We all experience anger from time to time. It’s an emotional state that ranges from mild irritation to intense fury and in many situations it’s a healthy response. For example, many people get angry in the face of injustice and harness it to fuel positive change.
But left to run rampant, anger can cause untold problems. Unchecked anger can spiral into toxic behaviours, workplace problems and even isolation from your loved ones. While anger is normal, if you experience rage and irritation regularly, you may benefit from anger management therapy.
People who suffer with uncontrollable anger may feel hopeless, but the good news is that with support, time and commitment anyone can learn to successfully control their anger.
What are the signs of anger?
Anger doesn’t always look the same, but signs of it can include:
- Angry outbursts e.g., yelling or screaming
- Passive aggressive behaviours e.g., ignoring people
- Violence e.g., breaking things or self-harming
- Physical symptoms e.g., muscle tension headaches, pounding heart and fast breathing
- Mental symptoms e.g., feeling tense and unable to relax
Interestingly, while men and women experience anger at similar levels, they tend to express it differently. Men, who are traditionally socialised out of showing sadness or anxiety at a young age, are much more likely to express their anger physically. Whereas for women outward expression of anger remains a social stigma, so instead they direct their anger at themselves or resort to passive aggressive behaviour.
Anger is also associated with several mental health disorders such as depression, bipolar disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder.
How do you know if you have an anger management problem?
Given anger is a normal human emotion, it can be tricky to know at what point anger becomes an issue you need to address.
Ask yourself the question: is my anger negatively affecting me or those around me on a regular basis? If your answer is yes, it’s an indication you may need to develop some tools to manage your anger.
Some other signs that your anger is a problem can include:
- Inability to enjoy company without experiencing anger
- Using passive aggressive behaviour like silent treatment
- Regularly shouting or screaming
- Experiencing irritation or frustration every day
- Getting angry at situations that don’t bother others
- Relationships and your work suffering because of your anger
- Attacking or throwing things
- Bullying or emotionally abusing others
- Assaulting others
How can anger management therapy help?
Given everyone experiences anger, the issue isn’t feeling anger but how you react to it. Anger management therapy will help you explore the reasons behind your anger, learn to recognise when you are getting angry and equip you with the tools you need to react appropriately. This type of therapy is suitable for people who battle with rage daily and deal with regular explosive outbursts, as well as those who are prone to repression and passive aggressive or internal expressions of anger.
Your therapist will work with you to develop your assertiveness skills which will enable you to express yourself in an appropriate, polite and clear way. Developing this skill will help you to get your needs met and remove the need for you to lash out at others or yourself while doing so.
While therapy is appropriate for many people dealing with anger management issues, if you are already acting out your anger in a violent manner you should get urgent help before you hurt yourself or someone else.
If you’re interested in exploring how therapy could help you learn to better manage your anger, book in for a free phone consultation with one of our team by calling 01892 249032. Alternatively, click on the green ‘book a consultation’ button to automatically select a time that suits you.