Anger Management - Tips and Live Therapy Support


Anger - Is it a problem?

When a person has freedom to express emotions like happiness, sad, fright, etc. it is not logically fair to ask him/her not to express anger alone. However, anger is counted as a negative emotion or a challenging behavior which prompts us to request the person to calm down, control himself/herself, or to 'behave'. When a person fails to 'behave', the next popular term echoed is 'anger management!'

Anger Management Support - High expressed emotions

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An Emotion to be Expressed or to be Treated?
You can express anger to show how you feel, how you are disappointed, what is the level of your frustration, and so on. If expressed in a healthy way, anger becomes yet another tool of communication. However, it becomes a problem when it turns to be an attack in the forms of blame, cursing, swearing, and physical assault. In some cases it becomes a big problem when the expression of anger is thwarted.
"When I get into a temper don't try and shut me up or send me up to my room. Just let me have my say, get it off my chest, and then its done with. Its when you won't let me get it out, that's when it really bugs me and I feel I've got to get back at you."
Anger and Young People
Cognitive theory explains that every feeling is associated with a piece of thinking. Our behaviour is the empirical manifestation of our belief system and the way we think. 'I feel angry because I think .........' might give an explanation of what my belief or what piece of thinking causes anger at this point of time. Cognitive theory of anger consists of a constellation of core beliefs, automatic interpretations, and feelings that comprise the manifestation of anger experiences.
Challenging behaviour or 'anger disorders' could emanate from psychological, physiological, hereditary and social reasons. Among the psycho-social reasons, history of abuse, trauma, domestic violence, etc. are predominant. Victims of trauma would develop negative psychological scripts (thoughts) within their mind that prompt them to look at the external world from a totally negative dimension, which might lead to negative or antisocial behaviour. Such Maladaptive behaviour could be identified on the basis of frequency, intensity, duration, mode of expression, effect on performance, and effect on interpersonal relationships. Needless to say that such behaviour should be identified and appropriate early intervention be extended.
Guilt - the associated feeling
Very often anger is followed by another negative feeling of guilt, especially when the person believes that anger is a totally unacceptable behaviour. Feeling of guilt would put the person down, causing withdrawal, and losing self-confidence. 
Unexpressed anger is unhelpful in two ways:
  • It will not communicate your real feeling to another person. By hiding your frustration/dissatisfaction, you are blocking the real message to others which will lead to further confusion, conflict, or frustration.
  • By hiding your anger you are creating or piling up repressed feelings which might warrant counselling/therapy sessions.
Anger Management
Mental health professionals recommend different short-term methods to deal with anger like:
  • Counting
  • Breathing and Relaxing
  • Physical exercise
  • Switching attention
  • Going out for shopping or meeting with friends
  • Cognitive restructuring
  • Pressing the 'Pause' button to avoid conflicts
  • Guided imagery methods
Though these short-term methods are effective, they do not give lasting results in most cases. Hence the best advice to deal with this issue is to take anger management counseling or psychotherapy. Visit this page if you want to discuss this in detail with a counselor.
© 2011 Dr. MG Lazarus