What is anger management and would I benefit
“I was driving the kids to school and the guy just pulled in front of me no signal nothing. My rage just boiled over and I found myself racing after the guy to try to get back at him. I went through a red light to keep up with him, I didn’t even know what I was going to do, I just knew that he has to be taught a lesson. Dad, Dad, my daughter’s cry brought me to my senses and that was the moment I knew that I wasn’t in control of my anger.”
While we all get angry from time to time, perhaps as a result of an incident on the road, we normally become upset, but not out of control. We continue to act rashly during and after the incident. Anger is a natural emotion seen throughout nature. It is part of our protection system, preparing us for fight or flight from the threat. Like many of our emotions as well as a feeling it triggers a number of physical changes. Our blood pressure rises as our heart beats faster along with other hormones shutting down digestion and so forth.
Of course, there are many things that can make us angry, but they are often the things that happen to us over which we have little or no control. Typical examples might be grief, embarrassment, being a victim of a crime, or being bullied. Most people will be able to recall times during their life that they were angry and identify the cause. However, being angry all of the time causes very real medical problems including mental health problems.
We can feel powerless in face of our anger, believing that that is just the way we are and that there is nothing that can be done. Yet many people in a similar position have used anger management to bring about real positive change in their lives.
Managing your anger
Anger management is about self-knowledge it is identifying the situations and warning signs that trigger your anger. Having identified those situations it is about learning new ways in which you can deal with the emotion. Perhaps it is about learning assertiveness skills or dealing with situations in a non-aggressive way rather than a negative way. For example: rewarding yourself for avoiding the driver who nearly crashed into your family. It is also about learning how to calm down after being angry, what works well for you.
So if you find that you have to bottle up your anger or have arguments and fight all of the time. Maybe you are just disturbed by how often you find yourself angry. Perhaps the time has come for you to take control and ask for the help anger management offers.
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About Graeme Orr
Graeme is a counsellor and author, living and working on the south side of Glasgow. In his practice, he sees a number of clients with emotional, anxiety and self-esteem that have relevance to us all. His articles are based on that experience and are offered as an opportunity to identify with, or to challenge you to make changes in your life.