I have been doing a great deal of work lately with people wanting to learn strategies to manage their anger. It’s important to note that anger in of itself is not a ‘negative’ emotion or something we need to be rid of. Anger, like the spectrum of human emotions, is a natural experience served to let us know something is bothering us or that we are feeling threatened in some way. It is often the way we express our anger, through our behaviour that causes problems in one’s life. Problems with expressing anger can lead to relationship difficulties, problems at work, health problems, and acts of aggression and violence.
Anger management strategies involve developing:
· An understanding of the purpose of anger and the physiology underpinning it
· The early recognition of emotional and physical signs of anger
· Awareness of triggers and factors that perpetuate our anger
· Relaxation strategies to calm the mind and body
· Different ways to calm ourselves via our inner self talk
· Assertive communication strategies, and
· Identification of other feelings anger is masking (e.g., sadness, fear, distrust).
These skills can be learned even when a pattern of angry behaviour has been established over a long time. The first step is to reach out and ask for help.
- Dr Sarah Egan.