On your commute to work, you may come across aggressive drivers who yell out obscenities, cut off other drivers, tailgate, change lanes without prior warning and turn their high beams on. Some drivers try to run others off the road and bump their cars. Aggressive driving or “road rage” can cause injuries to other people and the aggressive driver.
When anger is uncontrolled, it is also a health risk. Long periods of anger regularly can cause insomnia, skin problems, digestive disorders, headaches, backaches, a weakened immune system, depression, low self-esteem, stroke and cardiac arrest.
The experienced anger management therapists at Thriveworks in Silver Spring, MD have worked with thousands of people with uncontrollable anger to help them find the causes and triggers of their anger and healthy ways to respond to them. They work with individuals to find an anger management treatment plan in order for them to live happier and healthier lives.
Warning Signs of Anger
Monitoring anger is crucial to knowing what causes it. The cues are warning signs of anger, and it is important to identify them. There are four categories, including physical, behavioral, emotional and cognitive.
The physical cues are how the body responds to an angry episode. A racing heart, sweaty palms and a feeling of tightness in the chest are all indicators that you are angry and it is spiraling out of control.
The behavioral cues are witnessed by others when you are angry. Examples of these are shouting, clenching the fist and pacing.
Feelings that you have when you are angry are emotional cues. They are the feelings that underlie anger, such as guilt, abandonment or being disrespected.
The thoughts, or cognitive cues, are the response to the situation or source that made you angry. It may be something taken the wrong way, such as a coworker’s comment that you construe as a criticism. Some people view the actions of others as being controlling or condescending. The “self-talk” of angry people is mostly critical. In addition, people may have fantasies about getting back at the person who made them angry. When the images occur, they can cause anger to exacerbate.
Steps to Manage Anger
- Realize that your anger is an issue.
- Write about the anger and where it is coming from. If there is a pattern in the different events that have caused anger, jot down when you have had similar reactions before.
- E-mail the source of your anger. Write about what happened and how you felt. Write a page or several pages until you have gotten all of your feelings about the situation out. Then, when it is completed, hit the delete button on your computer.
- Breathe deeply and slowly from your diaphragm. Picture your breath coming up from your gut.
- Visualize a relaxing experience or a peaceful setting. Imagine yourself on a dream vacation, such as an island dotted with palm trees and a hammock by the ocean.
- Non-strenuous, slow exercises like yoga can relax your muscles and calm you down.
- Read a book that contains positive affirmations, daily meditations or uplifting stories to help you restore your belief that life can be good and not filled with negativity.
- Devote your time and energy to something you care about. Choose a hobby or interest that stimulates your mind and is something you can get happily lost in because it is so enjoyable.
- Laughing is good for boosting your mood and shaking off the anger. Rent a comedy DVD, go to the movies and see a funny film or read a book that will make you laugh.
- Make your room into your sanctuary, and decorate it in a way that makes you happy. Add a few plants, cozy cushions and pictures of people and places that make you happy. Paint it in your favorite color.
Don’t wait any longer to begin anger management therapy at Thriveworks in Silver Spring, MD. For the past 10 years, the counselors at Thriveworks have worked with thousands of people to recognize the causes of anger, how to respond to its triggers in positive ways and find the most effective anger management treatment plan. Call Thriveworks in Silver Spring, MD at (301) 273-2605 today to get started on the path to leading a healthier life–mentally and physically.