Managing Anger

We all experience anger at times for all sorts of reasons and it’s a perfectly normal, healthy emotion. In fact, anger can help us to defend ourselves, motivate us to change things or even identify problems that we can then try to address.
However, problems arise if feelings of anger get out of control and we risk harming ourselves or others. This can happen when we don’t know how to express anger in a healthy, safe way, when anger becomes our default emotion to the exclusion of other, when it affects our mental or physical health or when it’s expressed through destructive behaviour.
This destructive behaviour could include shouting and swearing, hitting or throwing things, slamming doors or threatening others through verbal abuse or violence – which of course is frightening and damaging for the people nearby and can have serious consequences. It could also include self-neglect or non-violent but passive aggression towards others.
Managing anger isn’t always easy, especially when it threatens to overwhelm, but there are techniques to help:
• Recognise the signs – speeding heartbeat and fast breathing, body tension, jaw or fist clenching
• Slow yourself down, count to 10, go for a walk, talk to someone you trust
• Breathe slowly, try to relax your body, try mindfulness to calm yourself, release pent-up energy through exercise or a safe physical activity like hitting a pillow or even try to distract yourself by doing something completely different.
Remember, anger is a normal emotion. Learning these techniques to manage it will take time and patience as with any skill, but angry outbursts that are abusive or violent can have very serious consequences and proper treatment and support is essential.

What is CBT?

CBT, or Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is a way to manage problems by changing the way you think and behave. It can be used for a variety mental and physical health problems but most commonly for anxiety and depression. It’s a collaborative talking therapy through...

read more

What is mindfulness and how does it work?

Mindfulness is an increasingly popular way of enhancing our wellbeing. Basically, it refers to being ‘in the moment’ or maintaining an awareness of what we’re thinking and feeling, our bodily sensations and our environment right there and then. As a non-judgemental...

read more

What exactly are panic attacks?

Everyone responds to fear, danger, excitement and stress. It’s a perfectly normal response and actually helps to keep us safe. However, when our response becomes exaggerated it can lead to physical symptoms that result in a panic attack. Symptoms might include feeling...

read more