Anger hurts. Repeated exposure to anger causes great damage and leaves deep scars on those who are its victims and its perpetrators alike. The fear, the pain, the hurt, the regret, the costs are known to us all.
What is anger?
Anger is a primary, natural emotion experienced by all human beings. Anger reduces stress, it discharges arousal, it gets attention. We can become angry when we have been offended, wronged or denied. Anger normally has three aspects which can build up to form the explosion of emotion and behavior we witness as road rage or verbal and physical assault or violence. The three aspects underlying anger include thought distortions, spontaneous and uncontrolled internal emotional reactions followed by the types of aggressive, ugly, antisocial and abusive behaviors that frequently cause catastrophic damage to all concerned.
We know what we think determines to a large degree how we feel and what we experience in life. And this is also true about anger. Anger is often associated with five types of crooked thinking:
Blaming other people who you believe are doing bad things to you is the most damaging distortion underlying anger.
Black and white thinking, making sweeping negative statements about people you don’t like comes a close second in fuelling your anger.
Jumping to negative conclusions and believing other people have done something to you on purpose also doesn’t help.
Over-generalising by making an occasional event seem like an ongoing saga also sets up an angry response.
Setting unrealistic expectations for yourself or others is also a certain way to make yourself angry with yourself or others.
Therapy that works
At Bayside Psychology you can expect to learn how to manage your anger. This will involve some psycho-education to enable you to understand the difference between productive healthy anger and dysfunctional anger including rage, hostility and violence. You will learn how to recognise your thought distortions and how to control your emotional reactions and behaviour. As a result you will be able to go where you want, do what you want and mix with anyone without getting angry and still achieve your goals by using more appropriate and productive strategies.
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