We've all felt angry before. It's the intense, crimson tide of emotion that drives you to take action, expend energy or release pent-up emotion. It's a common and healthy feeling. but if you experience it too often, or it's not handled properly, it can end up being incredibly destructive. But anger is perhaps one of the trickiest emotions to deal with, and we often aren't taught how to manage our anger in a healthy way as children. So, if you find yourself getting angry a lot, that small things trigger anger in you, or you end up doing things you regret when you get angry, you might need to seek support in managing your anger.
What is Anger?
Defining anger can be difficult because you have to have felt it to know it. Luckily, most of us have felt anger by the time we're 5 years old, and while it is intense and hard to work through, it's important to help us process our emotions and the world around us. It's most common when something has gone wrong, or someone has wronged you, and will often bring feelings of stress, frustration and irritation along for the ride. Anger gives us a way to express our negative feelings and motivate us to find solutions to problems. But excessive or long-term anger can cause problems.
Anger comes like all emotions, from two almond-shaped structures in our brain called the amygdala. This is the part of the brain responsible for identifying threats to our physical, mental or emotional well-being and sending out an alarm to make us protect ourselves. This little chunk of the brain is so efficient at its job that often it has us reacting to a situation before the cortex (the part of our brain responsible for thought and judgement) has had a chance to check what's going on and if our reactions are reasonable. So often, we react with anger before we can think through the consequences of our actions. It's an impulse we can control, but it does explain why some people's immediate response to a situation may be anger, followed by a more reasonable response once they've had time to think it all over.
The Physical Response to Anger
Of course, anger isn't just mental. It can also trigger a lot of physical reactions in us, and you might experience some or all of them whenever you get angry. These reactions include:
- Faster heartbeat
- Tense muscles
- Clenching your fists
- Tightness in your chest
- Increase in temperature
- Feeling tense or nervous
- Being unable to relax
- Getting irritated easily
- Feeling humiliated
- Resenting other people
- Starting fights
- Breaking things
It's unsurprising that, while anger is a healthy emotion, feeling it too often or for prolonged periods of time can have some significant health risks for you, and sometimes even the people around you. Some of the issues you could experience as a result of long-term anger include:
- Chronic headaches
- Digestive problems
- Anxiety and depression
- High blood pressure
- Skin problems like eczema
- Increased risk of heart attack and stroke
Long-term, unmanaged anger is also likely to have an impact on your personal life. Friends and family may distance themselves from you, and it can be difficult to start or maintain relationships when you struggle with anger. At the extreme end of the spectrum, you could even start taking your anger out on others in your life, putting you at risk of arrest. Unfortunately, this cycle is incredibly hard to break out of on your own when it gets to this stage, which is why seeking help early is vital.
It's Probably Not Anger...
By the time we reach adulthood most of us have learnt to identify anger as an emotion what it feels like and (hopefully), how to cope with it. But there's one thing about anger a lot of people don't know, and it often changes the way we think about and manage those feelings.
Read that again and really take it in.
We don't feel angry just because we feel angry. Anger is always (and I mean ALWAYS) the result of another emotion. And the most common are the most complicated emotions that we don't really know how to deal with - like disappointment, fear and stress. Anger is a response to those initial feelings because your brain knows how to deal with anger and so it turns to that when faced with difficult emotions it doesn't know how to deal with things. So sometimes finding the cause of your anger and frustration is more complicated than saying 'what is the thing that's making me angry'. Sometimes it means looking deeper inside and identifying the real feeling, before learning what the best way to cope with it is.
Hypnotherapy For Anger
That last point is where I come in. Solution Focused Hypnotherapy is a fantastic tool for getting to the root of your emotions and problems and removing the subconscious blocks that are getting in your way. In fact, hypnotherapy is one of the most effective solutions for anger management.
By using a combination of talking therapy and deep relaxation techniques, you can be put into a trance-like state that allows your subconscious to come to the surface and examine the root cause of your anger with your therapist. You can then work together to help change your negative thought patterns, and your reactions to anger triggers and develop healthy coping strategies.
Solution Focused Hypnotherapy can help you take control of your negative thoughts and supports you in developing more effective coping strategies for the future. We'll work together to help you react to situations in a more beneficial way, and use guided imagery to build positive behavioural templates, increasing your confidence and self-worth. If you'd like to find out more, please get in touch to book a free, confidential chat to explore what you want to achieve and whether Solution Focused Hypnotherapy could help you.
Feel free to book an initial chat or get in touch to ask for advice or ask questions