I am a marriage and family therapist with a master's degree in marriage and family therapy.
Anger Management Counseling
Something we all have in common together is the feeling of anger. We all have felt it, dealt with it, and expressed it in some way or another. Even Jesus became angry. When anger becomes uncontrollable, it can be damaging, toxic, or even destructive. There is nothing wrong with feeling angry, but when you cannot manage it, then it would be beneficial to you and those close in your life to learn to cope with it in a healthy way. We are truly in a healthy state of mind and body when we can control our feelings, and not let them get in control of us.
In counseling, one can learn to control anger or manage it if there is concern or worry about dealing with it. Going to anger management counseling does not mean someone is weak, less than, or inferior to others. If you are going to anger management counseling, look at it this way: you want to better yourself. You want to improve and grow, and you are insightful, mature, and responsible enough to seek a professional to help you grow in that area. We all need to grow in someway, and you are seeking to do that through anger management counseling! Way to go!
Listed here are some helpful ways to deal with anger management and can be topics to discuss while in anger management counseling.
Getting It Out in Therapy
Talk About Your Feelings, Get Them Out
A way of dealing with anger is to get it out and “get it off your chest” by talking to someone. Releasing anger with your counselor is relieving, freeing, and definitely effective to help you deal with your feelings in a positive way. Counseling is a safe space that is free of judgment and inviting to help you to open up and talk about feelings that have been troubling you. Talking about your anger is a way to get it out and effectively cope with those feelings in the future.
Storm Off and “Walk It Off”
Anger can be released by stomping on the ground as you walk. Going and taking a walk is good, in addition to that you can slam down your steps to help “get out” those angry feelings. Physically getting your anger out is an effective way of dealing with the emotion.
Punch a Punching Bag or Pillow
Another effective way out physically getting your anger out is by hitting a bag or pillow. This is a common suggestion in anger management counseling. Punching bags are easy to hang up and wallop over and over again. This effectively gets out anger in a positive way without hurting anyone. It is also a good workout which may be why it’s a common suggestion. Similarly, having a pillow to punch is also satisfying, being able to punch something to relieve those angry flames that arise within you.
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What You Can Do to Get Rid of Anger
Hold Your Breath and Count to 10
Being still, alone, in a quiet room is a great way to set yourself up to relinquish anger. Sit down, close your eyes, take a deep breath in through your nose, and hold it. Count in your head to 10, and slowly exhale through your nose. After this process, see how you are feeling and repeat the process if needed to let the feelings of anger pass through you.
Walk Away From the Situation, Go Do Something Else
If you feel that you are losing control of your anger which may turn to a bad or dangerous situation, leaving the room or environment will be the best way to deal with the situation. Walking away from the situation and doing something positive will help take your mind off of what made you mad and help fill your mind and soul with new thoughts and feelings. Go do something positive or productive such as grocery shopping, go read or hang out in a coffee shop, or just go for a walk. These are all ways to get out of the angry situation you are in and cope with the feelings in a positive way. Let the feelings pass and save yourself from an unpleasant situation or hurting a relationship.
Record Your Thoughts in a Journal
Another great way to get out feelings is by writing them down or speaking them aloud in a journal. We spoke about going to a therapist to talk about your feelings, but keeping a diary is very therapeutic in itself also. Write down your thoughts and feelings and see them on paper. Keep continuous journal entries to see how your feelings are changing and how you are dealing with them. Throughout time your situation and feelings may change. It’s great to see progress of your anger and yourself as time goes on.
Recognize Your Feelings and Own Them
Be mindful of feelings and how they come. An event may cause a thought, that leads, to feeling, which creates an action.
Anger is a secondary emotion, meaning that it is caused by something else. You may feel hurt, hopeless, helpless, or deeply sad. The anger comes as a result from these feelings. A thought that you may have can often lead to anger, which produces an action from you that you might regret. Actions made from anger are not often positive or productive. The point here is to be mindful of your feelings as they come. Know and own your feelings, and what influences them to happen. What happened to make you angry, what thoughts came before you became angry? Realizing and owning the problem is the first step to solving it.
Recognize what makes you angry and what you can do if that situation arises. Prepare for when the feelings of anger come.
What makes you angry? Is it when someone cuts out in front of you in traffic, when your toddler throws a temper tantrum, or when you spill coffee on the floor? To help manage and cope with angry feelings, really recognize and know what makes you feel that way. When you recognize how it happens, you are better able to handle the feelings and know what to do when you become angry. Prepare for the anger by using one of the tools above that were discussed.
Anger management couples counseling.
Many times couples are angry with each other in their marriage. Either one person needs anger management and it effects the relationship, or the couple is angry with each other and they need therapy as a couple to address anger. Either way, couples Counseling is important and helpful to address anger within one or both partners. This type of counseling can help decrease anger for both partners, as well as increase their bond and connection together. So overall, it helps them individually as well as together as a couple.
There is nothing wrong with being angry, its how you react to the feeling that makes the difference. Your feelings are unique and are your own, they are happening for a reason. It will make you feel so much more in control when your recognize your feelings, know why they are happening, and what to do when they happen. You will be at the point where you can control your feelings, and not let them control you.