By Kathryn Smith, Clinical Psychologist
We all get a little worked up at times and let’s face it, sometimes we ‘fly off the handle’ and this is okay. Feeling angry is a normal human instinct; a hard-wired response in our brains but for some, anger is like a raging inferno ready to burst into flames at any time and this is not a healthy way to live.
Recent studies have shown that this type of uncontrollable anger not only affects your immediate quality of life but can put you at risk of long term health concerns including anxiety, depression and even cardiovascular disease.
The good news is there is a way forward and the first step is identifying the problem and then learning to manage your anger.
So why manage your anger if it’s a normal human instinct I hear you say? Older theories encouraged venting anger as a good release and way to get past the problem, however researchers have now found that this only exacerbates the problem fueling the internal inferno for future outburst.
This is not to say we should ‘bite our tongue’ but managing anger and expressing it in a more controlled way provides a release without the negative side effects, allowing you to focus on the underlying issues triggering anger.
Clinical Psychologist, Kathryn Smith says; “Part of anger management is mindfulness, being aware of your body and recognising the triggers that make you angry.
The next step is more technical and involves personalise thought response before, during and after an episode, that allow you to tame the beast, so to speak.”
Each person’s management style will be different but here are some suggested thoughts that might help you keep your cool and minimise the aftermaths:
1. Just breathe. It sounds simple but taking a deep breath in and exhaling gives you time to think before you respond.
2. I am not going to let them get to me. I am in control of this situation.
3. I am not going to judge them; their opinion is not important to me.
4. Let’s not take this so seriously. Is there a funny side to this?
5. I can’t change them or this situation with anger but I can change my thinking.
If you or someone you know has problems with anger, seeking professional help will allow you to develop personalised management strategies and address underlying emotional and psychological issues. Psychology Consultants has a large and diverse team of Clinical Psychologists based at Newmarket and Morningside who are committed to helping people from all walks of life with their emotional and psychological hurdles. Visit the Brisbane Psychologist page of our website to learn more www.psychologyconsultants.com.au