Anger is an emotion that everybody experiences at some point and is a complex one which can take some unpacking.
At Newcastle Psychologist & Counselling, our team of psychologists, counsellors and psychotherapists help a lot of people with anger issues and there are a number of different psychotherapies we can use to help.
Outside of sessions, there are a number of ways that you can deal with anger that are productive and proactive, rather than destructive, to help you manage your anger.
1. Recognise Your Feelings
Anger is a normal human emotion and so you are always going to feel angry at certain times.
It is important to recognise however that you can actually have more control over your emotions than you think, and like any change, this can start by learning to recognise your emotions whether by your thoughts, behaviours, or physical sensations.
For example, if you’re feeling frustrated, you might notice that your heart rate is starting to speed up or that your muscles are starting to tighten.
These can be early warning signs that you’re starting to feel angry, but it’s also a chance to intervene here by recognising what it is that is making you angry and why, and refocus your behaviour to dealing with the problem better rather than lashing out.
2. Express Your Anger
Many people think the solution to anger is suppressing it, but this can actually do more harm than good.
On one hand, becoming aggressive or destructive is not helpful but neither is pushing or fighting with your anger. Instead, find a healthy way to express your anger – whether that’s taking deep breaths, counting to ten in your head before reacting, or taking some time to think about your response.
Many people find it easier to manage their anger if they remove themselves from the situation and/or take a walk to calm themselves.
3. Get to The Bottom of the Anger
It is okay to feel angry at someone or something, but it is important to think about why this is.
When you feel angry ask yourself 3 questions:
- What made me angry in this situation?
- Was there an emotion I felt before I felt angry?
- Could I have done anything differently if I dealt with the situation again?
Answering these questions either during or following an angry outburst can help you to have better control over your anger.
4. Use a Strategy that Works for You
As you begin to recognise your emotions and find coping strategies that work for you (whether by yourself or with one of our anger management therapists), you can develop your own specific set of tools to help you manage anger.
Though it might be different for everyone, some strategies to try might include: getting active, journaling, taking a walk, or practising mindfulness to help you calm down when you start to feel angry.
Finding the best strategies might involve some trial and error or even adaptation and things that work for you might not work for others, which is why it can be helpful to work with a trained counsellor or psychologist.
Like anything, dealing with anger successfully takes practice and it can be helpful to visualise or imagine situations that make you angry and “practice” in your mind different ways that you could react to the situation, to keep your emotions in check.
Visualise is a helpful tool, and can help you develop a greater sense of confidence in managing your anger so that you can respond differently in real situations.
Contact us for Further Help
There are a variety of ways that our psychologists, counsellors and therapists can help with anger management. Contact us using the box below, or call us today on 07966 645198 for more information.
Dr Stuart Sadler
Chartered Clinical Psychologist
Newcastle Psychologist & Counselling