Do you have trouble controlling your anger? Do you need anger management support? Here is some useful information you will find helpful.
What is Anger & Anger Management?
Anger is a natural, though sometimes unwanted or irrational, emotion that everybody experiences from time to time. Anger experts describe the emotion as a primary, natural emotion which has evolved as a way of surviving and protecting yourself from what is considered a wrong-doing.
Mild anger may be brought on by feeling tired, stressed or irritated, in fact we are more likely to feel irritated if our basic human needs (food, shelter, sex, sleep, etc.) are not met or are jeopardised in some way. We may become angry when reacting to frustration, criticism or a threat and this is not necessarily a bad or inappropriate reaction.
We can also feel irritated by other people’s beliefs, opinions and actions and hence anger can affect our ability to communicate effectively – making us more likely to say or do unreasonable or irrational things. Being unreasonable or irrational can lead others around us to feel threatened, resentful or angry themselves and, again, these can all be barriers to effective communication
Anger can also be a ‘secondary emotion’ to feeling sad, frightened, threatened or lonely. It is useful to try to understand why you (or somebody else) is feeling angry at any given time so that the root causes can be addressed and problems solved.
Anger, however, is not just a state-of-mind. Anger can trigger physical changes including an increased heart rate, blood pressure and levels of hormones such as adrenaline preparing us physically for ‘fight or flight’. Due to these physical effects long-term anger can be detrimental to health and wellbeing.
Anger can be expressed in many ways; different types of anger affect people differently and can manifest to produce different actions and signs of anger. The most common signs of anger are both verbal and non-verbal.
It can be clear that somebody is angry from what they say or how they say it, or from their tone of voice. Anger can also be expressed through body language and other non-verbal cues: trying to look physically bigger (and therefore more intimidating), staring, frowning and clenching of fists. Some people are very good at internalising their anger and it may be difficult to notice any physical signs. It is, however, unusual for an actual physical attack to transpire without ‘warning’ signs appearing first.
What Makes People Angry?
At a basic instinctual level anger may be used as a way to help protect territory or family members, secure or protect mating privileges, protect against loss of food or other possessions, or as a response to other perceived threats.
Other reasons can be very diverse – sometimes rational and sometimes irrational. Irrational anger may mean that you have a problem with managing anger or even accepting that you are angry.
Some common triggers to anger include:
- Grief and/or sadness, loss of a family member, friend or loved one.
- Rudeness, poor interpersonal skills and/or poor service.
- Tiredness, since people may have shorter tempers and be more irritable when tired.
- Injustice: for example, infidelity, being bullied, humiliated or embarrassed, or being told that you, or a loved one, has a serious illness.
- Sexual frustration.
- Money problems and the stress associated with debt.
- Some forms of stress, unrealistic deadlines and things beyond our immediate control such as being stuck in traffic.
- A feeling of failure or disappointment.
- Becoming angry as a result of taking drugs or alcohol, or when withdrawing from such substances.
- Having a crime committed against you or a loved one: theft, violence, sexual offences but also more minor things such as a feeling of being treated inappropriately.
- Being either physical or mentally unwell, being in pain or living with a serious illness can lead to feeling angry.
When we are angry, our bodies release the hormones adrenaline and cortisol, the same hormones released when we encounter stress.
As a result of these releases in hormones our blood pressure, pulse, body temperature and breathing rate may increase, sometimes to potentially dangerous levels. This natural chemical reaction is designed to give us an instant boost of energy and power and is often referred to as the ‘fight or flight’ reaction. This means that the body and mind prepare for a fight or for running away from danger.
However, people who get angry often cannot manage their anger effectively and can become ill, just as stress that is left unresolved may make you ill. Our bodies are not designed to withstand high levels of adrenaline and cortisol over long periods or on a very regular basis.
Some of the health problems that may occur as a result of being angry regularly or for long periods of time can include:
- Aches and pains, usually in the back and head.
- High blood pressure, which can, in severe cases, lead to serious complaints such as stroke or cardiac arrest.
- Sleep problems.
- Problems with digestion.
- Skin disorders.
- Reduced threshold for pain.
- Impaired immune system.
Anger can also lead to psychological problems such as:
It should be clear, therefore, that, anger can be detrimental to health. If anger is (or becomes) a problem should be managed.
Anger management is a term used to describe the skills you need to recognise that you, or someone else, is becoming angry and take appropriate action to deal with the situation in a positive way.
Anger management does not mean internalising or suppressing anger. Anger is a perfectly normal human emotion and, when dealt with appropriately, can even be considered a healthy emotion. We all feel angry from time to time, yet this feeling can lead us to say or do things that we later regret. Anger can reduce our inhibitions and make us act inappropriately.
Anger management concerns recognising the triggers for anger as early as possible and expressing these feelings and frustrations in a cool, calm and collected way.
