Anger is a basic emotion that is one of the primitive responses to the survival of our species. Feeling angry is a natural human response to certain life experiences, and it occurs particularly at times when we come under attack, feel stressed, insulted or frustrated. Anger helps to relieve built-up energy and tension that has built up in the body as a result of the chemical responses in the mind.
The instinctive, natural way human beings express anger is through aggression. It is key for survival as it triggers the ‘flight or fight’ reaction, which allows us to fight and defend ourselves when we are attacked. However, it is unacceptable for our anger to be unleashed every time we are frustrated, annoyed or irritated.
People who have failed to process their anger effectively may put others down and can be overly critical. They may be irritable or grumpy and this behaviour can greatly affect their relationships and how they function in everyday life.
Fundamentally, anger becomes a problem when it starts harming you and those around you. This will depend on how you express your anger. If you are bottling it up, or expelling it at inappropriate times and in unsafe ways, you are risking damage not only to your health and well-being, but also to your relationships and other aspects of your daily life.
Counselling is designed to help you recognise and reduce the feelings that anger creates by allowing individuals to explore the underlying issues and triggers in a safe environment. You may be encouraged to reassess some of the beliefs about anger that may be present in your family, your past and your experiences or perception of it and will be encouraged to recognise how your anger is affecting your relationships and impacting your quality of life. You will be helped in identifying your frustrations early on so they can be resolved in a way that allows you to express yourself whilst remaining calm and in control.
You can be encouraged to care for yourself and identify areas that are contributing to your anger and how to deal with these areas. You will also be encouraged to look at how you think and feel about your anger and how negative thinking can affect how we interact with others.