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"Anger doesn't solve anything. It builds nothing, but it can destroy everything."

-Lawrence Douglas Wilder

Manage your anger before it manages you

The overwhelming power of anger can leave you feeling as if you have no control over this unpredictable and potent emotion. With guidance, you can learn to control it. 


What is Anger?

Anger, according to Charles Spielberger, PhD, is a range of emotions from mild irritation to intense fury. It involves physiological changes like increased heart rate and blood pressure, as well as elevated levels of energy hormones. Anger can be triggered by external factors like people or events, or internal factors like personal problems or traumatic memories.

Expressing Anger

The natural response to anger is often aggression, which is a way to protect ourselves when we feel threatened. However, it is important to recognize that we can't act out on every irritation or annoyance. Society has set limits on how far our anger can take us, and it is crucial to abide by these laws and social norms.


When dealing with anger, people use expressing, suppressing, and calming approaches. Expressing anger assertively, rather than aggressively, is the healthiest way to handle it. This involves effectively communicating your needs without causing harm to others. Being assertive means respecting yourself and others.


Alternatively, anger can be suppressed and redirected. This occurs when you hold in your anger, focus on something positive, and try to convert it into more constructive behavior. However, it is important to be cautious with this approach, as suppressing anger without an outlet can lead to negative consequences like hypertension, high blood pressure, or depression.

Unexpressed anger can lead to issues like passive-aggressive behavior and a consistently cynical and hostile personality. People who constantly belittle others and criticize everything struggle to maintain successful relationships because they haven't learned how to express their anger constructively. Finding inner calm is crucial, which involves managing external actions and regulating internal reactions. It's important to lower your heart rate, soothe yourself, and let intense emotions subside. As Dr. Spielberger emphasizes, if these techniques don't work, someone or something will get hurt.

Managing Your Anger

The objective of anger management is to decrease both the emotional intensity and the physical response that anger triggers. It's not possible to eliminate or avoid the things or people that make you angry, nor can you change them. However, you can acquire the skills to control your reactions.

Do You Struggle with Anger?

There are psychological assessments that gauge the intensity of angry emotions, your susceptibility to anger, and how effectively you handle it. However, it's likely that if you have an issue with anger, you are already aware of it. If you find yourself behaving in ways that feel uncontrollable and frightening, seeking assistance to discover healthier ways of dealing with this emotion may be beneficial.

Why are some people more angry than others? 

Some individuals are more prone to anger than others, often referred to as "hotheaded." They may express their anger in different ways, such as chronic irritability or withdrawal. This heightened anger response can be caused by genetics, sociocultural influences, and family background. It is important to recognize and address these underlying causes to develop healthier coping mechanisms for managing anger.


Tactics for Managing and Reducing Anger Levels

Anger is a frequently experienced and even beneficial emotion. However, it is crucial to handle it in a constructive manner. Unrestrained anger can have negative effects on both your well-being and your connections with others.


Here are some general suggestions for effectively managing anger, although there are many more:

  • Think before you speak

  • Breathe

  • Confide in a friend who isn't attached to the situation

  • Identify triggers and recognize warning signs

  • Exercise

  • Take a timeout

  • Identify possible solutions

  • Forgiveness

  • Use humor to release tension 

  • Practice relaxation skills

  • Know when to seek help

Cognitive Restructuring

When it comes to dealing with anger, it is essential to recognize the importance of changing one's thought patterns. Instead of allowing oneself to be consumed by exaggerated thoughts, it is crucial to replace them with rational ones. This shift in thinking can significantly impact how one responds to anger-inducing situations.


One common mistake people make when dealing with anger is using words like "never" or "always" to describe a situation or a person's behavior. However, these words tend to inaccurately portray the reality of the situation and hinder problem-solving. By avoiding such absolutes, individuals can approach the situation with a more balanced and objective perspective.


Moreover, it is vital to remind oneself that anger alone will not solve anything. Instead of allowing anger to dictate one's actions, employing logic can help gain a more comprehensive and rational understanding of the situation. This logical approach allows individuals to assess the situation objectively and make more informed decisions.


Another helpful technique is transforming demands into desires. Often, anger arises from unmet expectations or disappointments. By reframing these demands as desires, individuals can avoid allowing disappointment to escalate into anger. This shift in mindset allows for a more flexible and adaptable approach to problem-solving, reducing the likelihood of anger taking control.

For more information about Cognitive Behavioral Therapy click here

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You Are Worth It. 

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