Anger is an extreme or intense emotional response to a perceived threat, harm, or a provocation. It is accompanied by strong physical manifestations that can prove to be detrimental to health if experienced strongly and frequently. Anger, on its own, is a normal and in fact healthy human emotion. However, when it gets out of control and becomes a destructive emotion, it can have a severely negative impact on all areas of life, including work, social life, family, health, etc.
What is Anger Management?
Anger management refers to a process through which an individual starts understanding his or her stressors and learns new tools and techniques that help him or her curb their temper and react in a socially appropriate manner to situations that earlier were difficult for them to handle. They may even learn how to handle these situations in a constructive and positive way.
This helps the individual suffering from anger issues decrease anger and replace this destructive and negative response by healthier responses. This can be done with the support of a mental health professional.
Effects of Anger
Anger can have a very bad impact on your health. The flow of stress chemicals and metabolic changes that are associated with anger constantly flood our system. This can prove to be detrimental for one’s health. Following are some of the short term and long term health problems that are linked to anger issues:
- Digestion issues, pain in the abdomen
- Anxiety problems
- Eczema and other skin problems
- Cardiovascular problems
- Heart attack
- High blood pressure
Not knowing how to calm down from anger and how to control anger can lead to many other problems as well in the spheres of a person’s social life and career. Constructive criticism at the workplace, creative differences, debates with colleagues become triggers for a person who has anger issues. They alienate themselves from their managers, clients and supervisors. At the same time, their coworkers lose their respect for them. They may even face unemployment due to their behaviour.
Also, not controlling anger properly and letting it seep into your relationships can also cause the ties between you and your loved ones to weaken considerably. Some forms of anger, like explosive anger, can make it difficult for other people to trust you, or be comfortable with you. People may even stop being honest with you altogether. Anger issues can be especially damaging to children.
Overview of Anger Management and Its Importance
Anger becomes a severe problem when every single slightly provoking event begins to anger individuals to an extent that is unhealthy. Such events could be receiving slight criticism by others, or being stuck in a traffic jam, or internal frustrations due to having a bad day, etc. Then, it becomes a severe problem and anger management becomes an unavoidable and imperative option to consider.
For anger management, first, the perception about anger is worked upon. Anger should be perceived as an emotion that is neither positive nor negative, it is instead simply a response to the threats in the environment. While this emotional response can often be a good thing as it is considered to be important for one’s survival, it’s still critical to learn how to manage anger. People with anger management problems do not know how to control their anger, or how to appropriately vent out their emotions. Once the perception of an individual is changed, they may begin to see their environment differently. The same situations that they viewed as threats earlier, they’ll begin to view them as non threatening events that were clearly not intended to hurt or harm them.
Most people believe that anger management is about suppressing one’s emotions and completely rid oneself of anger. However, this can never be a realistic goal. In fact, this may even worsen your anger management problems. The real aim of anger management is not to suppress anger, but to understand it as an emotion, and the message behind it, and express it in a way that’s healthy, without losing one’s cool. Controlling anger and mastering the skill of anger management can take quite some time, patience, practice and work. But, in the end, it always pays off. Anger management will not only help you learn how to calm down from anger, it’ll actually make you feel much better, help you get your needs met, strengthen your relationships, parent your children well (if any), and manage conflict much more properly. It’ll help you achieve your goals and live a satisfying and fulfilling life.
How to Control Anger
Learning how to manage anger and how to control anger involves learning of some tried and tested strategies. These methods are simple, effective, and some of them can help you on the spot, other methods are intended to help you in the long term. Following are some anger management strategies:
- Relaxation Techniques
Anger can be conquered best by using relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, creative visualization, meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, etc. Repeating a calming word or statement and positive affirmations can also help control anger. Yoga asanas are also a powerful tool to help you in controlling anger.
- Cognitive Restructuring: Change The Way You Think
When you’re angry, think of the situation not in negative terms, but in realistic and rational terms. Try to stop telling yourself that the situation is “awful” or “terrible” or that you can’t do anything about it. Such perceptions occur because we’re angry and our thinking gets exaggerated and overly dramatic. Instead, resist thinking in this way and replace such thoughts with rational ones. Remember, logic defeats anger.
Exercising can help you reduce your stress that may be causing you to become angry, and at the same time, it can help you vent your anger in constructive and healthy ways. When you feel that your temper is getting out of hand, go ahead and do some cardio. Go out for a run, or a swim, or do some skipping, or push ups and pull ups, go to the gym or anything that works for you.
- Use Humor
Humor can light up the air in the most miraculous ways. It helps diffuse tension and makes you confront your triggers and unrealistic expectations for how things should go in a way that doesn’t make you flare up. It helps you let go. An important tip, though: you mustn’t try to laugh off your problems, but instead, face them using humor to become more grounded and rational in the way you think about your current situation.
- Problem Solving
Anger and frustration can often be justified and caused by things that are out of our control and at the same time quite disturbing. At these moments in our lives, we need to think using an attitude that lets us handle and face the problem in the most effective way possible. Making an action plan, giving your progress frequent checks, and facing your problem head-on without punishing yourself and giving it your best will help you ease up and control your anger.
- Improved Communication
When someone acts out of anger, they tend to jump to conclusions and such conclusions can often be based in irrational thoughts and perceptions of reality, and can be very inaccurate. When in a heated discussion, first, one must slow down and be mindful of what they speak, think and act. Body language is also a part of communication, so you must keep a close check on the non verbal cues that you’re giving away. At the same time, listen very carefully to what the other person is saying and closely analyse their expressions and gestures. Another useful tip is to always paraphrase once or twice so that you can make sure that you completely understand what the other person is trying to say.
How Incontact Can Help
At Incontact, we are a team of extensively trained professionals who have a lot of experience dealing with clients who require anger management. We have helped people from all walks of life, who came to us with different states of mental health. We believe that every individual and his or her journey is unique and thus requires a unique treatment. So, we use an eclectic approach to cater to your unique needs. We do eye-movement desensitisation and reprocessing therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy and other subcategories of such interventions such as stress inoculation training which have proven to be very effective for anger management. Contact us to book your appointment (both online and offline services for anger management Singapore are available).