Coping with anger

Mental Health Blog / Tuesday, December 18th, 2018

Anger is a state of heightened arousal that kicks in when your mind perceives a situation to be potentially dangerous and determines the best solution available is to fight or flee.

Used in the proper context and with the right amount of control, anger can be quite beneficial. It can be used when you need to:

  • Identify problems
  • Defend yourself in a dangerous situation
  • Flee from a dangerous situation
  • Achieve goals
  • Move on in life

The downside to anger is that it’s addictive. As adrenaline and other stress hormones course through your body, your strength, dexterity and speed are temporarily enhanced, making you feel invincible. If you don’t keep it in check, anger will overcome you and you could become a threat to yourself and your environment.

Sometimes your mind makes mistakes in judgment. Not every situation it perceives as a threat requires you to fight or flee. In those times you need to know how to calm down before your anger takes over and you unnecessarily escalate the condition. When you feel yourself getting angry, take a good look around. Does the situation require a burst of anger? If not, breathe slowly and deeply until you’re calm and clear headed.

Another way to help ensure you can reign in your anger when needed is to work on reducing your general emotion arousal threshold. You can do this by:

  • Finding new ways to deal with stress
  • Practicing calming techniques
  • Reducing or cutting out things that over stimulate you such as computer games, TV and coffee
  • Meeting your emotional needs (this is by far the most important)

Dealing with anger can be challenging but you can learn coping techniques. Exploring underlying causes of anger or exploring your emotional needs with a trained counsellor can be extremely beneficial.  Please contact me to confidentially chat about how I could help you.

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