What is anger?
Anger can be defined as an aversive state ranging from annoyance to rage. Webster’s says, “Anger is a strong feeling of displeasure and antagonism, indignation or an automatic reaction to ay real or imagined insult, frustration, or injustice, producing emotional agitation seeking expression.”
Source of anger
Anger is caused by feelings of helplessness and the need to control situations, people and consequences.
Signs indicating when anger is a problem
When it is too frequent
When it is too intense
When it lasts too long
When it leads to aggression
When it disturbs relationships or work
Triggers that provoke anger
Aversive bodily sates such as fatigue, sleep deprivation, pain, and hangovers
Premenstrual syndrome and low blood sugar
Extremely rigid or biased appraisals of events
Skill deficits in cognitive and behavioral areas can contribute to an impulsive acting out of anger
Obsessive Substance use
High conflict family environment
Stress-current life situations
How to handle anger effectively
Recognize the underlying feelings of tension, sadness, fear, frustration, hurt, rejection
Take time out to reflect
Pray about the problem
Identify the issue-decide whether you are distorting the truth about the even or person
Evaluate whether the issue is valid- do you have the right to be angry?
Address the issue and express your feelings
Get guidance from a pastor, counselor, or trustworthy confidante
Put the issue in perspective
Forgive and forget- forgiveness brings resolution and is a step toward reconciliation
Benefits of Anger
Anger can actually be really helpful. Anger is like a warning signal alerting you that something is wrong. It can provide the energy to resist emotional or physical threats. Anger can help you mobilize your resources and set appropriate limits and boundaries. Your anger can give you strength to resist threatening demands or violation of your values. Anger helps you overcome the fear of asserting your needs and facing conflict. Anger can be used for beneficial purposes.
Anger is good when turned into
Faith: Trusting in your Higher Power
Assertiveness: Speaking the truth in love
Problem-solving: Seeking the best solution
Conflict resolution: Negotiating to win-win
Forgiveness: Letting go of resentment
Goal of Anger Management Classes
The goal of anger management counseling or education is not to eliminate anger. Anger is a natural emotion and when acted on appropriately- a healthy emotion. After anger has been acknowledged it is important to reduce the emotional and physiological arousal that anger causes and learn to control its effects on the person and the environment.
Resource: Hoy, L. J., Griffin, T. (2010). What’s good about anger? (3. ed.). Oak Brook, Illinois: CounselCare Connection Publications.