Anger is what we experience when we feel threatened. It can be a very physical feeling, as it’s part of the fight or flight reaction. The hot cross bun above shows typical thoughts, feelings, behaviour and urges and physical reactions we all have when we are angry.
But you’ll see that acting on the urges in the hot cross but above can get us into a lot of trouble. If you have issues with anger, you’ll know what I mean. And as well as the trouble it causes, it often affects our own self-esteem, when we regret acting impulsively and the damage it may have done. ‘This is just not who I want to be’.
CBT, DBT and ACT can help you get some distance from these thoughts and urges, giving you more choice as to whether you act on them or not.
You’ll work with your therapist first to understand and accept your anger and how it works for you, then to change it, so you can have a richer, less crisis-ridden life. You can choose a therapist here. Sometimes, if anger is our main problem, we can find ourselves becoming angry with the therapist! Don’t worry, the key is to be willing to talk about this up front with your therapist and make plans about how you will deal with it together when it comes up.
Although anger is a physical reaction, the key to managing it so that it is appropriate to the situation is by using the mind. We can develop awareness of our own anger and triggers to our anger. We can train ourselves to become aware of our bodily reactions early on in the sequence. Then we can learn to stop the sequence and redirect our actions so that we behave differently. You can read more about this in our book Get Your Life Back, where you’ll find free downloads of exercises to help.
Our book will show you how to help yourself to Get Your Life Back. It takes you step by step, starting with identifying the problem. Then it helps you understand why you have the problem. You will learn mindfulness skills to begin training your brain. Then get clear about your values: what you really want in your life. Another chapter helps you understand how your problem works for you. Once you’ve done this there is a chapter showing you how to break the links in the chain of your problem behaviour. You can also contact us to work with a therapist skilled in this area by Skype, FaceTime etc., on the phone or face to face.