The first step in controlling anger is to admit that you are angry. Anger is typically denied as long as possible because it is socially unacceptable to be angry. While the relatively recent emphasis on venting all anger has lessened the social stigma, unexpressed anger still underlies much of the depression, anxiety, tension, and other physical disorders which plague people living in modern society. Emotions tend to increase in strength when they go unacknowledged. Admitting you are angry soon after experiencing the anger allows you to more easily deal with this powerful and potentially dangerous emotion.
Once we admit to ourselves that we are angry, we can take the next step and look for the hurt, fear or injustice that underlies our anger. Finding the primary emotion underlying our anger allows us to identify those actions or attitudes that effectively deal with the source of our anger rather than merely masking symptoms or temporarily alleviating the intensity of our anger.
Every emotion is based on a perception of what has happened to us. In other words, what we believe about what happens determines how we feel about what happens. This is a key concept in learning to deal with the primary emotions that lead to our anger.
In order to act appropriately once we have admitted to ourselves that we are angry and have identified the primary emotions underlying our anger, we must consider whether or not our perception causing the primary emotion is accurate. Often, challenging our perception of an event is enough to change the primary emotion and thus completely defuse our anger. At other times, merely identifying our primary emotions makes other solutions to the anger evoking events more obvious. Either way, we lessen the intensity of our emotions (when necessary or desirable) to allow us to act calmly and with forethought.
Anger does not have to be destructive. Used wisely, the energy of our anger can greatly improve our day to day lives. You have a right to your feelings. It is the strength of the emotional reaction that hurts you and what you do with that feeling that hurts others. Don’t wait until the courts force you to seek therapy or until your partner walks out on you to get help. We can teach you how to deal with unpleasant feelings and improve control issues in relationships. Regain a positive perspective in your life and do not allow your anger to ruin it. We will help you to deal with your emotions, communicate your thoughts and feelings without intense conflict, and to relax your emotional ‘muscles’ while feeling good about yourself.