We all know that feeling. It’s the rage that comes when someone pulls out in front of us on the highway or our significant other makes a personal attack on our character. Anger is a secondary emotion, which means, it is often provoked by another emotion. Fortunately for us, we are not born angry. An event causes a response, and anger feels safer because it isn’t as vulnerable of an emotion as fear. I’m here to tell you that anger is a healthy response to criticism, threat or frustration. What isn’t healthy is using anger in a way that harms ourselves or others. There are plenty of ways to express anger without becoming aggressive. If anger turns into rage, it can cause difficulty in our ability to make decisions and we are more likely to do things that are pretty unreasonable. Sometimes, anger can make us physically not feel well. Headaches, backaches, digestive issues, insomnia and a weakened immune system are just a few of the physical symptoms one may experience. Uncontrolled anger can lead to depression, low self-esteem and alcohol/drug abuse.
How do I know if I need therapy for my anger:
- Engaging in physical fights
- Often under the impression that you need to keep your anger bottled up inside
- People tell you that you are “always” in a bad mood
- Destroying items during a fit of rage
- Threatening someone or their belongings with harm
- Physically harming a partner or child
- Frequent arguments with family or friends
If this sounds like something you are struggling with, please reach out and schedule an appointment. Engaging in counseling can be your first step. Seeking counseling for anger isn’t a sign of weakness. It is a sign of strength. By getting help, you will learn how to identify the warning signs of anger and develop positive ways to express your frustration, which will enable you to have positive, long-lasting relationships.