A traffic jam, a difficult coworker, an irritating spouse – and suddenly you’re feeling angry. Anger is a normal emotion, but anger can cause problems when it explodes into rage.
Anger can affect your work, your relationships, every aspect of your life. Anger can also affect your health, as it causes your blood pressure and heart rate to go up, blood clotting increases, blood vessels constrict – which increases your heart attack risk.
When anger becomes a frequent pattern, you might feel at the mercy of this powerful emotion. You may feel the need to express your anger, as you feel under attack. In fact, anger is part of the “fight or flight” response – and does prompt us to fight when attacked, in order to survive.
In today’s world, however, we can’t rage at everyone – or every circumstance – that upsets us. Others expect us to control the expression of anger. It’s important to your work, your personal relationships and your overall quality of life to learn to control your anger. This is referred to as “anger management.”
The problem is most people are never taught how to handle their angry reactions. We feel the emotions but have never received any help in dealing with them.
Let’s say you got rear-ended in traffic. You can choose how you react to your angry feelings.
You’re upset and you don’t mind telling everyone. Your first instinct might be to yell or curse — but it doesn’t have to be. You can focus on getting your needs met. You can be assertive, not aggressive. You handle the incident without getting nasty.
You try to suppress your anger. You focus on dealing with repairs and a rental car and being thankful no one was hurt. But inside, you’re still seething. The other guy didn’t have insurance!
The problem is, if anger isn’t expressed, it can turn inward – on yourself – with negative effects.
People who can’t express anger often start feeling depressed or develop high blood pressure. They develop other ways of dealing with their anger, like becoming cynical, hostile, critical.
Passive-aggressive behavior is another form of repressed anger. You don’t deal with people directly. Instead, you get back at them indirectly, without being up-front about your anger.
This is a healthy reaction when you feel anger. This involves consciously controlling your internal reaction, not just your external response. You take steps to lower your breathing rate, heart rate, calm yourself down, and let the feelings subside.
In anger management sessions, you can learn how to reduce your emotions and the physiological effects of your anger. There will always be people, car accidents, and other incidents that cause irritation, anger, and rage. You can’t change them, but you can learn to control your reaction to them.
A psychotherapist can help you with anger management — so you can handle those major upsets and keep your cool. It will help you at work, in your relationships, in every aspect of your life.
To find out more about Anger Management Services, contact Leslie Terner’s office located at 5480 Wisconsin Avenue Suite LL8 Chevy Chase, Maryland 20815. Leslie Terner provides Anger Management counseling in Chevy Chase, MD, and its surrounding areas.Book an appointment by calling 301-718-1758
5480 Wisconsin Avenue
Chevy Chase, MD 20815
Fri and Sun: Closed
I am a Certified Psychiatric Mental Health Clinical Nurse Specialist in Chevy Chase, Maryland. I have been in private practice since 1999. I help clients to heal and gain insight into why they have developed their behaviors.