If you have been told to have a “short fuse,” then chances are, you have trouble managing your anger. Rather than letting anger dictate your life, seek professional help to prevent losing your temper at the smallest things.
Rehab for anger management is not an uncommon notion for people who experience anger issues. It’s not an easy journey, but not an impossible one, either. You can learn how to have better control over your negative emotions with the help of anger management programs.
“Find Your Mantra”
How Sources of Anger Convey a Message
Sources of anger can often convey underlying emotions or messages, which are the main cause of the anger itself.
Once you understand the underlying message of anger, it can be crucial to find the root causes of your emotions. Then you can work on a way to find healthier ways to express those emotions.
Take a look at some common sources of anger that you might find familiar:
When you feel disappointed in something or someone, anger can take the place of that disappointment. You might use anger as a defense mechanism for your disappointment to hide how hurt you actually feel.
Frustration is a very common root cause of anger. Whenever you feel frustrated in certain unfavorable situations, anger can replace that frustration pretty quickly. That anger conveys the underlying message of your frustration at the situation or the person.
Another source of anger can stem from judgment. When you feel unfair criticism or are blatantly judged by other people, it can quickly turn into anger. Since you feel attacked or disrespected from being judged, you get angry as a defensive response.
When you experience rejection, it can trigger the feeling of anger. In this case, the anger manifests itself to protect your self-esteem. Your underlying insecurities can result in anger or rage after being rejected.
Another time anger can arise as a defense mechanism is when you feel scared. To suppress that feeling of fear, anger comes to the surface to protect you and provide a semblance of control.
“Try Counting Down from 10”
How Anger Affects Your Brain and Body
Anger is a natural human emotion. The intensity level of anger varies from person to person. Sometimes, your anger can be so intense that it can manifest into different physical and mental problems.
Let’s address some of the effects anger can have on both your body and mind-
Your physical and mental health are codependent. Even though anger is an emotional state, it can affect not just your mood but your body as well. More often than not, the effect of anger on the body is negative since anger is a negative emotion.
Anxiety: Anxiety is not an uncommon feeling when you are angry. When you are angry, your body releases stress hormones (such as Cortisol) that elevate the feeling of unease or restlessness. As a result, your anxiety level increases as you get angrier.
Depression: The first thing you need to understand is that depression and sadness are not interchangeable terms. Sadness is fleeting and can be resolved easily. But depression is more intense and harmful to your health. Prolonged anger can cause symptoms of depression to arise.
If you have any unresolved anger, it can trigger feelings of hopelessness, lack of energy, or motivation, which are all signs of depression.
Digestive Problems: Anger can mess up your digestive system. As mentioned above, your stress levels are heightened when you get angry. The strong response to high-stress levels can disrupt the normal functions of your gastrointestinal system (in plain words – your stomach).
This disruption can result in indigestion, stomachaches, nausea, or even IBS (irritable bowel syndrome).
Headaches: The elevated stress levels from anger can increase the muscle tension of your head, which can trigger headaches. You can experience tension headaches or even migraines from prolonged anger.
Weight Gain: Some people use food as a coping mechanism. If you are into stress-eating, then experiencing weight gain would not come as a surprise. Anger can also disrupt sleep patterns. Your poor sleep schedule can also lead to weight gain or even obesity.
“Use a Stress Ball”
Now let’s talk about how anger can have an impact on your mental health as well. Uncontrolled anger can affect your mental health, which can disrupt your daily life.
- Clouds thinking: When you feel consumed by anger, your ability of rational thinking is compromised. Your anger can cloud your judgment, and you would be unable to make cohesive decisions. Anger can make you impulsive and cause you to make hasty decisions that you might regret later.
- Decision-making abilities become harder: Since the rational thinking part of your brain gets affected by your anger, your decision-making becomes questionable. So when you’re angry, refrain from making any big life decisions. Your impaired decision-making ability would surely lead you to make poor choices.
- Leading to co-occurring disorders: Anger can also be a side-effect of more serious mental health problems (i.e., depression, anxiety disorder, substance abuse, etc.). Your anger can be a defense mechanism to hide other underlying issues. If left unchecked, your developing mental health issues might get worse.
“Breathing Exercises Often Help”
The Three Types of Anger
People express their anger differently. Here are 3 common types of anger you should be aware of:
Passive aggression is when you show your anger in a subtle way. You might seem calm on the outside, but you use snide remarks, sarcasm, or insulting comments to show your anger.
Open aggression is very common and to the point. When you resort to verbal or physical attacks because of your anger, that’s open aggression.
Assertive anger is a healthy way to express your frustrations. With assertive anger, you communicate your reasons for getting angry without insulting the other person. It gives you the chance to resolve the conflict in a civilized manner.
“Insert Some Humor to Diffuse the Tension”
Knots in your stomach: Anger causes unsettling feelings in the body. Knots of churning in the stomach can be a result of that unsettling feeling. Your body responds strongly when you get angry.
Clenching your hands or jaw: This is a very common response to anger, especially when you’re trying to stay in control. You can notice the clenched jaw or clenched fists on other people when they get angry.
Feeling clammy or flushed: Because of the increased stress, you might feel your hands getting clammy when you get angry. Feeling your body heating up, and getting red or flushed is also quite common.
Breathing faster: Your breathing can get faster when you get angry, and your heartbeat might increase as well.
Headaches: As the stress levels go up and the muscles tighten in anger, you can feel headaches forming as well.
