5 JulWhy Do I Feel Angry All the Time? 5 Evidence-Based Anger Management Strategies by Dr. Konstantin Lukin, Ph.D. Do you constantly feel irritated or full of rage? Do you feel on the edge of bursting or have angry outbursts often? Excessive anger can damage your relationships, thwart your career success, and make you feel out of control day after day. So, getting past your anger control issues can have a profound positive impact on your life. Here are five evidence-based methods to help you gain control and manage your anger in healthy ways. Does your anger feel beyond your control? Schedule an appointment at The Lukin Center to get help with your anger issues. Do You Have Anger Issues? Maybe you’re not sure your anger is really a problem. After all, anger is a human emotion. Why shouldn’t you feel and express your anger now and then? Of course, the answer is that, yes, you do need to express your anger in some way at appropriate times. The problem is that, for some, anger can become excessive or out of control. Here are some of the signs to watch for if you think you might have anger issues. You sometimes hurt others physically or verbally because of your anger. You feel angry or irritated most of the time. You feel your anger is beyond your control. You often find yourself regretting what you said or did when you were angry. Small, insignificant things make you excessively angry. You tend to get very angry when you drink alcohol. It’s hard for you to find solutions to problems without getting angry. You often engage in outward displays of aggression, such as yelling at or threatening others. If you notice these signs, it makes sense to get help as soon as possible. After all, until you can manage your anger in a way that doesn’t hurt yourself or others, your life is going to be harder than it needs to be. The good news is that there are many kinds of help available to you. 5 Evidence-Based Anger Management Strategies Although more research is needed, anger management techniques and therapies have been the subject of many studies over the years. A review of the literature shows that certain methods do have an effect and can improve people’s control of their anger. The following five strategies have been shown to help. 1. Increase Awareness of Your Anger You might not even be aware of all the times your anger flares. Increasing your awareness of your anger means: Recognizing what triggers your anger Noticing how you feel when you are angry Paying attention to how you use words and actions to express your anger Being cognizant of how your anger displays affect others Thinking about how you feel after an angry outburst Being aware of your anger control issues may not completely solve them. However, awareness may often help you avoid speaking and acting in ways that would heighten your anger. It could also motivate you to seek other treatments. 2. Cognitive-Behavioral Treatments Cognitive-Behavioral therapy offers many different strategies for managing anger. CBT anger management is proven to help, and some of its strategies include: Cognitive restructuring – This technique teaches you to change the way you think about the situations that make you angry. Once you know what your thought process is before you speak or act in anger, you can replace those thoughts with more helpful ones. Your therapist might suggest you record your thoughts before, during, and after your display of anger so that you can understand yourself better and make more reasonable choices in the perspective you take. Problem-solving – Learning to have a problem-solving attitude can help you stay focused on how to achieve better outcomes rather than on your angry feelings. Rehearsing behaviors – Sometimes, you need to express your anger openly. However, if you don’t know how to express it appropriately, you could cause more harm. Therefore, as you learn helpful ways to express your anger, practicing them with your therapist or a close friend can help you prepare for when anger-causing circumstances arise. Assertiveness – Anger control issues often happen because a person is either too aggressive or too passive in dealing with others. Obviously, aggressive behavior can lead to confrontations. However, if you are passive for too long, you could end up blowing up in an angry rage. That’s why learning to be assertive rather than aggressive or passive can help you get the resolutions you want to problems in your life. 3. Avoid or Disrupt Anger One helpful anger management strategy is avoiding situations where excessive anger could occur. Although the ultimate goal should be to eventually learn healthy strategies to regulate and express your emotions, avoiding these scenarios can help you progress while you are still learning coping methods. You can’t avoid every anger-provoking situation, but you may be able to stay out of some of them. You can also disrupt your anger by leaving situations where your presence isn’t required, and your anger could cause you and others problems. 4. Relaxation-Based Strategies Learning relaxation strategies allows you to change the way you feel when something triggers your anger. Examples include mindfulness meditation, deep breathing, and progressive muscle relaxation. Exercising or going out in nature can help you relax, as well. Sometimes, all you need to do is to listen to some soothing music to feel the tension release. 5. Skills Training If you don’t have the skills you need to get along with others, you may feel you have no choice but to lash out in anger. Skills training is proven to help people manage their anger more effectively. Skills that you might improve in this type of therapy include: Communication skills Assertiveness skills Parenting skills Problem-solving skills For skills training therapy, your psychotherapist can help you identify the skills you lack and those you have. Then, you can maximize your current skills and develop greater skills in the areas where you need improvement. Multicomponent Approach A multicomponent approach involves using several different strategies to treat anger control issues. This type of therapy may be extremely helpful to you if you have significant anger problems and need a longer period of treatment. You may start with awareness, learn skills and relaxation techniques, and begin to change the way you think about and respond to your angry feelings. Anger Treatment at Lukin Center At the Lukin Center for Psychotherapy, we treat anger issues, along with a variety of other mental health challenges. Our therapy team focuses on providing evidence-based treatments such as the ones listed above. We not only have six offices in New Jersey, but we also offer services to people living in nearby areas of New York. With the Lukin Center therapists helping you, you can free yourself of destructive anger and build a more satisfying life. Anger management help at the Lukin Center includes a range of anger treatments, including cognitive-behavioral therapy, skills training, and many other methods. Our therapists can help you discover the way forward. With help, you can move past anger control issues and into a more peaceful and productive life. Are you ready to learn how to manage your anger more constructively? Contact the Lukin Center today to set an appointment for anger management treatment.