What the heck is Anger Management anyway?
(As well as some really amazingly fun times too!) However, for the past 20 years I have had a private practice working one-on-one with people in holistic health care. I’ve also been teaching wellness therapies in the classroom and on-line.
So something I’ve learned about people I’d like to share with you is how often I meet clients and /or students who have difficulty expressing their anger.
It’s an emotion that we so often end up holding in. We get busy bottling it up, pushing it down and pretending it doesn’t matter.
Sometimes, we think that’s Anger Management. However, I believe Anger Management can be putting your Angry Pants ON!
So, what could we be doing instead?
We could be letting it out in manageable ways.
Men are especially likely to bottle up their anger, but be sure it is not an exclusively male trait!
One way we might see ourselves as suppressing our anger is transferring unresolved anger onto situations that maybe do not warrant it. For example you may become overly upset when driving and start feeling that surging rush of adrenalin. Someone cuts in front of us, and we blow up! Yelling, shouting…and in its most extreme, it even has a name. Road Rage!
Or what about the tired dad who has a crappy day at work and comes home and yells at the kids for making too much noise.
These are examples of suppressed anger coming out inappropriately, not Anger Management!
Unfortunately, suppressing your anger can also lead to health issues. Studies have found that some people who do not express their anger transform it into physical ailments. These may include such symptoms as headaches and stomachaches.
Even serious illnesses have been indicated as being aggravated or possibly induced by suppressing our feelings.
So, what can we do about it?
Anger is emotion. Emotion is part of life. And anger can be safely released without doing damage to ourselves or others. Instead of bottling up your anger, learn how to let it out in non-aggressive ways.
Try the Following:
- Fix the Problem: Learn to recognize your own personal physical signs of anger, such as headaches or tense muscles. Once you realize you are angry, take some time to determine the cause of the anger and take steps toward resolving it.
- What Else are You Feeling? When you are angry, distinguish between the mildly annoying and the infuriating. Like the driving analogy mentioned above. Look at what else you may be feeling when you are most angry. Do you have a sense of lack of power? Do you feel guilty? Is there confusion or a sense of unfairness at the basis of the feeling? Recognizing your anger and identifying where it comes from may help with constructive expression.
- Move Your Body! Exercise is so useful in releasing angry and pent-up feelings, both immediate and long-term. Good feeling hormones start to surge around your body. We all know that moving the body is important to our health and well-being, well here’s another reason to add some form of daily exercise to your wellness plan.
- Talk to a Friend: Try talking things over with a good friend. I don’t mean get into the habit of moaning and whining, I mean take the time to express your feelings and then let it go.
Get Some Help! Consider using psychotherapy, hypnotherapy, or spiritual counseling to deal with your anger. Sometimes we just cannot do it all alone. And of course, do not forget to bring meditation and relaxation into your life. Take time for yourself to just sit and breathe quietly. I recommend ten long slow deep breaths at least once a day. This can help bring calmness throughout your body, mind, spirit and emotions. Meditation is easy to learn, start by finding a quiet spot and counting your breaths.
- Nurture Yourself: And remember to treat yourself to some type of healing therapy. I like aromatherapy massage, a foot reflexology session, some hypnotherapy or a reiki treatment once a month. Let someone else look after you!
Remember, anger is often a reminder that we need to take some time out to care for ourselves and put our needs first.
If you would like to learn more about how to Take Your Angry Pants off and Choose Happy, please drop me an email or call 206-883-3482 for an appointment.