We all get angry in response to specific situations, but when you find yourself overreacting to minor inconveniences, there may be an issue. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, “anger becomes a problem when it is felt too intensely, is felt too frequently, or is expressed inappropriately.”
Feeling completely out of control when you are angry is not normal, and if this happens to you frequently, it’s in your best interest to consider getting help. Physical characteristics that might accompany anger can include headaches and high blood pressure. You can lower your risk of heart disease or stroke by gaining control of your anger and other strong emotions.
What is Anger Management Therapy?
The National Institute of Mental Health describes anger management therapy as a way to “stop the violence or the threat of violence and to teach clients ways to recognize and control their level of anger.” You will learn ways to avoid situations that lead to rage and establish tools for maintaining control.
Who Benefits from Anger Management?
Several mental health conditions may cause explosive anger events. They include the following:
- Borderlines Personality Disorder (BPD)
- Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED)
- Substance Use Disorder (SUD)
- Various mood disorders
- Trauma-based conditions
Uncontrollable anger is often the result of poor emotion regulation. A few indications you might have an anger management issue include if any of the following apply to you:
- Easily irritated and upset
- Feel impatient in most situations
- Physically hurt others or damage property during moments of anger, or experiences a compulsion to violence without following through
- Loss of control when angry or irritated
How Does Trauma Anger?
The United States Department of Veterans Affairs reports a connection between trauma and anger. They found that anger was a typical response to traumas that involved violence, exploitation, or some form of betrayal.
There are several ways that a therapist can address your anger while treating trauma. Which method is taken will depend on your history and current situation. You will want to work closely with your therapist or care team to work through the emotional fallout of the traumatic event you endured.
What to Expect from Therapy
Although everyone will have their treatment journey when undergoing anger management therapy, there are a few universal topics covered. You can work with a therapist to analyze the following:
- How parental figures in your childhood expressed anger and other emotional models you had growing up
- Conflict resolution and new, healthy ways to respond to stressful situations
- Retraining your thought process to facilitate conflict resolution
- Identifying physical components of anger management and learning exercises to control breathing
Communicate With Your Support System
Sponsors, your therapist, and loved ones in your support system may be able to give you advice about working through anger without lashing out. If you feel comfortable speaking openly about your struggles, they may be able to provide valuable suggestions. Doing this also allows you to apologize for anything you have said or done in anger.
Your support system is there to assist and encourage you. Try not to take advantage of their care. If you have mistreated them, then apologizing will improve your relationship and combat any guilt or shame you may feel about things you have said and done.
Anger Management Techniques
Here are some helpful techniques that you can use to retain control during moments that might lead to an angry episode. These are suggestions based on exercises provided by the National Institute of Mental Health and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
- Do deep breathing exercises if you experience something that triggers an anger response
- Remove yourself from the situation if possible until you feel calmer and more in control of your emotions
Coming to Terms with Consequences
Therapy does not absolve you from consequences derived from how you act while enraged. What it does offer is hope, coping skills, and the tools you need to regulate your emotions healthily. Work with your therapist to examine your responsibility and how you can stop yourself from repeating past mistakes.
The consequences of an explosive anger event usually involve damaged interpersonal relationships. You can work to bridge differences and repair that damage through therapy and open communication.
Further Resources for Overcoming Anger
You can learn to control your anger. The United States National Library of Medicine has resources for understanding your emotions and managing anger. The Center for Integrative Healthcare also has practical exercises and coping techniques you can use to remain calm and collected during emotional moments. By taking advantage of therapy and other resources, you can improve your emotional, mental, and physical health.
Anger management therapy is a valuable tool for dealing with regular instances of intense anger or frustration. This type of therapy is designed to help you recognize your feelings and find constructive, safe ways to express them. While anger is a perfectly natural emotion, when it begins to affect your health or the health of others around you, then it is time to get help. At Everlast Recovery Centers, we know how difficult recovery can be when you do not have the right tools to cope with certain situations and emotions, particularly anger. There are things you can do to overcome your anger issues. Some resources and people want to help you regain control. You can learn life skills and ways to redirect strong emotions so that they become productive instead of destructive. For more information about what Everlast Recovery Centers has to offer, call us today at (866) 338-6925.