Anger Management

Anger Management
Anybody can become angry - But to be angry..... at the right time and for the right purpose is not within everybody’s power.
- Aristotle

Anger is a natural reaction - it is normal to feel angry at times and we feel anger as a part of the stress response. Imagine if someone has just stolen from you - your wallet or your handbag, you may have missed your train and you feel angry at yourself, or you may be angry if it is raining on the day you have planned to do something outside. They are reactions to situations beyond our control. Anger can be triggered by not achieving a goal, invasion of privacy, defending ourselves or loved ones or to mask feelings such as shame, guilt or embarrassment.
Anger helps us to define values and boundaries and manage disputes.

Anger is part of the “Fight or Flight Stress Response” defined by Cannon (1920). Canon discovered that we have an intrinsic reaction when we feel at risk, threatened or stressed. Anger is The Fight Response - where we deem the need to fight our corner. As a response to this we have several bodily responses alerted by one of our five senses. We may hear see feel smell or taste something that alerts us and makes us angry. messages from our senses are relayed to the brain where adrenalin is released into our body, This raises our heart beat and pushes the blood around our bodies quicker to oxygenate our muscles which tense. Insulin releases glucose to energise the body (which is why angry stressed people are susceptible to diabetes) Eyes widen to ensure yo observe details in your environment.

So where does it go wrong?
Children are often told not to be angry and learn to squash down their feelings of anger and pretend everything is ok. Alternatively adults who have grown up in families where there was a lot of shouting or uncontrolled anger also suppress their anger as they do not want to lose control of their anger as they fear their own anger - lest it becomes out of control. It can be very frightening for a child witnessing adult anger and at times they resolve never to behave in the same way. As a result people try to contain their anger and smother it or suppress it so as not to be like their parents or caregivers. But the more they try to contain or suppress their anger the more likely they are to have outbursts of rage. Confirming they are just like their parent /parents/ caregivers. Containing anger is similar to a pressure cooker which gets hotter and hotter until the steam bursts out, for example - ‘road rage’ or losing control at petty situations, shouting at cold callers. These are often a result of suppressed anger whereby anger is directed at the wrong person at the wrong time which happens as a result of not addressing issues as they arise.
Suppressing anger can also result in behaviours such as passive aggressiveness, vengefulness, sarcasm, cheating, spite and violence. Passive aggression is masked anger when we avoid managing the issue that is upsetting - whilst avoiding direct conflict but using spiteful, sarcastic, vengeful or aggressive behaviours towards others instead. Revenge is a behaviour where we want to hurt the other person as much as they have hurt us. To justify our own behaviour - we consider our opinion as being right and want justice when we feel wronged.

Anger is often a reaction to a more painful feeling that gets masked by anger. Anger is a more powerful reaction to feeling unpleasant feelings. Anger can manifest itself when we are disappointed, scared, embarrassed, ashamed, rejected or feeling guilty.

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Anger management helps you to break down your aggressive behaviours and reflect on the consequences of past behaviours. This helps you to reevaluate your behaviour and assess whether the consequences of anger creates. Create a pros and cons list - how does it help you to be angry - what does it cost you? Anger can take from you the trust of others, people may fear you, it contributes to breakdowns in relationships. You may have lost of jobs/work, contracts or work colleagues, because you have not managed your anger.

Therapy helps you to understand your anger - to get to know how it works and what helps you to remain calm. Learn to address issues before they become out of control and become more assertive instead of being angry. Resilience training also helps to be able to bound back after incidents that make you angry instead of ruminating on the event and plotting revenge. Anger is human given - we all experience it - but at times we need help to manage it.

Good Reading - Beating Anger
The Eight point plan for Beating Rage by Mike Fisher