Sunday, 15 December 2013

Anger Management

When you have outbursts of anger, it can feel like you don't have much control over your emotions - don't have much control over yourself. Learning to control and contain that anger can feel really daunting.

 
Counselling may help you work out what it is that is causing you to feel angry - your own particular experiences and circumstances. It may be that things in the present trigger feelings of anger, because stuff from the past gets tangled up with the present. You react perhaps without even realising where the anger comes from. Untangling the past from the present can help reduce your level of anger, so that you react in the present in a more appropriate way, even a calmer way.
 
However there is something else to consider as well. It might be worthwhile looking at what it is for you to 'be angry'. What exactly does this involve? This might seem obvious, but actually looking at it in more detail might help to show what is going on for you.
 
Feeling angry is the not same as 'acting out' anger. In other words, you can feel angry in yourself without acting aggressively. Feeling angry and behaving aggressively are two separate things. The unfortunate thing is that they often get fused together and a person can feel out of control and compelled to act in ways they later regret.
 
Being able to separate out these two different things can have a big effect on the amount of control you are able to feel you have in a situation, ( appropriate and healthy control, that is, not controlling others, but being more in control of your own emotions).
 
Anger in itself doesn't have to be bad. If we can express ourselves clearly in words without being attacking of others, then problems can get sorted out. We can have a discussion. We're being assertive rather than aggressive and more likely to be listened to and understood.
 
We get angry for a reason. It can motivate us to voice our concerns and give our perspectives, so others can take our point of view into account. When we act out aggressively people are likely to respond by becoming defensive. This can shut down the possibility of people listening to each other and trying to work together to find a solution.
 
This is why just suppressing anger isn't necessarily the best solution. We may feel not considered or listened to or understood. We may feel that something is unfair. If we keep just trying to suppress our anger, the pressure can build up...and then the possibility of exploding seems more likely.
 
Or else we turn our anger inwards and feel down in ourselves, perhaps becoming depressed.  Or perhaps as the pressure builds with no outlet we become physically ill. Think of all the headaches and churning stomachs and bad backs and high blood pressure...
 
Expressing how we feel, having our voice, is important. The best chance of getting others to hear us is if we can do this calmly and clearly enough. It can take practise to get to this stage. It may not happen overnight. Isn't it worth working on though?
 
This way we are working with our anger to express things we care about - that have a value for us. We're not doing battle with ourselves or with anyone else.
 
 
 

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