What is anger?
Anger is a normal, healthy emotion. But managing anger can be a problem for many people who find it difficult to keep their anger under control.
Health issues linked to unresolved anger include high blood pressure, heart attack, depression, anxiety, colds, flu and problems with digestion.
But anger doesn’t have to be a problem. “You can control your anger with the correct intervention and support.” says forensic psychologist, Katherine Goodsell, a specialist in anger management. “It can be challenging to master, but once controlled you feel more confident in yourself and can make those around you more comfortable.”
You become frustrated over things that ordinarily may not bother you. Your heart beats faster and you breathe more quickly. You might also notice other signs, such as tension in your shoulders or clenching your fists. "If you start feeling this way you should remove yourself from the situation immediately,” says Katherine.
Immediate self intervention
Take responsibility - you and only you are responsible for your actions
Walk away into another room, the bathroom, outside into fresh air
Count to ten - sounds silly but it does work
Breath Slowly - focus on each breath
Concentrate on a positive emotion or experience - something that makes you happy
Imagine you are giving advice to someone in the exact same situation - what would you be telling them?
Medium term intervention
Regular daily exercise can help bring down stress levels and re focus your mind on more positive thoughts.
Take care of your body and mind
- Ensure you are getting regular sleep
- Avoid excessive amounts of alcohol as this can lower inhibitions which help support our decision making in situations where anger presents itself.
- Try proven relaxation techniques such as yoga, running, swimming or other light exercise
- Avoid taking drugs as this can also lower your inhibitions.
- Put your feelings on paper and read them back to yourself - what can you learn about yourself?
- Try painting or writing music - both have been proven to help reduce feelings of anger
- Try a new hobby - dancing, climbing, walking
Talk about how you feel
- A friend or family member can sometimes give good advice and offer close support
- Join our google+ group and discuss openly how you are feeling and get advice and support from others in the exact same situation. Our Principal Psychologist, Katherine Goodsell and Principal Counsellor, Sarah Atkinson-Clark are online to offer advice.
Look at the way you think
“Try to imagine you are looking at yourself from outside your body,” says Katherine. “Listen to how you are communicating, for example how you speak. Thoughts and words such as ‘It’s not fair,’ or ‘People like that shouldn’t be on the roads,’ can make anger worse.”
Thinking like this will keep you focused on whatever it is that’s making you angry. Let these thoughts go and it will be easier to calm down.
Try to avoid using phrases that include:
Always (for example, "You always do that.")
Never ("You never listen to me.")
Should or shouldn't ("You should do what I want," or "You shouldn't be on the roads.")
Must or mustn't ("I must be on time," or "I mustn't be late.")
Ought or oughtn't ("People ought to get out of my way.")
Getting help with anger
We have trained and experienced staff to offer effective interventions and support to help you manage your anger more effectively. We can provide one to one counselling sessions using CBT to help create change with your processing and management of anger.
Consultations with our Principal Psychologist can provide you with a tailored and personal anger management programme for us to work with you through.
For more information call us on 01908 766543 or email us at email@example.com