Feeling angry is a normal part of life. Usually anger is a result of feeling frustrated, insulted, deceived or even under attack. For many, anger is a natural reaction that passes quickly. In some instances however, it can become a difficult emotion to control.
Failing to manage anger effectively can lead to mental and physical health problems. You may find your anger management issues are affecting your relationships, your work or even your self-esteem.
On this page we'll look at anger management in more detail and offer tips on how to deal with anger. We'll also explore treatment options such as hypnotherapy for anger.
When does anger become a problem?
Anger can be a useful emotion that triggers a physical reaction in the body. This reaction is called 'fight or flight' and it normally happens when we are stressed or threatened. Adrenaline is pumped around the body, making you feel tense and ready to 'fight' the threat, or flee.
The problem here is that fighting or running away isn't usually an appropriate option. This can make it difficult for us to express anger, and this is where some people develop a problem.
When you aren't able to express your anger, you may bottle it up. This can cause angry outbursts at inappropriate times. It may also make you feel more angry in general, leading you to react more aggressively in other situations.
Everyone's experience will differ, but the following types of anger issues are recognised as potentially damaging:
- Chronic anger - Ongoing, prolonged anger can affect the immune system and result in other mental health issues.
- Passive anger - When people express their anger in a passive way it often affects relationships.
- Overwhelmed anger - Caused when an individual feels there is simply too much to cope with.
- Self-inflicted anger - When anger is directed toward yourself due to guilt, it can be mentally damaging.
- Judgmental anger - Directed towards others, the feeling of anger usually comes with resentment.
- Volatile anger - Leading to violent outbursts, this form of anger can be troubling for loved ones.
If you don't learn how to deal with anger, it can lead to physical and mental health problems.
Physical effects of anger
Suffering from anger management issues in the long-term can affect your health. Research shows it can link to the following conditions:
- high blood pressure
- colds and flu
- heart disease
- stomach problems.
If you are worried about any physical symptoms, you should consider seeking advice from your doctor. They will be able to assess your symptoms and see if they could be linked to your anger management issues.
Emotional effects of anger
Not being able to express your anger can eventually lead to further mental health conditions, such as:
In some cases, anger management problems can be a symptom of another mental health concern. If you are experiencing any of these conditions a visit to your doctor is recommended.
Why am I so angry?
Everyone is different and will have their own anger triggers. It could be that you feel you are being treated unfairly, or you may simply be frustrated. For many people a sense of powerlessness can lead to frustration and anger.
To understand why you are angry, it can be helpful to look at your past experiences. Some people's backgrounds and upbringing can influence how they cope with anger. It may be that your parents were overly angry and violent when you were younger, so you were brought up to believe this behaviour is normal.
Alternatively you may have grown up seeing anger as a scary emotion. This can make you feel frightened or unable to express it. Whatever the circumstance may be, understanding the root of your anger is an important step in anger management.
Do I need help with anger management?
Recognising that you have a problem with anger management can be difficult. You may think being angry is just the way you are, or you may not recognise your symptoms as anger related.
If the following has happened, you may benefit from professional anger management help:
- Your behaviour has led you to break the law.
- You are violent towards your partner, family or other people.
- You deliberately break things or damage property.
- You regularly argue with those close to you.
- You feel angry constantly but feel unable to express yourself.
- You feel out of control when you are angry and are worried about what you might do.
In terms of getting help, there are various approaches you could try including dedicated programmes, talking therapies and anger management hypnotherapy.
Anger management courses often help groups of people at a time. The aim of these courses is to offer alternative ways of dealing with anger. They often teach self-help techniques and relaxation exercises.
Talking therapies like counselling and cognitive behavioural therapy normally take place one on one. These approaches will try to help you understand the cause of your anger. The ultimate goal is to help you change your behaviour.
Hypnotherapy is an increasingly popular therapy option for those looking to change their behaviour. Anger management hypnotherapy in particular can help establish the underlying source of anger before changing unhelpful thought patterns.
Hypnotherapy for anger
Hypnotherapy can help those with anger management problems in several ways. The initial aim of the hypnotherapist will be to understand the root cause of your anger.
As previously mentioned, anger management problems often stem from past experiences. These experiences can shape your behaviour and belief system. So while you may think another person or situation is causing your anger, it may well come from yourself. Once this is understood, your hypnotherapist can begin work changing this.
