Understanding Anger and How to Manage It

Understanding Anger

It is normal for everyone to be angry at times. But if a person feels angry most of the time, or their temper flares up quickly and often, then anger could be a problem.

Anger is a normal emotion that tells you something is wrong. It might show that someone or something has interfered with your goals, or wronged you in some way. Anger can make you feel like defending yourself, attacking, or getting revenge.

Everyone feels angry sometimes.

How you experience and express your anger may be influenced by many factors, like gender, culture, or religion. Anger is not a bad feeling. It’s completely normal to feel angry when you feel threatened, but sometimes anger overwhelms you. As a result, you may do or say things that hurt others.

Anger can lead to positive change if you express it in a constructive way.

Anger can motivate you to make positive changes in your life. It can push you to solve problems. It can help you stand up for yourself and others. For example, people who feel angry about social injustice may speak out and bring about positive change to the system.

Some people who experience frequent and intense anger may avoid expressing their anger. Others may express their anger in unhelpful ways, like yelling or making hurtful comments. When you have a problem with anger, you may judge other people unfairly. You may unfairly blame others for bad events or assume that other people have wronged you on purpose. All of these reactions can lead to problems within relationships.

Anger can also lead to problems with your health. Anger can have significant effects on your body. It can lead to muscle tension, increased heart rate, and other uncomfortable or unhealthy body responses. People who don’t manage their anger well are more likely to get sick because their bodies aren’t able to fight illness or disease. Poorly managed anger can even lead to heart problems.

The goal of learning to manage anger is to minimize the negative consequences of this powerful emotion and maximize the positive ones.

How Do I Know if my Anger is a Problem?

Anger becomes a problem if it is:

1. Too frequent

Anger may be appropriate, and it may help motivate you. However, if you are coping with lots of anger on a daily basis, it may be reducing the quality of your life, your relationships and your health. Even if your anger is justified, you may feel better if you pick your most important battles and let go of the rest.

2. Too intense

Very intense anger is rarely a good thing. Anger triggers the “fight or flight” response, which causes all kinds of physiological reactions—your heart pumps faster, your breathing increases, and others. When you become very angry, you are also much more likely to act impulsively and do or say something that you regret later.

3. Lasts too long

Angry feelings that last for a long time are hard on your mood and on your body.

4. Leads to aggression

You’re more likely to become aggressive when your anger is very intense. Lashing out at others either verbally or physically is not an effective way to deal with conflict. When anger leads to aggression, no one benefits.

5. Disrupts work or relationships

Intense and frequent anger can lead to problems in your relationships with co-workers, family members and friends. At its worst, anger can lead to the loss of employment and damage or destroy important relationships.

Managing Anger

Both fear and anger are powerful motivators that can trigger the body’s “fight or flight” response. Heart rate and breathing may speed up, the face may flush, the jaw and fists might clench, and the voice may get louder. This is the body preparing to act.

The big question is: What kind of action will follow? It’s important to remember that anger, though powerful, is just a feeling. It’s what we do with it that counts.

There are healthy and unhealthy ways to deal with anger. Ignoring angry feelings won’t help anything and can lead to feelings of bitterness, resentment, or even hatred. In the end, pent-up or hidden anger can be harmful to the self and others.

On the other hand, acting out in anger doesn’t solve problems. If anything, it creates them. At the least, it can be embarrassing, and at the worst, it can create a dangerous situation.  Uncontrolled anger can lead to violence.

Following are some ideas for young people to consider in managing their anger:

  • When angry feelings arise, it’s time to stop and think about it. Where did the anger come from? Figuring out the reasons for the anger is the first step in resolving the situation.
  • Consider talking to someone you trust about how you’re feeling. Talking itself can help to calm intense feelings, and can help others understand your position. Also, hearing yourself talk out loud can help you figure things out more easily than when thoughts and feelings are held inside.
  • If it turns out that the anger is actually about hiding other feelings like fear or anxiety, you can get help and feel much better. But the first step is allowing yourself to honestly identify your feelings and let someone else know.

In order to control and redirect our anger into positive solutions, we need to be in tune with our thoughts and feelings – basically, with what’s happening on the inside. Self-awareness goes hand in hand with self-control.

Dealing with anger isn’t easy. Controlling anger takes practice. It’s a life skill that everybody needs to learn and it’s an ongoing process- because there’ll always be something to get angry about!

Reducing Stress and Limiting Anger

It may not be possible to get rid of angry feelings altogether but it’s important to learn to control anger and not let anger control you. Activities that can reduce stress can also help to prevent angry feelings from taking hold, and can help in managing anger when needed.

  • Get active. Go for a walk, or a run. Exercise has positive effects on the body and the mind.
  • Get enough sleep. Eat right. Being rested and at ease in your body can help keep you calm.
  • Get expressive. Don’t bottle up your feelings. Pull them out and have a look.
  • Get calm. Try deep breathing. Regular practice is the key.
  • Lose yourself. In music, a book, or a movie. Enjoy a distraction outside of yourself.
  • Talk to someone you trust. Sharing feelings helps you to figure out what’s happening.

No matter what it is that makes us angry, the most important thing is how we handle it. Anger is a feeling. It’s what we do with it that counts.

Treatment and Support

Anger management programs provide education and/or a therapeutic opportunity to deal with anger in a positive, functional way. resolution styles.

Here, at Family Service Regina Anger Management Participants are provided with basic techniques to diffuse, constructively cope with and manage their behavior and anger more effectively.

In order to register for the group contact Reception 306-757-6675