Many people have trouble handling their anger. When it is not dealt with efficiently, it can damage work and home relationships. Being angry most of the time also can damage your physical health. If you are not able to control your anger, then you may end up hurting yourself or those that you love. You may find that you stay away from some activities that you would enjoy for fear of people seeing you angry. Learning to deal with your anger is not for the faint of heart, but it can help you learn more effective coping techniques.
The first step in handling your anger is to access the things that make you angry. Just like keeping a food diary, many people find it useful to keep an anger journal where they write down the things that they get mad about regularly. According to Dr. Sandra Carpenter with the University of Alabama, all anger boils down to two different factors. First, your expectations are not fulfilled. For example, you expect your husband to have cleaned the kitchen when you get home from work, but he went out with his friends instead. Secondly, anger can come from the fact that your goals are blocked. For example, you expect to get off at 5 PM, but a client walks in the door, and you do not get to leave until 30 minutes later. If you have a family history of not dealing with anger effectively, then you are more likely to not deal with it effectively either. Additionally, research shows that your age, gender, and culture can make you more or less prone to getting angry.
When you become aware of your anger trigger points, then you are more able to control your behavior. The first step in making healthy choices is to accept those things that you have no power over now and separate them from those things that you can control. You have a powerful mind that can think of solutions that others may not recognize allowing you to arrive at creative solutions. You also have the power to seek outside resources, like relationship counseling, to help you arrive at workable solutions. Finally, you can control how you respond to any situation.
At this point, you have made reasonable choices that let you respond in a rational way to the anger that you are feeling. You have surrendered control of the things that you cannot control. Now, you are ready to put your plan into action. Remember that not every plan will be successful, so you need to adjust it as you act on your ideas.
If you find yourself angry with your significant other a lot of the time, then relationship counseling is a great place to start. The counselor, like the ones at Orlando Thrive Therapy, will be glad to teach you new techniques to deal with your anger.
Heather Oller is a licensed Orlando therapist at Orlando Thrive Therapy, Coaching & Counseling who specializes in counseling Orlando couples, individuals, and families who are seeking changes in their lives. She has been a mental health professional for over 17 years and is a practicing Orlando counselor that specializes in conflict resolution for couples. You can contact her for an appointment or call 407-592-8997 for more information.