To do so, your hypnotherapist will work on a conscious and unconscious level to help change your negative thought processes. Doing this may involve relaxation techniques and suggestions from your hypnotherapist to help control your anger.
The hope is that this will change your reaction to anger triggers. Instead of feeling overwhelmed and angry, you should feel calmer and more relaxed. Feeling calmer in stressful situations helps you to think more clearly so you can react in a more appropriate way.
Anger management hypnotherapy can also help with some of the symptoms of anger. For example, if you are suffering from anxiety, stress or depression hypnotherapy can be helpful.
The number of anger management hypnotherapy sessions you'll need will depend on your individual circumstances. It is likely that your hypnotherapist will teach you some self-hypnosis techniques and relaxation tips. You can use these at home when you feel angry or stressed to help you control your anger in the long-term.
How to deal with anger - self-help tips
If you have decided to seek professional help for your anger management problem, there are several things you can do in tandem to help regain control. The following tips can help you control your anger and express it in a healthy way.
Get to know your triggers
Understanding what situations make you feel angry is key. By recognising when you are likely to feel angry, you can be prepared. To do this, start taking notes when you feel angry. Try to note the following:
- What was the situation?
- Was there another person involved?
- What did they say/do to make you feel angry?
- How did you feel at the time?
- How did you behave?
- How did you feel after the incident?
After a while you should start to notice some patterns emerging. Perhaps you get angry when you feel belittled, or maybe you feel angrier after the situation because you couldn't express yourself at the time. Talk through your notes with your hypnotherapists as this can help them work with you to understand the underlying reason behind your anger.
Just recognising these patterns can be an enormous help.
Give yourself some time
A simple way to help you manage your anger when a trigger situation arises is to give yourself some time before you react. This allows you to really think about how you react, rather than reacting instinctively. Try the following suggestions to see if they help:
- Take some deep breaths - Breathing out for longer than you breathe in can help to calm you.
- Count to 10 - A simple act that can give you enough time to calm yourself before you react.
- Do something else - Instead of reacting, try to distract yourself by doing something else. If you can, try to channel that energy into something creative.
- Listen to calming music/sounds - Create a calming playlist and listen to it when you start to feel angry.
Try a few different distraction techniques and see what works best for you. Again, this is something you can discuss with your hypnotherapist as they may have some alternative suggestions.
Try some relaxation techniques
Stress and anger tend to go hand in hand. Many people find reducing their stress levels helps them to keep their anger under control. Relaxation techniques challenge the physical aspects of stress and anger. This can help you refrain from lashing out or behaving violently when you get angry.
Try some of the following techniques when you are feeling stressed:
- breathing exercises.
One of the ways hypnotherapy for anger can help is by triggering the body's relaxation response. During a hypnotherapy session you will fall into a deeply relaxed state. It is at this point that the hypnotherapist offers suggestions to help control your anger.
As we have mentioned previously, being unable to express anger can lead to anger management issues. To help you express your opinions, it can help to learn how to be assertive. Being assertive allows you to tell people your opinions in a healthier way. Try the following tips for being more assertive:
- When you feel angry, tell people and explain why.
- When you do this, speak slowly and clearly.
- Use phrases like "I think" and "I feel" to put the focus on you rather than them.
- Try to make requests instead of demands or threats.
- Say "I might" and "I could" instead of "I should" or "I must".
Having the ability to express yourself in this way should stop you from bottling up your emotions. This can be especially helpful to those who feel persistently angry.
Plan difficult conversations
If you know you have to have a difficult conversation that may make you feel angry, try to plan ahead. Make some notes about what you want to say using the assertive tips mentioned above. Plan some relaxation/distraction techniques if you think you may react quickly.
Sticking to your notes about what you want to say will help you stay in control. It will also help prevent you from getting side-tracked. If you can, talk to your hypnotherapist about the upcoming situation as they can advise you further.
Look at your lifestyle
Your diet and lifestyle can impact your body's stress levels. This can have a significant effect on your anger levels, so is worth considering. A healthy, balanced diet can give you more energy and help you feel more upbeat.
Exercise is well known for reducing stress and can be an integral part of anger management. As well as boosting your mood, exercise promotes sleep and relaxation. This can be really helpful during your anger management treatment. If you don't exercise already, speak to your doctor about what exercises you can try.
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