Anger is among the 6 most widely recognized emotions across the globe. While every society may or may not have a distinct way of expressing anger, all individuals are capable of identifying this particular emotional state. So, experiencing anger falls into the usual set of emotions everyone goes through. It is the frequency and intensity that one needs to be wary of. If you are having anger issues especially during times of stress, then you should consider anger management.
Why People Feel Angry
People may feel angry due to a myriad of reasons. According to the psychologist Spielberger, “anger varies in intensity from mild irritation to intense fury and rage.” Literature shows that if and when a situation presents itself where an individual experiences anger, there is an emotional imbalance accompanied with certain physiological and physical changes in the body, the heart rate increases, and consequently, blood pressure as well. There is a reason people associate the phrase “blood boils” with anger. One’s level of hormones, adrenaline and noradrenaline also increase. There is a total sense of alertness, and the body eventually falls into exhaustion. However, it is vital to return to a state of equilibrium after dealing with a stressful situation, for maintaining an acute level of alert, as it is detrimental to our health.
Emotional regulation, especially suppression, could be quite damaging to not only a person’s state of well-being, but also to the relationships they share with others. It is always advised to express your anger rather than inhibit it. Bottling it up can cause hypertension, high blood pressure, or affect your mental health by inducing depression or anxiety disorders.
Believe it or not, letting your anger out could be a healthier option. Yet, not everybody knows how to express it like other emotions that make us human. It’s important not to think of anger as a bad feeling or of an angry person as a bad person. It is essential not to stigmatize this emotion because dealing with anger shouldn’t be avoided. The experience of feeling anger needs as much attention and care as it does for other ‘desired’ emotions of happiness or adoration.
How to Express Anger
One of the most common ways of expressing anger is through aggression. From an evolutionary standpoint, anger acts like an adaptive response to any threat demanding a high degree of attention, caution and powerful, often aggressive feelings and behavior that could help us protect ourselves when under attack. Hence, anger could be essential to survival. However, expression of anger could be both constructive and destructive. If you tend to get easily angry at others, it is probably because you are not in balance with yourself. Therefore, expressing anger in the correct manner is vital because you never know who you end up hurting or harming. We’ve all had an angry episode with a regretful exchange of words or, sometimes, an exchange of physical harm.
Unexpected anger can give way to various irrational and psychological problems. It can also lead to pathological expressions of anger, including passive-aggressive behavior or an extremely cynical and/or hostile personality.
How to Manage Anger
It is okay to feel angry at times. The emotion, in itself, is not negative. However, its expression could be. People often ‘burst out’ in anger and adopt methods like yelling, physical destruction or mental torture to showcase it. Another common way of dealing with anger is to suppress it, which would later lead to negative consequences in the form of psychological disorder, physical illness, self-harm, etc. Research shows that anger regulation is the most effective and healthy manner of dealing with anger issues. Anger management may reduce both the frequency and intensity of feeling angry as well as the ‘physiological arousal’ that occurs due to the angry state.
How to Accept Your Anger
The most basic yet important thing is to accept that there will be times where people will enrage you or things that annoy you. You can either choose to be destructive and yell your way out of a bad day, or you could work on controlling your emotions and power through a negative situation without compromising and keeping your cool. Think of anger as a child – you cannot afford to let it take control of your life. You need to control it before it causes any damage to your life.
Why Anger Management is Important
1. It Can Positively Affect Our Physical Health
Anger is a strong emotion that increases the levels of cortisol in our body. This is the stress hormone you can do without. The tension of any kind, directly and indirectly, affects your heart’s health. Anger management programs are designed to regulate your blood pressure and cholesterol, thus helping you prevent chronic diseases by strengthening your immune system.
2. It Improves Our Mental Health
Anger is a highly energy-consuming emotion. It could be draining in nature and rob you of your rational thinking. Anger interferes with sound judgement. Anger management teaches you to clutch to your focus in life and make positive, healthy choices that help you make and not break relationships. In short, anger management takes you a step further in discovering the mental peace everyone craves in this fast-paced world. It keeps your mental health in check and reduces the probability of depression, anxiety or other stress disorders that impair your life.
3. It Mends Our Interpersonal Relationships
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that volcanic, eruptive anger or even constant anger puts a strain on any relationship. Whether during work hours or at home, every relation is impacted by anger. Anger management acts as a perfect agent in the outlet of this emotion in a constructive way that works for and not against strengthening a bond.
Anger Management Techniques
You are well-acquainted with the fact that anger could be caused by a variety of issues. It could be a powerful suppressed memory, unfair situation, undesired encounter, etc. Sometimes you might not even understand the reason behind your rage. But you can learn to deal with the danger of outbursts in advance.
Here’s are some anger management techniques you can do by yourself:
Identify and Avoid Triggers
Try to understand what causes you to become angry. See what kind of behaviour annoys you and think of ways of tackling stressful situations differently than you usually do.
Try Relaxation Techniques
Deep breathing during times of stress and difficulty always helps. This technique gives you time to think before you act and helps you calm your temper. Another useful technique is to exercise to “blow off some steam.” Physical exercise helps you streamline your thoughts and provides an outlet to express your distress in a healthier way.
Manage Your Thoughts
Empathy has a calming effect on your mind. When you try to understand the reason behind people’s actions and communicate your distress after putting yourself in other’s shoes, you are able to naturally lower your anger.
Use Anger for Problem Solving
Using anger for problem-solving instead of a mere emotional reaction to things has been found to be quite productive. Channel your anger into things that matter. Don’t waste energy on causing unnecessary stress to yourself and others.
Avoid Bottling Up Anger Inside You
Avoid bottling up negativity or lashing out because none of these things help. These unhealthy expressions of anger add chaos and disrupt mental peace.
Anger Management Therapy for Controlling Anger
It is not an easy task to not only identify your stress-points but also work on them all by yourself. Just like a physically-ill body needs the attention of a physician, an angry mind may need the help of a specialist to manage it. It is perfectly alright and often advised to seek help from an anger management professional when you think you can’t control your anger on your own. There is a wealth of helpful resources, both online and offline, to get you the help you require.
Online counseling and therapy sessions are some of the most sought-after options people adopt to manage their anger in healthy and constructive ways. There is no shortage of counsellors in Ontario and the whole of Canada offering court-approved, in-house anger-management services and online psychological help. There are programs specifically designed to treat mental health issues due to uncontrolled anger.
In these tough, unprecedented times of disease outbreak, it is quite normal for people to suffer from a wide range of psychological problems. Being under lockdown and couped up in our homes, we are at the center of facing all kinds of stress and emotional imbalance. Be it the threat of catching COVID-19, or the need for anonymity, more and more individuals realize the need to subscribe to a mental-counseling service over the web.
All relationships are impacted by this pandemic. Research shows that marital bonds are significantly affected, and spousal relationships have been put to the test with the national-level lockdowns. People are advised to seek online relationship counseling or marital counsellors who specialize in anger management and relationship therapy. The increasingly popular and need of the hour work-from-home policy has also proved to be quite stressful. There are certain corporate wellness programs that people should try. These are carefully planned to provide relief from different pressures faced in the home environment during work-hours. There is something for everyone. If you can learn better ways of controlling your anger and help save your relationships, don’t wait any longer. Try seeking outside help and observe a positive change in your attitude and your life at large. Be the change you wish to see.