Anger Management

What is Anger Management?

Anger management is a form of counselling to help you cope with angry feelings that affect your health, work, behaviour or personal relationships. Anger is a natural feeling that affects everyone.

Things that can make you feel angry include:

  • Losing someone you love
  • Sexual frustration
  • Being tired, hungry or in pain
  • Coming off certain medicines or drugs
  • Pre menstrual syndrome
  • Being insulted
  • Feeling under threat
  • Feeling that you’re being ignored or not taken seriously
  • Being under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Something in the present reminding you of unpleasant memories

Mild anger can be expressed as annoyance or irritation. However, some people become angry frequently and inappropriately and may be unable to control their actions once they become angry.

Once anger gets out of control like this, it can cause problems with relationships, work and even the law. Uncontrolled anger can lead to arguments and physical fights. It can cloud your thinking and judgement and may lead to actions that are unreasonable or irrational.

Physical Signs of Anger

Everyone has a physical response to anger. Your body releases stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline, which increase your heart rate, blood pressure, temperature and breathing.

This allows you to focus on the threat and react quickly. However, it can also mean that you don’t think clearly and may react in ways you might regret later. When your body has to cope with large amounts of stress hormones due to angry outbursts, you may become unwell.

How Anger Can Affect Your Health

Intense and uncontrolled anger is linked to health conditions such as:

  • High blood pressure
  • Headaches
  • Back pain
  • Insomnia
  • Skin conditions such as eczema
  • Digestive disorders like irritable bowel syndrome
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke

If anger is hidden or buried it can lead to:

  • Eating disorders
  • Self harm
  • Misuse of drugs or alcohol
  • Low self esteem

Helping Yourself

Dealing with anger in a healthy way includes:

  • Recognising when you get angry
  • Taking time to cool down
  • Reducing your stress levels

You can also look at what makes you angry and how you deal with those feelings. Read more on self help tips for anger management.

Anger Management

For some people, self help techniques won’t be enough and they’ll need to attend an anger management course to learn how to manage their anger.

Anger management usually involves a combination of one to one sessions with a counsellor or therapist and group work with other people with anger management issues. If you think you need anger management, contact your doctor. The alternative is to pay for a course or counsellor privately.

Getting Help

If you can’t deal with your anger issues yourself, speak to a doctor. They may be able to refer you to another service for support. Certain types of counselling or talking therapies can help you explore the causes of your anger so you can understand and work through them.

Counselling involves talking with someone who can help you find your own solutions to your problems and gain a greater understanding of your feelings and actions. For example, feelings of anger may be related to unresolved issues you may have with your parents, childhood, partner or your current place in the world. Counselling is usually provided over several weeks or months.

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