We often have learnt-behaviours as to how to deal with strong emotions, so anger management is about unlearning ineffective coping mechanisms and re-learning more positive ways to deal with the problems and frustrations associated with anger.
There are many anger management techniques that you can learn and practise by yourself or teach to others. However, if you, or someone you know, experiences a lot of regular anger or very strong anger (rage) then seeking help, usually in the form of a counsellor, can be more effective.
You should seek professional help if anger is having a long-term negative impact on your relationships, is making you unhappy, or is resulting in any dangerous or violent behaviour.
If you answer yes to any of these questions, then you may need professional help to manage your anger;
- Your behaviour has led to any sort of criminal or civil wrongdoing.
- You are violent towards your partner, children or other people.
- You threaten violence to people or property.
- You have outbursts of rage which involve deliberately breaking things.
- You have constant arguments with people close to you, your spouse/partner, parents, children, colleagues or friends.
- You feel angry frequently but internalise the emotion.
- You think that you may need professional help with your anger.
Who Does It Effect?
We will all be effected by anger at some stage in our life. We will get angry ourselves, see others get angry also whether it be a family member, friend or a complete stranger. Anger affects us regardless of age, gender, religion or ethnic background. However, we may not all feel the same levels of anger, some may be effected slightly where as other can feel anger at a great level. This may be due to health problems such as ADHD or could be some emotional pain they have felt and anger is how they think they should deal with it i.e. a family bereavement. If you are getting uncontrollably angry you may need anger management to help you control you anger. Anger is perfectly normal to a degree but can also be taken to an extreme.
- Almost a third of people polled (32%) say they have a close friend or family member who has trouble controlling their anger.
- More than one in ten (12%) say that they have trouble controlling their own anger.
- More than one in four people (28%) say that they worry about how angry they sometimes feel.
- One in five of people (20%) say that they have ended a relationship or friendship with someone because of how they behaved when they were angry.
- 64% either strongly agree or agree that people in general are getting angrier.
- Fewer than one in seven (13%) of those people who say they have trouble controlling their anger have sought help for their anger problems.
- 58% of people wouldn’t know where to seek help if they needed help with an anger problem.
- 84% strongly agree or agree that people should be encouraged to seek help if they have problems with anger.
- 45% of us regularly lose our temper at work
- 64% of Britons working in an office have had office rage.
- 38% of men are unhappy at work.
- 27% of nurses have been attacked at work.
- Up to 60% of all absences from work are caused by stress.
- 33% of Britons are not on speaking terms with their neighbours.
- 1 in 20 of us has had a fight with the person living next door.
- UK airlines reported 1,486 significant or serious acts of air rage in a year,
a 59% increase over the previous year.
- The UK has the second-worst road rage in the world, after South Africa.
- More than 80% of drivers say they have been involved in road rage incidents;
25% have committed an act of road rage themselves.
- 71% of internet users admit to having suffered net rage.
- 50% of us have reacted to computer problems by hitting our PC, hurling parts of it around, screaming or abusing our colleagues.
Examples of People with Communication Issues
“Marissa’s Story” – pbskids.org
“Reggie’s Story” – CounsellingSydney.com
“My Story of Depression & Anger” – Anonymous
“Brandon’s Story” – Ann Adams
How Can it be Treated?
The AOC can help you if you have anger management issues. We are HCPC (Health & Care Professions Council) registered and also members of BACP (The British Association of Dramatherapists). We have a team of highly skilled, professional counsellors and associate therapists to help you through with the use of creative art therapies.
Creative art therapies involve using arts in a therapeutic environment with a trained therapist. You do not need to have any artistic skill or previous experience of dance, drama, music or visual art to find arts therapies helpful. The aim isn’t to produce a great work of art, but to use what you create to understand yourself better. In arts therapy, your therapist helps you to create something — such as a piece of music, a drawing, a play or a dance routine — as a way of expressing your feelings, often without using words.
Creative art therapies can be offered in group sessions, one-to-one or with family therapy depending on your own preference. We will match you to our best suited therapist/counsellor to help you with any of your issues. All our counselling is strictly confidential and nothing said in the therapy space will leave the room.
There are many different modalities in which creative arts can be offered to you ranging from the following;
Offers profound reflection on who we are and the roles we play. These art forms are also centrally concerned with how people change people, for better or worse, and the sort of connections they make with each other, e.g. superficial, conflictual, brutal, deadened or deeply enriching. Drama and puppetry can also offer vital insights into ‘situation’: how past situations are still colouring those in the present. Working with puppets is ideal for circumventing a reluctance to speak about feelings.
Sculpture offers a person the power to speak through touch. Its power lies more in the emotional resonance of substance. Sculpture invites a sensual engagement with the world. Clay expresses qualities and forms of feeling, directly, plainly, free of the clutter of any associations of the everyday.
