What Do I Do With Built Up Anger?
Anger is an emotion that many of us may be afraid of expressing, due to its negative connotation. Although anger is completely normal and an emotion we all experience, we must be able to manage it properly so it does not interfere with our lives and relationships. Built up anger that does not get expressed in some way can affect us mentally, emotionally, and physically.
What is Anger?
According to Charles Spielberger, a psychologist who studies anger, anger is “an emotional state that varies in intensity from mild irritation to intense fury and rage.” We have all felt anger somewhere within that spectrum.
Anger can be caused by both internal and external factors such as at another person, or at an event like a traffic jam when you are already running late. Anger can also stem from other emotions, such as worry about finances, relationships, or job performance.
We are naturally hard-wired to feel anger and contrary to popular belief, it is actually an adaptive emotion, meaning we need a certain degree of anger for survival. However, it is imperative that we learn the proper ways to express anger as it is not realistic to believe that we can lash out at every occurrence that causes an emotional response.
What Do I Do With Built Up Anger?
Our natural way of wanting to expel anger is through aggression. Some of the signs that may be noticeable in someone who struggles with their anger are as follows:
-Feeling like anger is always held in
-Focus on negative thinking/experiences
-Frequent arguments with others
-Threats of violence
-Out-of-control behaviors, such as breaking things
-Physical violence towards self or others
What Else You Can Do to Express Anger?
Using Assertive Communication
The difference between expressing anger in an assertive way versus an aggressive way is that it allows us to let our frustrated feelings out and have our needs heard without hurting the other person involved while having respect for yourself and others. This is the healthiest way to deal with anger as it is allowing the feelings to be let out.
Suppression of Feelings Until an Appropriate Time
Suppression is another technique that can be used and involves keeping anger inside and trying to convert those feelings into something more constructive. Although this may sound enticing due to the lack of confrontation, it can be dangerous to try and suppress all anger as that anger can eventually turn inward. If that does happen, it can cause both physiological changes and mental health challenges.
Lastly, calming techniques can be used to lower heart rate and let feelings subside. The danger in this approach is that it may not always work and that it is often difficult to get individuals to practice the skills in moments when they are not angry.
Anger Management in Los Angeles
Many people may not be able to acquire an assertive method of handling built up anger without professional help. Anger management can be useful in helping to recognize the signs of anger early on in order to prevent aggressive conflict and to learn how to walk yourself back to a sense of calm. If you believe yourself to be “an angry person,” or have found your anger becoming a problem, it is important to seek a counselor who is able to collaboratively teach and help you practice assertive communication techniques. When anger takes over, it is important to seek additional help and learn how to get control back. Launch Centers helps individuals struggling with drug addiction, alcohol addiction, and mental health issues. Give us a call today at 866-892-7704