WHAT IS ANGER?

Anger is a natural human response to life experiences. It’s a basic emotion that can occur at times when we feel under attack; feel frustrated, deceived or insulted amongst others. Expressing your anger can be a healthy way of managing emotion, but when excessive it can cause problems.


SYMPTOMS OF ANGER

  • Losing your temper quickly
  • Arguing excessively with other people
  • Explosive outbursts and breaking things
  • A constant desire to lash out physically or verbally
  • Abusive behaviour and physical violence

When excessive and out of control anger can become destructive and significantly impact on your quality of life, affecting relationships, career and overall well-being. However there are ways to help you effectively control anger and lessen its impact on your daily life.

As with anxiety, anger stems from our bodies natural fight or flight response. This response, which we have inherited from our ancestors, causes physiological and chemical changes in our body when confronted with danger. This causes our heart rates, blood pressure and adrenaline levels to rise which in turn provides us with a better chance of escaping from that danger. Unfortunately these responses were not designed for the stresses of modern day life. This flight or fight response can lead to aggression and is an instinctive way to express anger. However there are other ways to express and manage anger without aggression. Relaxation techniques and anger management therapy to help tone down our fight or flight response are some of these ways.

Anger becomes a problem when it starts to negatively affect those around us. Not only do you risk damage to your health and general well-being but also to your relationships and other aspects of daily life. Aggression can escalate to other behaviours such as physical abuse and the negative downward cycle of anger and aggression promotes further anger and aggression.


WAYS TO TREAT ANGER

  • Coping strategies: such as calming yourself down from that negative emotion and allowing your body to recover from the fight or flight response. This could be as simple as going for a walk, breathing deeply, taking time to think or counting to 10 before reacting.
  • Speaking to a therapist: Anger Management Therapy and therapies such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Mindfulness have been proven to help in anger management. A course of therapy will involve you discovering the triggers that make you angry, changing the way you respond to them and teaching you skills in how to handle that anger in a positive way.