Anger is a normal human emotion, and everyone feels anger from time to time. How you react to feelings of anger impacts your life and the lives of others around you.
If your life and relationships are suffering because of difficulty regulating your anger, did you know that anger management therapy can help? Read on to learn more about the difference between healthy anger and unhealthy anger, the risks of unhealthy anger, and how anger management therapy can help enhance your quality of life.
Healthy vs. Unhealthy Anger
Research reveals that unhealthy anger not only hurts your relationships but also damages your health. It weakens your immune system and leads to illnesses such as cancer, heart disease, and stroke. There are four expressions of anger; three are unhealthy, and one is healthy.
Anger that is expressed aggressively is aimed at hurting another person physically, emotionally, or psychologically.
Examples of aggressive expressions of anger can include:
- Punching or hitting
- Anger disproportionate to the situation
Aggressive anger causes you to feel the need to put others down, but you may feel guilt for your behavior afterward.
Passive-aggressive anger is more indirect than aggressive anger. Examples include:
- Sulking or withdrawing affection
- Sarcasm or mocking
- Saying you’re fine when you aren’t
Some people are very uncomfortable with feelings of conflict or stress, so they suppress their anger. Suppressive anger is anger that you avoid by internalizing it.
Examples of suppressive anger include:
- Feeling resentful
- Avoids making others uncomfortable
- Feels paralyzed by conflict
- Not admitting anger but are depressed or moody
Suppressive anger is most harmful to your physical and mental health and can lead to chronic pain.
Assertive anger is the only healthy expression of anger. It allows you to resolve conflict without threatening, blaming, or inflicting pain on the other person involved.
Examples of assertive anger include:
- Using “I” statements (i.e., I feel . . . when . . .)
- Respecting yourself and the other person
- Listening to understand
Having healthy assertive anger means you are choosing to express your anger in a healthy way.
How Does Anger Management Therapy Help You?
Anger management therapy helps you heal the root causes of your anger, stabilize your emotions, and regulate your responses to feeling angry. You learn how to:
1. Identify anger triggers
Anger management therapy helps you to identify what triggers your anger. Common anger triggers include:
- Past trauma
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
2. Manage your anger in healthy ways
Once you understand your anger triggers, you can learn practical tools calm yourself down and practice managing your anger and expressing it assertively. You realize that you don’t have to become invisible or have power over other people.
Anger management techniques may include:
- Impulse control
- Frustration management
- Breathing techniques
- Relaxation strategies
Naperville Anger Management Therapy
If you have had enough of anger affecting your life and want change, anger management therapy may be beneficial for you. Eunoia in Naperville offers skilled counseling to help set you on the path to a life that works better for you. Reach out to us today for your confidential appointment.