What You Need to Know About Anger Management
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Anger is a powerful emotion that can damage your relationships and your mental health. When anger is a problem, anger management is a therapy technique that you can use to restore your mental and relationships. However, to get the best results from this therapy, you want to know what to expect going into it. It is also important to understand exactly what anger is so that you can see why it has the profound effects that it has.
What is Anger?
In a general sense, anger is an emotion that is not objectively bad or good. When you feel wronged or mistreated, anger is actually a healthy emotion. However, the unhealthy side of anger comes in when you use your anger in the wrong way so that it hurts you or others. If you feel that your anger is out of your control or you feel better when your anger hurts others, it is at a level where it is unhealthy. When this occurs, anger management can be helpful with aiding you in channeling your anger in a positive and constructive way so that it does not consume or negatively affect your life.
Importance of Anger Management
It is a common myth that venting when you feel angry is the best way to deal with it. However, this is not true and venting can actually have a very negative impact on your life by causing you to feel more aggressive. There are several ways that anger hurts you, including:
Four Steps of the Anger Management Process
There are four primary steps involved in the anger management process that you should be aware of. These gradually take you through the process so that you can face your anger and officially cope with it.
Step #1: The first step in the anger management process is learning about why you are angry. Those with chronic anger generally had this emotion triggered at some point and then it spirals out of control. Once you identify the root cause of your anger, you can confront it.
Step #2: The second step in the process is where you learn about your anger triggers and the warning signs that indicate that you are getting angry. Everyone's triggers are different and it is important that you know what these are so that you can use the right techniques to remove the power from your triggers. When a trigger occurs, you may experience the following anger warning signs:
While anger is a normal emotion and everyone experiences it from time to time, it is important that it does not consume you. When anger is a part of your daily life, it hurts you and those around you. Anger management is an effective method for alleviating anger so that you can take back control of your life and express your emotions in a healthier way.
- Rosemary Kitchen
American Psychological Association. (2015). Controlling Your Anger Before it Controls You. Retrieved on January 28, 2015 from http://www.apa.org/topics/anger/control.aspx
DiGiuseppe, R. (1995). Developing the therapeutic alliance with angry clients. In H. Kassinove (Ed.), Anger disorders: Definition, diagnosis, and treatment. Washington, DC: Taylor and Francis.
Lerner, J. S., & Keltner, D. (2001). Fear, anger, and risk. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 81, 146–159.