Anger is a normal, healthy emotion. Everyone has the right and ability to feel angry from time to time. Some people get angry when they have too much stress, anxiety, or frustration for them to handle, and expressing anger can be a normal way of letting go of these feelings. However, uncontrolled anger can be destructive to the person experiencing it and to those around them. Excessive anger usually occurs when you believe that someone is to blame for how you feel or deliberately harmed you. It can lead to physical and verbal aggression, destruction of property, and it can negatively impact your physical and emotional health. Uncontrolled expressions of anger can also cause problems in your relationships with family and friends, negatively affect school functioning and performance, and may also have legal implications.
Warning signs of excessive anger:
- Disproportionate anger to the situation
- Difficulty calming down or thinking logically
- Small issues quickly turn into big issues
- Physical symptoms such as heart racing, muscle tension, clenched fist or jaw
- Physical reactions such as hitting, throwing things, slamming doors, destroying property
A counselor can help you recognize the things that trigger your anger, how you have been responding to those triggers, the effect of those responses in your life, and how to begin to take responsibility for your emotions and reactions. A counselor will also help you to integrate different strategies to deal with anger including; relaxation, cognitive therapy to change distorted thoughts, and skill development such as learning better communication or social skills.