Anger can be defined as a strong feeling of annoyance, displeasure, or hostility. It is a common and natural human emotion that everybody experiences. Anger is not limited to shouting and yelling, it can also include intimidating others and being aggressive towards others. It can be appropriate to be angry; however, it can be inappropriate when it is exaggerated or uncontrolled. Inappropriate anger can affect all areas of one’s life and can result in relationship problems with friends, family, and/or co-workers, legal problems, and physically and/or emotionally hurting yourself or others.
Other consequences of inappropriate anger can include other medical and mental health problems. Individuals who are frequently angry can experience an increase in headaches, stomach problems, elevated blood pressure, and coronary disease. Other consequences include withdrawing from loved ones, anguish, inner turmoil, lower self-esteem, increase in anxiety, and substance and alcohol misuse.
Some ways for adults to learn how to control their anger include:
– Relaxation techniques
– Improving problem solving skills
– Improving communication skills
– Changing environment
Ways to help your children learn to control their anger include:
– Create a calm down box
– Deep breathing exercises
– Taking a walk
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) can also help individuals express their anger in a more effective way. CBT focuses on the current situation and its solution. It can help you to identify what makes you angry, improve your communication and problem solving skills, teach you relaxation techniques, and help you to change negative ways of thinking.
If you or someone you know is struggling with controlling their anger or are feeling overwhelmed with anger, there is help and resources available, including professional counseling. Please contact (215) 487-1330 or email us at Greenridge@intercommunityaction.org for more information about our counseling services.
Author: Christina Vroman, M.A.
1. McCloskey, M.S., Noblett, K.L., & et al. (2008). “Cognitive-behavioral therapy for intermittent explosive disorder: A pilot randomized clinical trial.” Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 76 (5): 876-876.
2. Deffenbacher, J.L. (2009). “Angry drivers: Characteristics and clinical interventions.” Revista Mexicana de Psicología, 26 (1): 5-16.