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Anger is one of the harder emotions humans tend to cope with. We feel anger when we hurt. The urge to get angry is VERY strong, so much so that we do not slow down enough to notice the hurt before we ACT. Previous generations were not focusing on how to raise our current generation with emotional wellbeing as a cornerstone. It was more of a "I put a roof over your head, clean clothes on your back, and fed you so you should feel grateful," mentality. This maybe a gross generalization, however the masses tend to agree.
Most of us did not have great role models for how to handle this very strong emotion.
Here, I lay out the five things you need to really understand about anger, in order to learn how to integrate them so you can begin to change your relationship with anger.
With Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, I work with your cognitions, thoughts, behaviors, and feelings.
1. The feeling of anger itself, is a healthy feeling. But we need to separate the feeling from what we do with it.
2. Anger has a message for you. Anger communicates something to you.
3. Anger is more "in the moment," whereas resentment is simmering and toxic. Differentiation is important here.
4. Anger is a defense mechanism that was or is very survival based. When we are attacked (physical) or emotional, our physiological body preps us to fight, flee, or freeze.
5. Anger is fueled by our story. (Interpretation of an event).
Before this happens, your body has changed its chemical state the moment you FEEL attacked. Neurotransmitters called catecholamines release a surge of energy. Epinephrine and norepinephrine increase your blood pressure and raise your heart rate. This is all priming you for action. Whether it is to FIGHT or to FLEE. So your body is flooded with chemicals. This is driven by your amygdala.
We need to slow it down with our frontal lobe and truly look at the reasons you are angry. Then we must sort out what the most effective means of dealing with it is. The enormous chemical rush requires your frontal lobe to activate to prevent the surge.
Alcohol, for example, takes your frontal lobe offline. Your ability to look at risk assessment has vanished.
I am highly trained in CBT therapist and with research based techniques, I can help you focus on how to keep the frontal lobe online to manage your chemical surge(s).
Here are some common signs that may indicate seeking out anger management therapy may be beneficial for you:
1. Hurting others verbally or physically
2. Small or petty things set you off easier than you feel you would like
3. Getting triggered and angry by the same things repeatedly
4. Breaking objects around you or wanting to physically release on an object or person.
5. Alcohol consumption resulting in heightened anger
6. Physical symptoms during anger episodes