Anger is a normal emotion that everyone experiences. There is nothing unhealthy about anger, but if it isn’t managed properly, it can lead to big problems in psychological, physical and relational health. Anger management coaching can help you understand and manage your anger in a healthy way.
So what is anger, really? Let’s talk about it.
Anger, like all emotions, exists on a spectrum and can range between “mild irritation to intense fury and rage” according to anger specialist Charles Spielberger, PhD.
Why Do We Feel Anger?
We feel anger as a natural response to a perceived threat. A threat can be anything from a person or event to a circumstance or personal worry. Once you feel anger, it can be expressed in a number of ways, depending on the intensity and the habit you have formed for handling your anger.
We express anger in both conscious and unconscious ways. Anger is, at it’s core, a survival mechanism, so it takes intention and practice to learn how to control it in a healthy manner.There are three basic ways we tend to express your anger. The most natural, instinctual way is through aggression. But there are strict laws and social norms against aggressive behavior.
One method of control is known as suppression. Suppressing anger is can either work in your favor against you, depending on how you redirect it. If you redirect your anger and instead focus on something positive, you will feel that positive thought on a level intensity that you initially felt the anger. This, however, is a difficult practice to master, and can lead to redirecting your anger inward, toward yourself. This can be dangerous to your psyche.
While aggressive confrontation is more harmful than helpful, addressing a person or situation head on will keep you from acting out passive-aggressively down the road.
Easier said than done? We thought the same thing. But learning to calm yourself during an extreme session of anger will be extremely helpful in understanding your triggers. This requires not only controlling your external behavior, but also controlling your inner feelings. Anger begins with feeling threatened, so in order to calm down, you have to tell yourself that threat is no longer present, or that you are able to handle it without the use of anger.
A few tips on controlling your anger
- Take a breath, and think before you speak. While taking a breath sounds like a cliche, it’s because it helps. Give it a try.
- Express your anger: state your concerns assertively. Stand up for yourself, but avoid being overly confrontational.
- When we’re angry, our bodies experience similar adrenaline spikes as they do when stressed. Exercise helps bring your adrenaline back to a normal state.
- When we feel threatened, we tend to use “you” language to verbally attack who or what we’re angry at. Stick to “I” language to avoid wrongful accusations or heightening the matter at hand.
- Know when to ask for help. We all experience overpowering anger at times, but if you feel like anger has taken control over you, ask for help.