Managing Anger

Feeling anger is a basic response to some life experiences.  It particularly occurs at times when we feel under attack.  It can be a healthy emotion, which can help to relieve built-up energy and tension. Anger problems are often due to poor management of emotions.  When it gets out of control, it can become destructive and can significantly impact on your quality of life, often affecting your career, relationships and your overall well-being.

Like all emotions, it involves physiological and chemical changes in the body, affecting heart rate and adrenaline levels.  Sometimes these surges can become addictive and destructive.  Anger is a key mechanism for survival as it triggers the 'flight or fight' reaction, which allows us to fight and defend ourselves when we are attacked.  Clearly it is socially unacceptable to allow anger to be unleashed every time that we are annoyed or irritated.

Anger management therapy is designed to help individuals learn how to control their anger more effectively and lessen the impact that their anger problems are having on their lives and on the lives of their family and friends.

When we express anger, we use a variety of unconscious and conscious processes to deal with angry feelings. The way that we control these processes is what determines whether or not our anger is unhealthy or healthy. When we express our anger assertively - in a non-aggressive, but constructive manner - we are asserting what our needs are and how we want them met without hurting others. This tends to be a less pushy or demanding approach, which shows respect for yourself and others.
Often we suppress or redirect our anger but this can negatively affect our health and well-being, causing high blood pressure and even depression.  It may even lead on to other problems such as passive-aggressive behaviour (where angry people get back at others indirectly without confronting them head on) and hostility.

People who have failed to process their anger effectively may put others down and can be overly critical. They may be chronically irritable and grumpy and this behaviour can greatly affect their relationships and how they function in everyday life.

Signs you have an anger problem can include
• Explosive outbursts where you break things.
• Alcohol or drug dependence used to cover anger issues.
• Becoming involved in fights.
• Numerous arguments with people around you.
• trouble with the authorities.
• Losing your temper while driving.
• Rubbing your face frequently.
• Clenching of the jaw and grinding of teeth.
• Rocking motion whilst sitting.
• A constant feeling or desire to lash out verbally or physically.
There are a variety of reasons why people become angry and these will differ from person to person depending on personal circumstances and individual needs. Some of the common factors that make people angry are:
• pain
• grief and bereavement
• sexual frustration
• rudeness
• verbal or physical assault
• tiredness
• having property mistreated
• physical and mental illnesses
• alcohol
• bullying
• hormonal imbalances
• withdrawals from certain medications and drugs
• failure

Anger becomes a problem when it starts harming you and those around you. Some of the side effects of consistent uncontrolled or unresolved anger on your emotional, physical and mental health could include:
• depression
• anxiety
• destructive and violent behaviour
• low self-esteem
• drug and/or alcohol abuse
• compulsive behaviour
• sleep problems and insomnia
• self-harm
• digestive problems (IBS)
• headaches
• skin disorders
• weakened immune system
• high blood pressure.

Anger management therapy 
As anger issues can be triggered by a variety of factors, understanding what they are and re-examining your thoughts around them can be the first steps to managing anger and alleviating its side effects.

Anger management therapy is designed to reduce the feelings and arousal that anger creates by allowing individuals to understand the underlying issues and triggers of angry outbursts. You may be encouraged to reassess some of the unhelpful beliefs about anger that may have been present in your family, and will need to confront how your anger is affecting your relationships and impacting your quality of life. 

By recognising and accepting anger issues, you can begin to understand how to use anger in a healthy and safe manner. You will be taught to pinpoint frustrations early on so they can be resolved in a way that allows you to express your needs while remaining calm and in control.   

Anger management therapy aims to
• Identify why you become angry (triggers).
• Change the way that you respond to these triggers.
• Teach you skills to effectively handle anger triggers and keep calm when you feel anger surging.
• Teach you to have your needs met in a healthy, assertive way.
• Teach you how to communicate effectively to defuse anger and resolve conflicts.
Anger management tends to last between four and six sessions, although in some cases may take longer. Classes are tailored to your individual needs and personal circumstances And will include work to do at home, such as journal writing and other exercises that strengthen the techniques learned in sessions. These allow you to practice anger management in real-life situations.

Address: 3, St Anne's View, Worksop, Nottinghamshire, S80 3QQ
Telephone: 07852 117030