Anger is a very normal emotion. Yet as children we can often be given the message that anger is not acceptable. We may have been made to feel bad for expressing our anger. That message would have come from teachers, parents, family and society. You may have been punished or rejected so you may have learnt to suppress anger. That would then cause resentment and the consequences of that would be that you internalise the anger. This can lead to self-loathing, self-harming, social isolation, denying yourself of your basic needs such as eating.
However, some people feel anger on a different level which means it can be difficult to control. Their behaviour may become destructive and cause them to lose control which in turn can affect relationships, physical health and mental health. This may be shouting, swearing, slamming doors, throwing things, being verbally abusive or physically violent.
You may even express your anger through passive aggressiveness such as refusing to speak to people, being sarcastic, sulking and not giving your full effort to things.
There are some days where you feel more vulnerable than others and even the smallest of things can make us angry. These can be common situations such as being unfairly treated and feeling as though you can’t do anything about it, feeling attacked or threatened, or being interrupted when working towards a goal.
There will be times when you will feel resentful of others but it is important to remember that everyone is different and we all have different beliefs. Letting go of grudges will reduce your anger.
Anger can also be linked with grief and bereavement. If you have lost someone close to you it can be very hard and anger is often part of the journey.
If you need to express your feelings make sure you do so after the initial rage has passed. You need to be assertive without being aggressive and this will only be possible when your mind is clear and you have control over your emotions.
Anger can be helpful depending on how it is expressed. It can empower us and help us to take action. It can motivate us. It can give us a voice to express unfairness and injustice. Constructive anger is expressed in a non-harming way and can lead us to a resolution of an issue. Dysfunctional anger is when it feels out of proportion to the event and is harmful to yourself and/or others.
Recurring or intense feelings of anger can be very stressful. You may be unable to control it and it can put you at risk of depression, anxiety, sleep problems, eating problems and affect your self-esteem.
Anger management can be an option for dealing with these actions that are affecting your life. Seeking support can be the first step. Therapy can help you understand what may be causing your anger and once you understand them you can start to deal with them in a different way.
A professional can help you to unlearn your negative coping methods and adopt new and useful behaviours. You will learn how to identify key frustration points early and understand how to move them into motivators and strengths so that you can remain in control.