LIFE SKILLS REGARDING ANGER MANAGEMENT!
During the past 30 years when working with clients, I’ve noticed that one of the main issues blocking happy relationships is the inability to ‘handle anger’ in ways that will work for those around them! This inability to handle anger can impact into other parts of their lives as well – including the work place and the manner in which they deal with it is often passed on down through families and onto their children.
Chronic anger makes us more susceptible to heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol levels, a weakened immune system, insomnia and high blood pressure.
Many of us were brought up with the belief that ‘anger is bad’. It is actually a normal emotion and when used appropriately, can be an asset to us, as it is signalling that we could be getting into a situation that hasn’t worked for us. Again!
If we ‘stuff down’ anger – our bodies are affected on a physical level and in fact over a long period of this occurring, the anger can become ‘rage!’
And when we ‘keep anger inside’ it can develop into depression which is covered here as a separate topic.
When we ‘let it out’ inappropriately we could end up with a domestic violence order against us! I have worked with people in this position in the past and I’ve found that sadly, many of the techniques used by Anger Management groups to help these people, did not work. Back then anyway!
So when do we need to do something about our anger?
Firstly when it is affecting those around us! When we have a spouse and/or children who are too scared to speak up for fear that they will be yelled at or abused – it is time to do something about it.
What you can do, whilst you get some help to understand why you really are angry:
* Be aware of what actually triggers you – is it a thought or what you feel someone has ‘done?’
* And be aware of how anger ‘feels’ in your body? Do you have tightened muscles – especially the
shoulders or is your heart beating faster? Do you have headaches?
* Tense up your whole body to feel if you are tight and then ‘let go’ by relaxing your muscles.
* If in an unbeneficial situation, explain to your partner that you are going for a walk and you’ll talk about
what’s not working out when things are calmer!
* Realise it’s okay to ask for help.
What you can do if you are with someone who is angry:
* Build your boundaries and make it clear what is not okay.
* Make an agreement with the person that you’ll only discuss an issue when you are both calm.
* Withdraw from an unbeneficial situation, explaining first that you’ll talk later, when things have
* Take steps to ‘be strong’ and be able to communicate in a way so that the other person will listen and
* Get help to be able to do this if necessary.
* If you ever feel unsafe, remove yourself.
There can be many reasons why people have an issue with anger – much of it coming from their past with learnt behaviours and not being aware of why they really are angry.
P.S. I have found that people who have challenges regarding ‘feeling their emotions’ will often find that – once they commence working with me, the first one they are most aware of is ‘anger!’ Usually these people have been ‘shut down’ emotionally all their life – usually as a way of controlling things around them and trying to ‘stay safe.’