Anger Management 101
We all feel angry from time to time. It is normal and healthy to experience this emotion. If, however, you feel angry all the time or your anger manifests in explosive arguments or harmful behaviors, then your anger is controlling you rather than the other way around. And when your anger runs your life, many parts of your health and happiness can suffer. Anger management can help you gain control over your angry behaviors and learn to express this emotion more healthily.
Emotions themselves are neither good nor bad. They each convey meaning to you and provide valuable information. The feeling of anger is not the problem; instead the issues that arise are most often the result of not expressing your anger well or using it to impact other people negatively.
Many people falsely believe that anger should “let out” for you to be healthy, or that you cannot control feeling angry. While it is true that you should not suppress emotions, venting is not a healthier option. This type of behavior just fuels your frustration and is not a productive solution to your situation. And while it is true that you cannot always control how you feel toward a situation or a person, you can control how you allow that anger to influence your behaviors and choices.
Anger should never guide your actions, as it can result in damaged relationships while also interfering in your ability to enjoy success. Anger even impairs your judgment, as you are thinking with the emotional center of your brain instead of the rational, logical portion.
Understanding Anger Management
Expressing your anger in ways that do not harm yourself or other people is the goal of anger management. Many people believe that, if you are hot-tempered, that is just part of how you are, and it cannot be changed. That is false. You have more control over your emotions and how you express them than you may realize, and anger management teaches you how to tame this harmful emotion and learn to express it healthily.
The ultimate goal of anger management is not to suppress your angry feelings but to understand what these feelings are telling you and to learn to express those feelings to other people in a more productive way without losing control. Learning to manage your anger will help you feel like other people understand you better, your needs are being better met, and your relationships are stronger.
Through practice and changes in your behavior, you can learn to control how you allow anger to make you behave and treat other people, as well as yourself. Over time, you learn healthier strategies for expressing anger as well as to better identify the real source of your anger, which is often a different emotion, such as shame, embarrassment, loss, hurt, or frustration. Once you know why you feel angry, the easier it is to express and process it, too.
Why Anger Management is Important
When you don’t control your anger well, it can harm your physical health and your mental health. When anger is out of control, it hurts your career, your relationships, and your self-esteem. Depending on how strong your rage is, and your behaviors related to showing your anger, it can even end up with legal problems, if you harm or threaten others because of your anger.
So, while becoming a master of anger management may take some time and hard work, it does get easier over time and will improve your life in many ways. Learning to express your feelings of anger more appropriately will enhance your wellness and allow you to lead a more satisfying, happier life.