Anger is an emotion we experience when we are displeased or frustrated. It is usually a secondary emotion meaning that there is another emotion that precedes it such as emotional or physical pain, or even fear. Feelings of anger can be very intense and often occur so fast that people are unaware of the primary emotion, and unaware of the corresponding thoughts. It is very difficult to express our anger assertively if we are unable to identify the real issue.
Knowing & understanding your anger can be very helpful & healthy. Our anger can serve as a guide to inform us that something is wrong/ unfair. In some cases it is an indicator that we need to change something. It can also help motivate us to speak up or tackle a problem. The key is to express it assertively rather than letting it build up inside and/ or exploding in an aggressive outburst.
For a quick look at whether anger may be a problem for you or someone you know, please see the questions below.
Do you get angry often, even over small things?
Do you tend to overreact when you are angry?
Are you verbally or physically aggressive?
Do you feel anger building up inside?
Are you holding grudges?
Is your anger causing problems:
To your health
Is your anger:
Defining you/ building a reputation
Interfering with constructive problem solving
Interfering with sleep
Does your anger lead to aggressive or self-destructive behaviour?
There are some excellent strategies to help people manage their anger more effectively including: cognitive therapy (identifying and challenging underlying thoughts & beliefs), assertiveness skills training, problem solving, and relaxation techniques. There will always be challenges in life, including potential anger-provoking experiences. Strong anger management skills can help you navigate your way through some very difficult situations and stay focused on what you really want and need.
For more information or to book a counselling session, contact Heather Sutherland.