For many people, Thanksgiving is the ultimate family holiday. Unlike Christmas,…
Do you get angry? Of course, you do. At least, of course you should. Anger is a normal human emotion and is the appropriate response in some situations.
However, anger is also an easy emotion and can be the go-to when your feelings are actually more complex. When anger is out-of-proportion to its cause, an unusual response to an event, or causes you to behave in ways that damage relationships or make you feel ashamed, then it has become destructive.
Anger management is focused on helping people identify when they are becoming angry, reduce triggers in their life, and also learn to respond to feelings of anger in productive and healthy ways.
What Makes You Angry
Many people throw around the word “triggered” like it’s an insult, but one of the therapeutic goals in anger management is figuring out what triggers you. What makes you angry? For many people, anger is rooted in frustration. Helping you get a handle on your anger can start with figuring out what frustrates you and learning ways to avoid those “triggers” until you can develop better coping mechanisms.
Is My Anger Normal?
While anger is a normal emotion, it is not the “normal” response to all stimuli. If you feel constantly irritated or frustrated by people; like you are always having to hold in your anger; that you get in more arguments than most people; that you are more negative than most people; that you use or threaten violence against people or property; or that your expressions of anger are otherwise negatively impacting your life, you may have an anger management issue.
Goals of Anger Management
Anger management therapy is not designed to keep you from ever getting angry, again. After all, anger is not just a normal emotion, it is the appropriate emotion in some situations. The goal is not to get you to never feel anger. Instead, anger management usually has three goals: lower the frequency of your angry feelings, lower the intensity of your angry feelings, and ensure that your response is situationally appropriate.
If anger is a problem, you want to get angry less. Identifying your triggers helps you know what situations and people to avoid to feel angry less often. Some triggers are easier to avoid than others, but eliminating any triggers should reduce the overall amount of anger that you feel. You also want to learn about the things that make you more susceptible to anger, such as being hungry or tired.
For most people with anger management problems, the amount of anger that they feel is out-of-proportion to what causes the anger. For example, no one likes to be cut off in traffic, but it does not trigger a rage response for most people. Figuring out the appropriate amount of anger in certain situations can help you stop yourself from spiraling into rage.
Finally, if your angry behavior has hurt you, others, your relationships, or your professional life, then your responses may be inappropriate. Anger management can help you determine healthy and constructive ways to deal with anger instead of negative or destructive ways.