Pacing or needing to walk around: Feeling restless is another sign of getting angry. You can feel the need to walk around or pace over the room to get rid of some pent-up anger.
Having trouble focusing: Anger reduces your thinking capability, so you can have trouble focusing on what happens around you.
Pounding heart rate: Your heart rate can increase because of elevated stress levels.
Tense muscles: You can feel your muscles tensing up because of your anger. It can be any muscle on the body (for example – facial muscle, head muscle, clenched stomach, eye twitching, etc.).
“Take Some Space”
How Anger Management Rehab Can Help You?
Rehabilitation for anger management offers a structured and supportive environment for people who need to learn healthier ways to cope with their anger.
If you allow your anger management issues to go unchecked for long, then you run the risk of having a negative impact on your relationships. Instead, seek help from a professional and allow them to help you be better.
Developing self-awareness and understanding triggers: When you sign in to an anger management rehab, one of the first things they would address is finding your triggers. This makes you more self-aware, so you can recognize the warning signs yourself.
Learning about how to cope with anger: After finding the triggers, your therapist or counselor will help you develop a personalized strategy. The strategy might include breathing exercises, meditation, mindfulness training, and so on. It would help you filter out the negative emotions and practice positive thinking.
Healthier ways to express your anger: Anger management rehab would help you find a healthier way to redirect your anger. Emphasizes the importance of finding healthier outlets for expressing anger. For example – you can try assertiveness training, where you learn to express your feelings and boundaries in a calm and respectful manner.
Relaxation techniques to manage anger: As you have read in previous sections, stress levels often increase because of anger. So relaxation techniques such as breathing exercises can help calm down your nerves.
Family involvement and relationship enhancement: Your relationships can get affected because of your uncontrolled anger. Anger management programs often suggest family therapy or couples counseling sessions to address the underlying issues to help make the process much smoother.
Group Therapy for Anger Management
Group therapy is highly beneficial when it comes to anger management. According to American Psychological Association, around 75% of people receiving anger management therapy improved as a result.
In group therapy, people with anger management help each other through their journey. You share your own struggles and hear similar stories. The shared experiences help you understand underlying problems.
Your recovery process becomes much easier when you have support from people who can relate to what you are going through.
“Try Talking to Someone”
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Anger Management
CBT is the most commonly offered talking treatment on the NHS. With CBT, you learn to identify negative thought patterns and change inaccurate beliefs.
CBT is highly structured, so you and your anger management therapist can discuss ways to improve the condition and set attainable goals. CBT can be conducted in both 1-to-1 sessions or in groups where you discuss your problems with people who have a similar condition.
Individual CBT therapy sessions can take from 6 to 20 weeks, and each session can take 30-60 minutes.
How to Find the Right Anger Rehabilitation Center for Your Needs
Consult a mental health professional to find the best course of action for your anger management. After a diagnosis, your therapist would suggest the right course of rehabilitation for your treatment. Based on your assessment, the treatment procedure can go a number of ways.
Your mental health professional would suggest which course of treatment will work the best. It can be a series of sessions with a counselor or inpatient anger management where you would be admitted into a facility.
It is important to discuss this with a mental health professional. They would help you find a unique anger rehabilitation center that can cater to your needs.
Case Studies: Real-life Examples of Successful Anger Management Rehab
The Story of Lisa Maxwell
Anger management issues can slowly but surely destroy one’s life. If left unchecked for long, your anger can take over your personal and professional life. So it’s important to acknowledge when you should seek out professional help.
Let’s see the real-life story of Lisa Maxwell and her journey in Anger Management Rehab.
Lisa is a 28-year-old young woman who has a stable job as a data analyst. She has struggled with her anger management problems for several years. When she was younger, the outbursts were often brushed aside as tantrums.
But as she got older, her anger outbursts had become much worse. After several explosive outbursts, her reputation started to get affected both at home and at work. Her boss suggested she seek a professional for her problems.
After Lisa realized that her irrational behavior was not healthy at all, she finally decided to seek professional help. She got herself into an anger management program.
Anger Management Rehab of Lisa
Lisa found a program that suited her needs. She contact a nearby rehabilitation center where she received treatment from medical professionals. Lisa’s rehab program used a comprehensive approach to get to the bottom of her anger management issues.
She started off with one-on-one sessions with her psychologist. The sessions helped Lisa realize certain triggers that caused her outbursts. After going through several sessions and discussing past experiences, her psychologist helped her find some healthier options for Lisa to let out her emotions.
During her six weeks at the facility, Lisa participated in group therapy sessions, anger management workshops, numerous individual counseling sessions, mindfulness exercises, meditation, stress-reduction techniques, and so on.
All of these helped Lisa figure out a healthier and more acceptable way of expressing her emotions. Her psychologist said that Lisa’s recovery was quite successful because of her cooperation.
After her rehab program finished, Lisa continued with her new routine to maintain the balance she had found at the rehab center. She joined aftercare programs and anger management support groups to connect with people who had gone through the same journey as her.
Lisa Maxwell’s story serves as a real-life example of how anger management rehab programs can help a person find a better outlet for their emotions. She was committed to her program, which helped her overcome her anger management issues successfully.
The journey of Lisa shows how important it is to seek help when you recognize the signs. Once you understand your problems, try keeping an open mind and don’t hesitate to ask for help.
To Wrap Up
Do you believe that you have anger management issues? Then it is high time to seek professional help and be better at expressing yourself. Your unintentional bursts of anger can ruin your relationships over time.
Join a rehab for anger management to address your underlying anger issues so you can be a better version of yourself.