Emotions are a wonderful element of human existence. The thunderous experience of anger can bring forth fear and uncertainty when experienced personally or witnessed at the hands of others. Out of all emotions, anger often gets the bad rap. When the emotional roots of anger are expressed by way of yelling, arguing insulting, manipulation or even physical altercations destruction of property and injuries to others not only challenge relationships but also can destroy the psyche leaving everlasting wounds and broken pieces that are never healed. Like anything in excess, uncontrollable anger is unhealthy, however it is treatable through anger management counseling.
What is Anger Management?
When we see the emotional or physical aspects of anger we are witnessing just the surface level. What we understand about anger is that it is fueled by hurt. I once had a professor describe this notion using a matchstick metaphor. The friction is the trigger that we “rub up” and in turn strikes the match, to begin with; the flame produced is anger we see and experience. Interestingly what keeps fueling the anger is the hurt often burned deeper below the surface. See Below.
We all have an ability to stop anger before it completely goes out of control; but we must first start to recognize what is happening in both our bodies and our thoughts. Everyone begins with a normal arousal state but as we are triggered the anger increases in its intensity. If we caught early we have the ability to take control and reduce it. Through using some coping skills we can reduce our internal state. However, if we don’t take control in that crucial time, it’s over. As our body and brain take over, we lose complete control. Brain scans provide further evidence, that when anger appears it shuts down the frontal cortex of our brain, the function that in charge of decision making; picking up social cues, etc.
Here’s a quick list of tools to help with you with anger management in the moment:
- Take 5 deep slow breathes
- Write down what is making you angry and rip it up
- Breathe in “Calm;” Breathe out “Anger”
- Make 10 circle drawing each on slower then the last one
- Stand up and stretch your body
- Shake out your hands and feet until they are really loose
- Massage your neck and shoulders
- Talk to someone about how you are feeling…spend only 5 minutes to “vent”
- Journal your feelings
- Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR) Hold for 10 seconds each.
To go deeper and understand the “hurt” we encourage seeking professional help through anger management counseling. Please contact us at 303.843.6000 for a free initial phone consult.