Anger – Causes and Characteristics
Anger in any kind of relationship be it intimate or the relationship we have with ourselves can be a major reason for inner turmoil, separation and or divorce.
Anger can often lead us into destructive behaviours including problematic drug and alcohol use, which may become an Addiction. It can also lead to serious self harming behaviours and in many cases problems with our social interaction and even with the law or the authorities.
Commonly, anger can escalate and lead to violence towards others, particularly within Relationships, this is often called domestic violence, domestic abuse or Partner Abuse. Anger is responsible for the breakdown of many relationships and we can even turn our anger inwardly and self harm.
‘Each and every one of us has the right to be angry – but not the right to be cruel’
It’s important to be aware of both the positive and negative feelings we get from anger. Recognizing the positive and negative feelings associated with our anger, we can explore and identify ways to express angry feelings safely and in a non destructive manner.
Everyone’s feelings are unique, so there will be different solutions for every individual, but useful strategies may include trying a non-contact competitive sport, learning relaxation techniques. maybe meditation.
Shouting and screaming in a private quiet place, banging your fists into a pillow, going running, or anything which enables you to release the anger energy in a controlled way. Exercise is a very effective way to calm down and vent anger safely.
Understanding your Anger
It’s important to understand the various components which define anger, before we go about tackling it. First, anger is a normal process that has allowed humans to evolve and adapt into the most successful species on the planet.
The fight or flight response which we are all blue-printed with as human beings is in it’s essence a strategy for survival, it isn’t a bad thing in itself, but problems occur if our anger is not understood and managed correctly in modern living.
Anger is a combination of both emotional and physical triggers within the mind and body. A big surge of wayward energy is released into our bodies when these triggers are released, a chemical (adrenaline) is released into the bloodstream when anger is triggered.
Once the underlying cause of the anger is addressed, you may still have to deal with the still powerful physical effects, all the energy created by the adrenaline has to go somewhere.
This is often taken out on another person such as a partner, either physically or emotionally, this is often given the name partner abuse, or sometimes anger may be taken out on an object by punching a door, for example. This last scenario can in some cases lead to self-harming behaviours.
Many people use another strategy for dealing with their anger, they suppress the energy until the next time they are angry. This may mean you release so much pent-up emotion that you over-react to the next anger occurrence.
This is often seen in news headlines when for an often unknown reason the normally placid individual totally loses control with devastating consequences. Not all anger is negative, because of the surge of energy anger creates, it can be pleasurable and can in many cases ease stress levels.
This feeling is reinforced if becoming angry allows the release of feelings of frustration, or if a person’s response to your anger gives you a sense of power. It’s important to acknowledge and keep an eye on this side of the problem – it can have an almost addictive element, it can be seen by many men for example at a football match, or many other sporting events where bodily contact plays a part.
Anger can be closely linked to drug or alcohol addiction or dependency, though not necessarily in all cases.
It’s important to be aware of both the positive and negative feelings you get from anger. By recognising the positive and negative feelings associated with your anger, it’s important to find ways to express angry feelings safely and in a non destructive manner.
Getting angry is also a great motivator, many of the great advances in humanity came about because someone got angry.
Each person’s positives are unique, so there will be different solutions for everyone, but some strategies may include trying a non-contact competitive sport, learning relaxation or meditation, shouting and screaming in a private quiet place, banging your fists into a pillow, going running, or anything which enables you to release the energy in a controlled way.
Paul is an experienced online counsellor who uses his compassion and knowledge to guide you to a better place
A few years ago during a dark period of my own life, I benefited from counselling. The acceptance, insight and unconditional positive regard I received from my counsellor inspired me to train to become a therapist. I’ve worked as a counsellor now for 15 years.
I started offering online counselling 11 years ago to improve counselling services in terms of:
Accessibility, Convenience, Cost and even the Stigma counselling had at that time. By removing these barriers I reach out and help people by providing a much more accessible counselling experience.
Combining humanistic, person centred counselling and therapy with practical life coaching strategies I can support you through your issues and as a result, provide the tools to create a happier future.
Dear counselors online, I am supposed to be getting married on Saturday but I am frightened to go through with it or even to call the wedding off. I love my Fiance very much but he beats me up every time he comes home from the bar. Please help me I feel so scared, helpless and alone.
Hello A. Thank you for your message and I am so sorry to hear of your pain. You are not alone and neither are you helpless. It is hard to accept that the person you love hurts you in this way, but it may be that your fiance needs help too. You may find the information pages on partner abuse useful. In the meantime, stay safe and please get in touch soon, you can chat with me anonymously if you wish and I will not share your information with anyone without your permission.
Best wishes Paul