- developing a strategy which includes distraction, to try and prevent feelings of rage and anger from escalating;
- learning and practising mindfulness and meditation;
- keeping a ‘mood diary’ to identify triggers and signs that anger is about to take over.
Although we all experience anger – and there are even times when it can be an excellent motivator, to help us tackle injustice or even the housework! – if you are concerned about how anger is ruling your life (or that of somebody you love), then remember that you are not alone – and also that anger management counselling could be a good option.
Author: M1 Psychology
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