Understanding your Anger and its Causes
We all feel angry at times, which is completely normal – anger and rage are part of being human. When it starts to affect your life in ways you don’t want it to, you may look to start making changes.
When feeling angry, some people can become aggressive towards others and behave in ways they later regret, or even feel ashamed of. Others may hide their anger and direct it towards themselves. However your anger shows itself, it can be a very difficult experience for you. By understanding it, we can work together to try and resolve it.
When is Anger a Problem?
Anger only becomes a problem when it gets out of control and harms you or the people around you. This can happen when:
- It is regularly expressed through unhelpful or destructive behaviours
- It is having a negative impact on your overall mental and physical health
- It becomes a go-to emotion, blocking out the ability to feel other emotions
- Healthy ways to express anger haven’t been developed
These emotions may not be constant, but may come and go. They may even surprise you when they do appear, and sometimes it may even be difficult to recognise that an emotion is due to the bereavement.
How can Counselling Help?
Counselling can help you understand your anger and its triggers, without judgement or shame.
Anger can be a fight or flight response – you may not be in any actual danger, but it can feel this way when you consider your experiences. Your fight or flight system gets activated to keep you safe from the perceived threat.
Counselling can help you explore and understand these triggers and then help you to rewrite those responses. As a result, the situations and people you felt threatened by will no longer be perceived as such. This means your fight or flight system will no longer be activated as you will be feeling safe.
Symptoms of Anger
Anger may cause many different symptoms both physically and mentally. It can even affect your behaviour.
Physical symptoms can include:
- Increased heartrate
- Muscle tension
- Clenching your fists
- Tightness in your chest
- Feeling hot
- A churning feeling in your stomach
- Legs going weak
- Sweating, especially your palms
- Shaking or trembling
- A pounding head
Mental symptoms can include:
- Increased heartrate
- Feeling tense or nervous
- Inability to relax
- Being easily irritated
- Feeling humiliated
- Feeling resentful in other situations
- ‘Red mist’ coming down on you
- Resenting other people
Behavioural changes can include:
- Ignoring people or sulking
- Starting fights
- Breaking things
- Throwing things
While these symptoms are common, you may not experience them all. Just like your anger is unique to you, the way it affects you is too. Whatever your symptoms, recognising them can give you a chance to think about how you would like to react when you start to feel angry. This is not always possible and is very difficult, but we can work together to find a solution that might work for you.
My Commitment to You
My role is to understand your anger, its triggers and how it is affecting your life. This means I will listen to you, without judging you or your anger. Understanding your experiences will enable me to work with you to help you find ways to cope with your anger. Together we will explore ways to understand the root of your anger, with the aim of feeling it less and diminishing the control it has over you. I aim to provide a safe space for you to talk about your feelings of anger, rage and anything else that comes with it, without the fear of being judged.
I also see my role as working collaboratively with you and suggesting strategies that others have found useful. Not every strategy is right for every person, so we can explore different coping mechanisms together. Try not to worry if one strategy isn’t right for you – one size does not fit all when it comes to anger. We can always have an open discussion about what is right for you, and what isn’t.
Your Counselling Session
This space is yours to explore any feelings and experiences you wish. There is no right or wrong way to process your experience of anger. You may choose to use your session to talk about the impact your anger has on you, your experiences and how they have affected you. You may choose instead to talk about possible strategies to help you. I am here to listen to whatever you need and feel is useful to talk about. This is your anger and your session.