Literal words can misrepresent, underplay, hide rather than reveal and frequently offering only approximations to any recalled experience. In poetry as a multi-sensorial form, ‘amplifies the music of what happens’ (Seamus Heaney). ‘A poetic basis of mind’ (Hillman) can lead to a far more profound experience of life.
Clients choose from a whole world of miniature people, animals and buildings and arrange them in the controlled space of the ‘theatre of the sandbox’. This theatre then offers a profound overview of important life issues. Once feelings are organised and externalised in sandplay, they can be contemplated from a distance, and then assimilated.
The dynamic forms in music are recognisable as vital forms of felt life: the rises and falls, the surges and flooding’s, the tensions and intensities, the changes in tempo, the dissonances, harmonies and resolutions. We know these forms intimately in our emotional experiencing. Music can convey the full qualitative and energetic aspects of an important relationship, atmosphere crucial event, or ongoing situation.
Forms encapture the complex inter-relations between time, weight, space, flow. We know these forms intimately in our emotional experiencing, so much so that both movement and still pose can provoke all manner of resonance. It is also possible to work with what the body is already communicating symbolically, whether through posture, gesture and gait, or through illness and injury. Movement is integral to the very process of change.
If you would like to receive counselling from The AOC please fill out on of our online referral forms and send to firstname.lastname@example.org You will have a choice of 3 different types of referral forms;
- For individuals or couples
- Family referral form
- Group referral form
Please select the referral form most suited to you i.e. if you would like group therapy, fill out the group referral form.
Simply click the following link to find out more information and complete one of our referral forms:
We provide our clients with high-quality, evidence based expertise in the form of personal therapy and counselling. To help anyone suffering with any type of eating disorder.
Here is an example of a creative art therapy from The AOC in more detail;
Dramatherapy is a form of psychological therapy/psychotherapy in which all of the performance arts are utilised within the therapeutic relationship. Dramatherapy addresses a wide range of personal and emotional difficulties. Clients who are referred to a dramatherapist do not need to have previous experience or skill in acting, theatre or drama. Dramatherapists are trained to enable clients to find the most suitable medium for them to engage in group or individual therapy to address and resolve, or make troubling issues more bearable. Dramatherapists work in a wide variety of settings with people of all ages:
- in schools
- in mental health
- in general health and social care settings
- in prisons
- in hospices
- in the voluntary sector
- in private practice
Dramatherapists are both artists and clinicians and draw on their trainings in theatre, drama and therapy to create methods to engage clients in effecting psychological, emotional and social changes. The therapy gives equal validity to body and mind within the dramatic context; stories, myths, play-texts, puppetry, masks and improvisation are examples of the range of artistic interventions a dramatherapist may employ. These will enable the client to explore difficult and painful life experiences through a creative-expressive approach. Dramatherapists are trained in both psychological and arts-specific assessment and evaluation techniques. They are committed to generating practice-based evidence and deliver sound evidence-based practice.
The British Association of Dramatherapists (BADth)
We can also offer our clients integrative counselling;
Integrative therapy, or integrative counselling is a combined approach to psychotherapy that brings together different elements of specific therapies. Integrative therapists take the view that there is no single approach that can treat each client in all situations. Each person needs to be considered as a whole and counselling techniques must be tailored to their individual needs and personal circumstances.
Integrative counselling maintains the idea that there are many ways in which human psychology can be explored and understood – no one theory holds the answer. All theories are considered to have value, even if their foundational principles contradict each other – hence the need to integrate them.
The integrative approach also refers to the infusion of a person’s personality and needs – integrating the affective, behavioural, cognitive, and physiological systems within one person, as well as addressing social and spiritual aspects. Essentially, integrative counsellors are not only concerned with what works, but why it works – tailoring therapy to their clients and not the client to the therapy.
Top Health Tips
- Exercise & Keep Fit – This helps to blow off steam.
- Sleep well – Get plenty of sleep, it helps combat your anger. When asleep your body and mind are at rest.
- Don’t Hold Grudges – We all need to accept that everybody is different and that we cannot control the feelings, beliefs or behaviours of others.
- Breathe Slowly & Relax – Practise simple breathing exercises to help you relax and slow your heart rate to normal levels.
- Humour – It is easy to use inappropriate sarcasm when angry; resist the temptation to do this and instead work on introducing some good humour into potentially difficult conversations. If you can introduce some humour then resentment will be reduced and your mood lifted.
- Express Yourself – Wait until you have calmed down from your anger and then express yourself in a calm and collected way. You need to be assertive without being aggressive.
- Contact us – The AOC can help your overcome and put a stop to the sexual abuse you may be experiencing/experienced. Call or email us: 07568 568131 / email@example.com