It goes without saying that we have all felt angry at some point in our lives – whether this was a fleeting feeling of annoyance at a minor inconvenience or full-fledged rage that threatened to steal away our self-control. Anger is a completely normal human emotion – in fact, it is even considered healthy to experience occasional anger.
In saying that, when does anger become an issue that needs to be dealt with?
In general, there are 3 main approaches when it comes to dealing with anger – expressing, suppressing, and calming. When an individual is unable to deal with their feelings of rage in a healthy way using any of these methods, anger becomes destructive and/or uncontrolled.
Destructive or uncontrolled anger can have various negative effects on one’s mental health, daily life, and the well-being of those around them as well. When an individual’s anger controls them (as opposed to them controlling the anger), it becomes an issue that needs to be addressed.
In this article, we go over 4 anger management strategies that can help you stay calm and keep your overwhelming feelings of anger at bay, as much as possible.
1. Take a step back to re-evaluate
Why are you feeling angry? Is there a particular trigger behind your feelings of rage and annoyance?
Before you let your anger consume you, try taking a deep breath in and re-evaluate why you feel the way you do. Your irrational thoughts often become too dramatic and overblown when you’re feeling angry. Attempt to replace these thoughts with more sensible and rational ones.
For example, instead of thinking, “things never go my way”, try to re-angle your thoughts to think, “it is understandable that I feel upset about this, but being angry is not going to resolve the issue”.
The term “breathe” is often used to diffuse a heated situation or to calm someone who is angry down. Indeed, relaxation techniques are one of the easiest ways to reduce feelings of rage.
Deep breathing, visualising calming images and meditating are all some relaxation techniques that you can do when you find feelings of rage bubbling away inside. When you physically relax your body, you are able to regain mental clarity and control of your emotions.
3. Step away from the situation and get outside
Your anger will continue to fester if you try to stick through an undesirable or heated situation. Instead, when you feel like you’re about to explode, remove yourself from the situation and get outside.
Research has found that being in nature can reduce anger and stress. Moreover, it can also reduce one’s blood pressure, muscle tension, heart rate and production of stress hormones.
4. Talk to someone
When you are feeling frustrated, talking to someone about what is on your mind can be incredibly helpful, especially if this person has a calming effect on you.
Talking to someone can help you make sense of your thoughts. At the same time, you would be able to get a weight off your shoulders (and mind), so you’d be able to alleviate your negative emotions.
Seeking professional help for anger management issues
While the above 4 techniques may be helpful in managing your anger in the moment, they are not sustainable for the long-term. This is because the root cause of your destructive or uncontrolled anger remains unresolved. The 4 techniques mentioned would be helpful in only putting out the smoke, but not the internal fire.
Anger is a secondary emotion, which means that it is often the result of other emotions like pain, fear, shame, humiliation, worthlessness and more. Having issues with destructive or uncontrolled anger can be attributed to various factors. Some of the common causes of anger include, but are not limited to:
- Relationship problems
- Trouble at work (e.g., being overworked, looked down on etc.)
- Not feeling appreciated or feeling unjust from unfair treatment (e.g., having been bullied, ostracised, openly criticised, betrayed, wrongly accused etc.)
- Feelings of inferiority
- Low self-esteem
- Feeling the need to assert power (often associated with a desire for revenge)
- Neglect, abandonment, isolation and alienation
- Abuse (sexual, emotional, physical and mental)
- Unrealistic expectations and comparisons from parents
Additionally, various mental disorders can be linked to anger management issues. For instance, aggressive outbursts can be associated with issues like post-traumatic stress disorder anxiety, and depression.
With that being said, it is important to uncover the root causes of anger management issues and the other mental disorders linked to it (if any) as soon as possible so that it does not hinder your quality of life too much. The key to overcoming anger entirely is to identify and tackle the primary emotions and root causes of it.
Anger management therapy with Emotional Wellness
For anger management therapy in Singapore, Emotional Wellness is here to help you out. As an established local counselling centre, our Singapore certified counsellor and psychotherapist has developed an in-house proprietary programme – the RENEW programme – to help individuals effectively manage their anger issues.
Through this programme, we will work to identify and resolve the past hurts that are hindering you from living your best life. With the help of a suite of psychotherapy techniques, including eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR), schema therapy, gestalt therapy and more, we can help you let go of the anger that has been building up all these years.
Besides anger management therapy, we also offer our services for a range of other issues, including counselling for anxiety problems, grief counselling, eating disorder counselling, OCD treatment, stress counselling, trauma/complex trauma counselling and depression counselling in Singapore.
Should you have any enquiries, feel free to drop us a message here! Let us help you resolve your past hurts and free you from emotional distress.