Strategies for managing anger are not “quick fixes” but a deep and meaningful process to use overtime to address the pain and hurt underneath anger. Often individuals feel relief from anger through rage or violence behavior, but this is just a temporary release of adrenaline which pumps us up. The irrational nature of rage and violence also prevents us from understanding or addressing the underlying issues.
Below are a few strategies to meaningfully resolve anger:
- Recognize it’s a problem: Awareness is the first step. Recognizing that anger is not “caused by someone else” but rather a conscious or unconscious personal wound that still needs to heal.
- Rate and monitor your anger: Begin to discover which situations create more or less anger. Rate your anger on a scale from 1-10 and keep track. Sometimes seeing in person how often you get upset and the intensity of the anger creates a feedback loop to addressing the anger. The higher the anger, the more we use our reptilian brain or the “fight, flight, freeze” brain versus our prefrontal cortex or more “rational” brain. This neurological difference affects our judgment and perception on a situation. We may act in ways we don’t normally act.
- Take a break: It’s okay to take a break and let yourself calm down before addressing a situation. Does not mean ignore the problem. It means waiting for your anger to subside enough that you begin to think with your rational mid versus your emotional mind.
- Challenge thoughts that fuel anger: Reflect on alternate ways to understand the situation. Challenge your response by assessing if your response is appropriate given the situation and the facts you have.
If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, or you’d like to learn more about services offered, please contact the Intake Department at Specialized Therapy Associates at 201.488.6678 to hear about our individual and group services.