In my hypnotherapy practice I have recently seen a big increase with clients visiting me saying they can’t contain their anger and frustration. The good thing is that they are contacting me and are wanting to do something about it. but why is this happening now?
Could it be Brexit. Could it be extra worry about what’s happening to our country. or is it just life in general?
Anger itself isn’t a problem — it’s how you handle it. Consider the nature of anger, as well as how to manage anger and what to do when you’re confronted by someone whose anger is out of control.
What is anger?
Anger is a natural response to perceived threats. It causes your body to release adrenaline, your muscles to tighten, and your heart rate and blood pressure to increase. Your senses might feel more acute and your face and hands flushed.
However, anger becomes a problem only when you don’t manage it in a healthy way.
So it’s not ‘bad’ to feel angry?
Being angry isn’t always a bad thing. Being angry can help you share your concerns. It can prevent others from walking all over you. It can motivate you to do something positive. The key is managing your anger in a healthy way.
What causes people to get angry?
There are many common triggers for anger, such as losing your patience, feeling as if your opinion or efforts aren’t appreciated, and injustice. Other causes of anger include memories of traumatic or enraging events and worrying about personal problems.
You also have unique anger triggers, based on what you were taught to expect from yourself, others and the world around you. Your personal history feeds your reactions to anger, too. For example, if you weren’t taught how to express anger appropriately, your frustrations might simmer and make you miserable, or build up until you explode in an angry outburst.
Inherited tendencies, brain chemistry or underlying medical conditions also play a role in your tendency toward angry outburst.
What’s the best way to handle anger?
When you’re angry, you can deal with your feelings through:
- Expression. This is the act of conveying your anger. Expression ranges from a reasonable, rational discussion to a violent outburst.
- Suppression. This is an attempt to hold in your anger and possibly convert it into more constructive behavior. Suppressing anger, however, can cause you to turn your anger inward on yourself or express your anger through passive-aggressive behavior.
- Calming down. This is when you control your outward behavior and your internal responses by calming yourself and letting your feelings subside.
Ideally, you’ll choose constructive expression — stating your concerns and needs clearly and directly, without hurting others or trying to control them.
Can anger harm your health?
Some research suggests that inappropriately expressing anger — such as keeping anger pent up — can be harmful to your health. Suppressing anger appears to make chronic pain worse, while expressing anger reduces pain.
There’s also evidence that anger and hostility is linked with heart disease, high blood pressure, peptic ulcers and stroke.
When is professional help needed?
Learning to control anger is a challenge for everyone at times. Consider seeking help for anger issues if your anger seems out of control, causes you to do things you regret, hurts those around you or is taking a toll on your personal relationships.
How does hypnotherapy help with anger?
Feeling angry now and then is a normal part of life. Usually, anger is a result of feeling frustrated, insulted, deceived or even under attack. For many, anger is a natural reaction that passes quickly. In some instances, however, it can become a difficult emotion to control.
Failing to manage anger effectively can lead to mental and physical health problems. You may find your anger management issues are affecting your relationships, your work or even your self-esteem.
Hypnotherapy can help those with anger management problems in several ways. The initial aim of the hypnotherapist will be to understand the root cause of your anger.
As previously mentioned, anger management problems often stem from past experiences. These experiences can shape your behaviour and belief system. So, while you may think another person or situation is causing your anger, it may well come from yourself. Once this is understood, your hypnotherapist can begin work changing this.
To do so, your hypnotherapist will work on a conscious and unconscious level to help change your negative thought processes. Doing this may involve relaxation techniques and suggestions from your hypnotherapist to help control your anger.
The hope is that this will change your reaction to anger triggers. Instead of feeling overwhelmed and angry, you should feel calmer and more relaxed. Feeling calmer in stressful situations helps you to think more clearly so you can react in a more appropriate way.
Anger management hypnotherapy can also help with some of the symptoms of anger. For example, if you are suffering from anxiety, stress or depression, hypnotherapy can be helpful.
The number of anger management hypnotherapy sessions you’ll need will depend on your individual circumstances. It is likely that your hypnotherapist will teach you some self-hypnosis techniques and relaxation tips. You can use these at home when you feel angry or stressed to help you control your anger in the long-term.
How to deal with anger – self-help tips
If you have decided to seek professional help for your anger management problem, there are several things you can do in tandem to help regain control. The following tips can help you control your anger and express it in a healthy way.
Get to know your triggers
Understanding what situations make you feel angry is key. By recognising when you are likely to feel angry, you can be prepared. To do this, start taking notes when you feel angry. Try to note the following:
- What was the situation?
- Was there another person involved?
- What did they say/do to make you feel angry?
- How did you feel at the time?
- How did you behave?
- How did you feel after the incident?
After a while, you should start to notice some patterns emerging. Perhaps you get angry when you feel belittled, or maybe you feel angrier after the situation because you couldn’t express yourself at the time.
Talk through your notes with your hypnotherapist, as this can help them work with you to understand the underlying reason behind your anger. Just recognising these patterns can be an enormous help.
Give yourself some time
A simple way to help you manage your anger when a trigger situation arises is to give yourself some time before you react. This allows you to really think about how you react, rather than reacting instinctively. Try the following suggestions to see if they help:
- Take some deep breaths – breathing out for longer than you breathe in can help to calm you.
- Count to 10 – a simple act that can give you enough time to calm yourself before you react.
- Do something else – instead of reacting, try to distract yourself by doing something else. If you can, try to channel that energy into something creative.
- Listen to calming music/sounds – create a calming playlist and listen to it when you start to feel angry.
Try a few different distraction techniques and see what works best for you. Again, this is something you can discuss with your hypnotherapist as they may have some alternative suggestions.
Don’t bottle it up. Don’t aim it at the wrong people. control it. If you’re local let me help. Don’t let anger rule and ruin your life and the lives of those around you. Your children will act like you and copy your reactions, and sometimes they don’t have the understanding in how to control it.
Until next time.