Even if you haven’t seen the recent Pixar classic, Inside Out, you probably know that anger doesn’t have the best reputation. Lewis Black ranting at the top of his lungs is perfect type-casting. But like all of our emotions, anger can be a normal and healthy outlet. The problem is that for some, this can be a challenging emotion to contain. When anger spirals out of control, it has the power to adversely affect every aspect of our lives. The goal of anger management is to reduce the emotional impact and the physiological sensations that accompany anger at its strongest.
Anger can be caused by both external and internal events. A person could be angry at a friend or colleague, for instance, over a perceived wrongdoing. And they could just as easily be angry at an unforeseen circumstance like a traffic jam or a cancelled flight. On the outside, this might look like rage. But on the inside, anger can manifest itself physically with symptoms that include an increased heart rate, along with rising blood pressure and adrenaline. These physical affects can often feel both instantaneous and scary in their intensity.
Almost everyone has probably had a brief moment of road rage or a day of irritability. But for those whose anger has become a baseline for their personality, there are likely deeper reasons to explore. In recent decades, psychological research has shown that anger is often an attempt to hide other emotions, whether it be guilt, embarrassment, fear or humiliation. Anger is not only a potential defense mechanism but it can be also be a dangerous diversion from sources of even deeper pain. [Read more…] about Surviving Your Anger