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Angry All the Time: Dear Stacy, I don’t know why I am angry all the time, but it is affecting my relationships and I don’t know what to do.
Stacy: Dear Angry All the Time, thanks for reaching out. We all experience anger, and the emotion is very human. It is also normal to experience anger depending on the situation. Anger can become a problem when it escalates to uncontrollable anger at the most minor issues. If this happens, then the emotion is no longer a “normal” emotion, but a major problem. Learning the triggers for your anger and the symptoms that result is important so that you can better manage your anger.
This step in your emotional journey will make a big difference in how you move forward in your relationships and will aid you in repairing relationships that may have been damaged by your anger. There are many different causes for anger and using tips and techniques to assist you in getting it under control will help you express your feelings in a healthier way.
“Psychotherapist Rebecca Wong, LCSW, sees many individuals and couples who are angry because of relational issues. That is, they’re angry with their spouse, kids, parents, friends or coworkers. For instance, maybe they’re angry because they feel invisible or like they don’t matter. Maybe you expected your best friend to support you, but they didn’t. Maybe you expected your spouse to help out more around the house. ‘That’s where, if those buttons are pushed enough, often enough, you could flip into a state of anger without even knowing why.’ Anger also ‘stems from wanting to control what is outside of us,’ said Michelle Farris, LMFT, a psychotherapist in San Jose, California.” (Margarita Tartakovsky, MS).
Understanding anger, the affects anger has on you and those around you, as well as exploring what is really behind your anger is the first step to “anger management.” Anger management does not mean that you will never be angry again, it simply means that you are learning the message behind the emotions and you are expressing them in a healthy way without losing control. This takes practice of course, but the more you practice, the easier it will become.
The next step is being aware of your anger warning signs or triggers. Be sure to pay attention to the way the anger feels in your body. This full awareness will then allow you to learn new ways to cool down quickly. Give yourself a reality check: see www.helpguide.org/articles/relationships-communication/anger-management.htm for more details on how to do that.
This will then lead you to find healthier ways to express your anger. Be sure to stay calm and take care of yourself. Using humor is a great way to relieve tension. If at any time, these remedies are not working for you, then it may be imperative to recognize that you need some professional help. A great way to start your journey is by keeping an anger journal. Check out these resources to get you started.
Good luck on your anger management journey!
Here are some resources on the topic.