Anger is a release of pressure as feelings come pouring out. Some of these may be conscious and some may be sub-conscious. Anger can be useful allowing us to release those feelings but it has an ugly side too. It can be dangerous when people lose perspective or their sense of reality

AngerAnger if suppressed can become rage.  Events and emotions coming and often a secondary emotion is triggered by these primary emotions: “How dare he cut in?”; “How dare he say that about me”. Anger is often the response to event over which you have no control.

There are different ways in which we express our anger. We may use active forms like hitting out or shouting and screaming. Perhaps we are more passive, potentially sulking, not talking or giving the silent treatment. Although seen as a male trait it is equally prevalent in both men and women. Men tend to accept anger as part of being male and are more active in showing their anger. Women tend to feel guilt at showing anger so are more likely to use passive forms. Yet as with all stereotypes there are exceptions and we need to recognise that each case should be taken on its merits.

Ultimately though there is no psychological reward for anger and it causes hormones to rage around our bodies, this continues to cause us stress and anxiety. Yet there are things that you can do to help you manage your anger.

Recognise that you can channel your feelings that drive your anger through assertion. In assertion, we asserting our right to have our opinions heard. However, it is about doing that in a calm and controlled way. State what your concern is. Anger and assertion are different and perhaps learning assertion will allow you to express yourself in a safe way.

If you know that you are quick to anger, perhaps there are underlying issues. Perhaps you need to talk through with a therapist how you feel about yourself or the way that you see yourself in the world. Perhaps it would be useful to work out ways that you could look after yourself emotionally and defuse some of your triggers to anger.

One of the most important keys is accepting and understanding yourself. Know the signs of anger rising, know the situations or things that start to cause you to become angry and use strategies or processes to distract yourself.  Put space between the event and your reaction. The more space there is the greater the chance there is for you to choose the reaction that you want, not the reaction that you will regret later.

Sometimes anger management is about letting go. Who made this my responsibility? Could I let this one go. Sometimes it is easier if combined with a strategy like literally walking away or rewarding yourself for letting it go.

However you decide to go forward,  be clear that anger can only rule your life if you choose to let it. By changing your thinking and behaviour you can change how you are around angry situations. There is help if you choose to take it.