Feeling angry is a perfectly natural response to certain situations and it is often healthier to express anger rather than to bottle it up. That is, when it happens only occasionally and passes quickly without damaging relationships or being destructive.
Problems occur when anger gets out of control and begins to impact negatively on a person's life and affect those who come into contact with them. Angry outbursts that are triggered on a regular basis are a clear sign that there is a problem. It's worth noting, however, that anger issues are extremely common and can be remedied with the right help.
This week is National Anger Awareness Week (1-7 December), which aims to get people thinking about and openly discussing their experiences of this powerful emotion. People are encouraged to befriend their anger and learn that once they are able to control it, it can become a positive force that can be channelled into creativity.
The British Association of Anger Management is a society dedicated to providing sufferers of toxic anger with the necessary toolkit to master this negative emotion. The website is full of useful information, self-tests and guides which can all be accessed for free. There is also the option of paid for anger management courses, which have proven success rates.
If you do feel yourself getting worked up, here are a few things that you can do to help the situation:
If anger is an emotion that you struggle with controlling it is possible to start to recognise what starts off or triggers you to respond angrily. In time you can learn to avoid situations that make you feel this way or that lead to outbursts of anger. Sometimes, situations that can make you feel worked up cannot always be foreseen and are therefore unavoidable, this is when you can learn to remove yourself from situations that make you angry.
Create a go to
This can be anything, a mantra you tell yourself, a physical or mental place that you go to, a picture you keep with you or a breathing exercise. Once you recognise that your anger can sometimes take over, you can begin to concisely combat it using tools such as the ones above. Different things will always work for different people so it is a great idea to try out different ways of being calm.
While 'having a go to' is something that you do on your own it is also important to have people to confide in. Having a family member or a friend on the end of the phone in times of need can be a great way to combat anger, someone outside of the situation can help you to view the situation rationally, listen and help you stay calm.
Don't go it alone
We all have times of anger, it is part of being human and interacting with the world. However, if you feel that your anger is something that starts to become out of your control this is nothing to be ashamed of and we would recommend talking to your GP or alternatively, counselling can help. The National Counselling Society holds an accredited register of qualified counsellors and you can find a counsellor to talk to in your area on their website.