What Is Anger Management Therapy?
Do you ever feel like your anger is getting the best of you? Are you prone to sudden bursts of rage that leave you feeling drained and remorseful? Perhaps these sudden outbursts take you by surprise, or you sense them coming on, but feel helpless to prevent them? Luckily, a solution awaits you – anger management therapy.
What Is Anger Management?
Anger management is a process that helps people identify stressors. Stressors are factors that lead to feelings of anger, and by identifying them we can help ourselves stay calm and in control during stressful situations. The purpose of anger management, put simply, is to help a person decrease their anger. Anger leads to emotional and physical stress, and by appropriately reacting to circumstances that lead to these symptoms, we can effectively reduce or eliminate them. While it may be impossible to avoid stressors altogether, it is possible to control how we respond to these stressors.
What Leads to Anger?
Specific sources of anger vary from person to person, but they can generally be divided into two categories: internal events and external events.
Internal events are those we privately experience, such as perceived failures or injustices. External events are those we experience objectively, such as teasing or humiliation. When we are triggered by internal or external events, it may lead to internalized or externalized behaviors. Internalized behaviors include increased feelings of depression, while externalized behaviors include temper tantrums.
Oftentimes, anger leads to aggression. Aggression is not inherently problematic. It is a natural response that helps us deal with a threat. Say we are on a camping trip and a bear suddenly takes us by surprise. Our natural reaction would either be fear or aggression. Perhaps we would start shouting at the animal and/or wave our arms excitedly in a bid to scare him off. This form of aggression is natural, appropriate, and even life-preserving. If, however, we displayed the same aggressive tendencies when a co-worker affectionately joked about our new haircut, that would be entirely inappropriate. It is likely that this disproportionate reaction is due to some internal trauma or general feelings of insecurity. While lashing out and blaming another for an angry outburst may seem logical, it does not truly pinpoint the root of the anger. To do so, and to decrease angry outbursts, it is helpful to undergo anger management therapy with a professional.
How Anger Management Works
Anger management therapy allows a person to identify the sources of their anger, be they internal or external, and form constructive responses to stressors, rather than destructive ones. By identifying these emotional triggers, it is possible to become aware of emotional responses to various levels of arousal, and to learn how to use these indications as a means of controlling anger.
Anger management provides people with insight into how future events may trigger existing feelings of trauma. This form of therapy will also help people identify when they are resorting to anger as a defense mechanism, and why they are feeling defensive in the first place.
By managing anger in such a fashion, a person can reduce the emotional impact of anger, as well as the physical consequences anger has on our bodies, such as high blood pressure and heart problems. Furthermore, by greatly reducing their anger, a person can improve their relationships with others, such as partners and friends, and significantly improve their quality of life.
Successful anger management therapy will include impulse control, self-awareness, frustration management and offer remedies such as meditation and breathing techniques.
If you find that anger is ruining your quality of life, consider anger management therapy. It may be one of the best decisions you ever make.