Have you ever experienced an adrenaline rush to the head resulting in an emotional outburst? Do you experience your heart gaining pace while you sweat over a mild argument? Or have you ever felt like anger got the best of you in an aggressive situation?
If you answered yes to any of those questions, then you may be suffering from excessive anger reactions, which come out unexpectedly – sometimes you’re described as short-fused or hot-tempered.
The good news is that these negative anger reactions can be reduced by replacing them with positive healthy behaviours. To free yourself from the clutches of ferocious anger spells, anger management counselling can be the answer.
The difference between anger and rage
Anger is a natural emotion, which humans exhibit as a protective shield for their ego or to safeguard their contradicted views. Anger in itself is not a problem, until it gets out of control and you become a victim of displaying aggressive behaviours, which transcends the socially acceptable norms.
It’s when anger takes an ugly shape of prolonged hostility that it is called pathological rage. Rage is an intense manifestation of normal angry behaviour, which can sometimes end in violent and event tragic circumstances.
The Anger Management Institute of Australia states that, a recent workplace survey found out that 42% of employees witnessed incidences of shouting and verbal abuse at their workplace.
Breeding of rage in delicate situations of interpersonal disagreements, family issues, relationships problems or work outburst needs to be handled very carefully. Displaying anger over a mere disagreement or even throwing objects randomly when things don’t go your way are worrisome behaviour which need counselling attention right away.
Embarking on the road to resolving your anger issues, you first need to accept that you suffer from this condition and then lay down the foundations of an anger management planning.
Understanding rage symptoms
People who are rage-full often complain that they feel helpless when encountering a situation in which they lose their temper. The sufferer feels like it’s the anger in control of their body, acting in ways which they later regret.
To free yourself from the vicious trap of being at the mercy of a strong emotion you first need to check whether you suffer from any of these anger symptoms below:
- Accelerated heartbeat.
- High blood pressure.
- Fanaticising disturbing thoughts of harming others.
- Exhibiting criminal behaviour.
- Displaying aggressive and irritable behaviour in normal situations.
What causes anger reactions?
Humans crave for social connection and isolation often leads you on the pathway to depression. If you disconnect yourself from the rest of the world, you are bound to experience an emotional breakdown eventually.
Anger can be triggered by many different life events or situations. Sometimes anger is a legitimate response, particularly when someone has crossed an emotional, physical or sexual boundary. Other times, your anger may be about a different life event (such as a betrayal or loss of a partner) but is triggered by something unrelated in the present. This is known as displaced anger and most commonly seen in road rage.
Here is a list of reasons that may cause this surge of negative emotions:
- Bottling up feelings inside yourself for prolonged periods.
- Social isolation.
- Lack of attention from friends or family.
- Overexerting or overburdening oneself with work.
- Severe illness.
- Loss of a loved one in tragic accident.
- Highly competitive nature and a need to win at all costs.
Controlling your anger
The last step is to tame the rage problem.
Here are some tips for controlling your anger or rage reactions:
Raise issues early: Episodes of rage are often witnessed to be sudden and drastic almost like an abrupt change in mood. The reason is not the situation presently, but a cumulative effect of a lot reasons piling up leading to an eventual ugly outburst. It is healthy to have a heart-to-heart conversation to clarify any misunderstandings with your loved ones or co-workers to lay the pillars of an anger-free relationship. Raise issues early to prevent the suppression and consequential explosion of your feelings.
Be assertive in your communication: Anger and rage that are uncontrolled are to be avoided, however, this doesn’t mean you can’t express your anger. Assertive expression of your anger where you treat the other as equal and listen to their perspective, as well as present your own, is very effective in disrupting anger explosions and rage reactions. Learn how to communicate assertively and this will have a positive benefit in many areas of your life.
Track your body sensations: Many people with anger or rage issues feel like they accelerate from 0-100 in a matters of seconds, and therefore can’t control their anger. The truth is your body gives you many different signals in the lead up to an anger outburst or rage attack. Notice small indicators like increase in your body temperature, increase in heart rate, sweating or shortness of breath as an indicator you may be able to react. Start to track these reactions with your awareness and then choose to remove yourself from the triggering situation before you explode.
Distract yourself: Every time you feel your heart pumping at an exceeding rate be alarmed that a rage fit may be in making. Try to drink water and cool yourself. Clear up your mind and think from a fresh perspective by putting yourself in the other person’s shoes. Think of alternative positive theories as to what were the real intentions of other person rather than thinking that they hurt you. Resorting to physical exercise is a very successful therapy to refocus your growing anger.
Adopt relaxing skills: Yoga and meditation are powerful tools that alter your mental state by channelling positive energy in the right direction. Wake up every morning and start off with short breath exercises and clear negative views while enhancing your positive behaviour. Repeat a calming phrase like “take it easy” to yourself over and over again and you will find yourself mastering the art of controlling your anger.
Cognitive Restructuring: Anger is strengthened by negative feelings so with this anger management technique you learn to change the way you think. Instead of focusing on the negative details of life, reflect your thoughts on positive happenings. Instead of thinking like “This is awful and everything is over now” resort to a rational approach that signifies hopeful approach like “this is a frustrating situation but I understand that there has to be some way to fix it”.
Emotions are under your control so make sure you always feel empowered by thinking positive and channelling any hateful behaviour in a rage-free manner.
If you suffer from anger issues and want the support of a professional counsellor or psychologist, Australia Counselling links you with registered counsellors in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra and regional areas. Visit our anger management issues page to search for a counsellor that specialises in working with anger issues in your local area.