Anger Management - How do you manage your anger?
Written by listed counsellor/psychotherapist: Claudia Anderson PG Dipl Psych, Registered MBACP
8th February, 20120 Comments
Anger Management - How can you manage your anger?
People can get angry, about all sorts of things, from their partner filing for divorce to being made redundant, from the loss of a loved one, to coping with a debilitating illness. However, deciphering the source of anger is seldom that simple, especially if bouts of anger occur regularly, uncontrollably, causing pain and anguish to the Self and others.
So my first question is – what are you angry about? Are you projecting your anger at work, because your home life issues have not been addressed or explored? Perhaps you can identify your anger, but are unsure how to use it positively, i.e., as a catalyst for change. Are you aware of how your anger is having an impact on your health? Holding onto grievances and resentment is bad for your emotional, physical health mental well being, and has a huge impact on all your relationships, self confidence and self esteem.
How can we define anger? – Anger is a mixture of both emotional and physical changes. You may resolve your anger on a mental and emotional level, but still have to deal with the physical effects. The energy produced from anger, can be directed to another person, i.e. a work colleague, a loved one, or an object. Directed towards an object, anger can be directed internally, and result in self harm, such as self mutilation, addictive, compulsive behaviour, or substance misuse. Suppressed energy may lay dormant until the next period of anger, which can lead to overreaction, shame, guilt, frustration, and can result in the need to repress your feelings further. The opposite of repressed anger is unleashed anger, examples of which are verbal aggression and physical abuse.
Anger problems left untreated can lead to family breakdown, illness and mental health problems. Chronic and intense anger has been linked to heart diseases, cancer, and depression. In some cases ‘anger’ is not recognised as a problem until a dramatic event has occurred. It can be said that those who have anger management issues, have an underlying, untreated, diagnosis of anxiety, stress and depression. Family, friends, and primary care services may not identify these issues and therefore it is important to be able to seek advice from appropriate support networks. I have described some of the negative feelings associated with anger, but there are coping strategies that can be applied.
I have described some of the negative feelings associated with anger, but there are coping strategies that can be applied.
- try a non - contact competitive sport
- attend an assertiveness seminar/workshop
- running/ jogging/ or using a gym.
- joining a yoga/ meditation class
How can you deal situations that make you angry? This exercise will help you to assess and interpret the situation with further clarity.
- make a note of it – is it something that has just happened, or represents a build up of unresolved issues?
- What evidence is there to show this is accurate? – are you taking your anger out on your partner, because you did not get the promotion you were expecting?
- Is there another equally believable interpretation of the situation? Perhaps the person that has been promoted has more experience and has worked for the company for longer than you.
- What action can be taken to have some control of the situation? Put your energy into looking for more senior positions, embrace the challenge, taking advantage of any other opportunities, within the firm, to your own personal advantage
- If your partner was in the same situation, what advice would you give? Aiming to be objective, not only boosts your confidence, but helps you feel in control, and can help you learn from your mistakes.
In ‘Human Relationship Skills: Coaching and Self-coaching’ by Professional Richard Nelson – Jones, he illustrates a useful mnemonic entitled ‘CUSAIR’ , which is fundamentally components intrinsic with Core Mediation principles for both professional and personal problems, which follows –
Firstly you need to confront the problem, not the individual. State what the problem is and how you feel about it. It is imperative to try and understand each others view of the situation. Each person should air their views, without interruption, and identify areas of disagreement. This helps to define the problems. Next search for as many solutions as you can. Compromise will probably be better that generating any further anger. It is at this stage that you are aiming to find an agreement that can be implemented. A review at a later stage, looking at the ‘CUDSAIR’ model may give scope for further improvements.
Seeking mediation is always a useful source, and in areas where anger management at work is an issue, employers can recommend this third party, professional tool. This can also be applied to relationship breakdown. However if this alternative is not at hand, individuals can seek professional help to explore problems and develop potential solutions.
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