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Becoming more aware of your ANGER can create the change you seek!

Everyone has experienced anger at some point. (YES, therapists feel angry too!) Very often, however, we have a difficult time dealing with our anger. Lots of things can cause anger. If someone does not respond to a situation the way we want them to, we can get angry. If someone treats us unfairly, we can get angry. If we are stressed out, we are prone to let our anger get the best of us and act out in ways that are inappropriate. Sometimes we get angry at ourselves and turn that anger inward, causing harm to ourselves, or confirming negative beliefs about ourselves. We sometimes even take the anger we feel toward ourselves, out on our loved ones or those around us.

The good news is that with awareness comes change. Once we identify our anger triggers, we can be more mindful and learn new ways of dealing with our anger. We can learn self-calming techniques that will help put our anger into perspective and keep us from acting out in inappropriate ways. This is important because uncontrolled anger can have a negative effect on our physical, as well as mental health. According to researchers at Washington State University, those who lash out in anger are more prone to symptoms that lead to heart attacks. Repressing anger is also dangerous, and a study by Bruce Wright, MD, has shown it can triple your risk of a heart attack. Therefore, the answer is to find a productive means of expressing your anger.

8 Tips for Calming your Anger

Here are eight self-calming tips for you:

  1. Deep Breathing. By taking a few moments to relax and breathe deeply, you automatically calm your body down to a place where you can think more clearly rather than act out. Expand your diaphragm, rather than lifting your shoulders while you breathe. This helps to calm the body down.
  2. Go for a walk. Going for a brisk walk will help you work off negative energy and your body will release feel-good endorphins. Stimulating the body by moving your left and right sides will help to regulate your emotions and help you calm the mind.
  3. Splash cold water on your face. This jolt of reality can help bring you quickly back into the present moment and help you think more clearly about your next move.
  4. Use Humor. Try looking at the recipient of your anger in a funny light, such as wearing a big red nose or some silly article of clothing. This can help distract you from the anger or rage you feel.
  5. Try and identify your anger triggers. By doing this you can plan ahead on ways to deal with your anger when it occurs, or even avoid certain situations altogether. Anger may be the surface feeling but dig deeper and you may find sadness, grief, or loneliness.
  6. Count slowly from 1 to 10. Think of your favorite calming place. This can help your body calm down as well as your mind.
  7. Keep an anger journal. By writing down your feelings rather than immediately lashing out at someone, you are more likely to get rid of the worst part of your anger so that you can deal with the situation in a calmer manner.
  8. Identify if your anger is coming from a place of selfishness or ego. Sometimes it is important to re-evaluate where the anger is actually coming from (work-related stress, unhappy with relationships, past grievances, old wounds, and hurt feelings).

If you find that you are having trouble dealing with your anger, there is help available. A good therapist can help equip and guide you with ways to manage your anger and help you uncover some of the old wounds that keep residence in your mind. Our counselors are trained to listen to your feelings and work to understand your unique worldview. We honor your unique path in life and work to understand your struggle. Together, we will create a counseling plan that works for you! We believe there is hope and you can feel better. Give us a call and get started today!