Anger can be an incredibly powerful emotion, and in certain capacities, it is natural and normal to feel anger. But what can you do when it feels like anger is taking over your life?
Explaining Problematic Anger
Anger is natural, and it’s unavoidable as we navigate our complicated lives. Anger is rooted in an instinctual, animal response to perceived threats. It’s a means of protection, but in a civilized age, most triggers for anger aren’t violent aggression. Anger is largely outdated, but it’s still there in our psyche, and for some, controlling the anger response is much harder. Irritation with traffic or daily stresses is totally normal, but launching into aggressive, violent behaviors regularly is not. There are two types of triggers for anger: internal and external events. Internal events refer to our mental perception of injustices, failure, or other negative circumstances. They are our own, mental reactions to triggers. External events are more universally angering. Things like parking tickets or being yelled at by a customer at work are considered external events. Regardless of the origin of these triggers, how we react to them determines whether anger is an issue. Anger can manifest in a lot more ways than the standard, stereotypical rage you may picture when you hear anger management. Internalized anger can lead to depression and social withdrawal, breeding resentment and further anger rather than decisive, aggressive action. Anger can be incredibly detrimental to personal and professional relationships. Violent anger can result in injury or incarceration, or even death. Without a method for controlling anger, people with anger issues can suffer immensely, as can their loved ones or people who mistakenly or intentionally trigger an anger response.
So now that you know a bit about why we experience anger, and what problematic anger looks like, we can explore some of the best anger management methods available to us, for treating any severity of anger issues. Anger management is a very broad term for a variety of different mental health therapies aimed at controlling anger. There is no one-size-fits-all anger treatment, as people’s reactions to anger and triggers for anger can vary greatly. As such, the first focus of any anger management program is determining what triggers your anger.
Besides therapy, there are other ways to achieve anger management. Anger is a physiological response that is in part a chemical response in the brain. There are some medications out there that can help reduce anger in people by inhibiting the production of the chemicals closely associated with anger. Antidepressants like Prozac are often prescribed to treat anger if traditional methods aren’t enough. While not specifically formulated for anger, antidepressants calm and reduce the severity of this chemical process. Yoga and mindfulness are also incredibly useful tools in treating anger, as well as a variety of other mental illnesses. Yoga is a remarkably powerful tool for reducing anger, as it works in a few different ways. Physical exercise has been noted as a way to reduce anger, and the meditative nature of these sessions can be very calming. Mindfulness gives us tools that we can use at any time in our lives, which can help slow the anger response, giving a person time to realize that their anger has been triggered. From this state of recognition, it’s much simpler to control and reign in the anger you’re experiencing. There are countless other anger management tips and methodologies, but these are some of the best supplements for traditional anger management therapy.
Anger doesn’t have to be a constant part of your day-to-day life. Interested in learning more about anger management and the alternatives we can offer? Give the experts at SOL Mental Health a call today.