Anger is a strong feeling of displeasure. It is often a reaction to stress, failure, or injustice. Anger can range from mild irritation to full-blown rage.
It is normal to experience anger. At times, anger is the appropriate response to the actions of others. When managed correctly and kept in check, anger can be an important ally to a healthy adult. The purpose of anger management is to help a person decrease anger. It reduces the emotional and physical arousal that anger can cause. It is generally impossible to avoid all people and settings that incite anger. But a person may learn to control reactions and respond in a socially appropriate manner. The support of a mental health professional may be helpful in this process.
Exploring The Roots of Anger
Many different events can make someone angry. These may include:
Internal events such as perceived failures, injustices, or frustrations
External events such as loss of property or privileges, teasing, or humiliation
Anger may result in externalizing behaviors. These can include verbal arguments and tantrums. Anger can also cause internalizing behaviors. Internalizing behaviors can include sulking or increased symptoms of depression. People may show anger through aggression. Aggression is the biological function of anger. It is an evolutionary response that helps prepare people to fight off threats.
Inappropriate displays of anger may mean a more serious mental health or emotional issue exists. People who receive anger management therapy learn skills to slow their reaction to anger. This can help them identify the reason for their feelings. The roots of anger may be buried in emotional trauma, addiction, grief, or other issues. But a natural inclination may be to find temporary relief in lashing out. This can obscure the true cause of the anger. If this is the case for you, working with a therapist might be helpful.
How Anger Management Works
Anger management therapy provides a clear set of recovery guidelines. It gives the person in treatment a controlled platform for the release of their emotions. At the same time, it aims to achieve constructive responses, rather than destructive ones. People in therapy are encouraged to examine what triggers their anger. They try to become aware of their emotions at each level of arousal. People learn how to use those signs as a map to control their anger.
In therapy, people gain insight into how their body responds to past and future events. They do this by identifying the emotional reaction to a certain circumstance. Therapists also help people notice anger responses that may be defense mechanisms for other concerns. These concerns might be depression, anxiety, or other mental health issues.