Anger is a normal human emotion. It is a part of the human survival strategy and is often a reaction to threats (whether real or perceived) or frustration. Anger is a strong human emotion that is rarely seen on its own. It is designed to protect you from a situation that you might perceive as fearful, where you may be vulnerable, likely to get hurt or something else.
Is anger bad for you?
What is designed to protect you, can get out of control when it is not understood and managed properly. It can have a detrimental impact on your relationships at home, at work and/or in your social life. There is an impact on the body as well – sweating, muscle tension, teeth grinding, etc. You can feel helpless when this powerful emotion takes hold of you.
Anger over a long period can also lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, cancer, stomach or digestion problems and/or a range of other problems.
If you feel that anger is affecting the quality of your life and relationship then it is time to seek help.
Why do I get angry?
Our interaction with the world around us is based on our interpretations. The interpretation is based on our emotional make-up, the kind of day we are having, our circumstances at the time, our past experiences, etc. We constantly judge situations. Is a situation safe or unsafe? Is it good or bad? To protect against danger, you will respond with fear. And to protect against vulnerability, you might respond with anger. Anger is generally the response to a situation and not the situation itself.
Because all of us are different and each situation is unique, it is hard to understand what exactly causes anger for you as an individual. The trigger may not be obvious and may be representative of a larger unacknowledged problem. It could be that you feel you are or have been misunderstood, treated unfairly, have suffered a loss, feel undervalued, are lacking in confidence, have been a victim of a crime or some other reason. Unacknowledged or trapped emotion relating to events in our life can lead to anger.
It is also possible that you may be reacting to the triggers but the root of it may be elsewhere. Unconscious reactions are, by their very nature, not in your awareness and therefore will elude you and your desire to manage them.
It is likely to be something that you will need to work on with someone objective to you.
Are there any self-help strategies?
Yes, there are things you can do. You can practice long and deep breathing, exercising and mindful living (opens a new window).
How I can help you with your anger management
Initially, we can work on some coping strategies. To ground the coping strategies, we might need to look beyond the triggers and look at some of the unconscious drivers of your pattern of behaviour. I will help you examine these and process them at a pace that suits you.