Anger is a natural, though sometimes unwanted or irrational, emotion that everybody experiences from time to time. But sometimes we let this “anger” take over our lives.
While anger is in place primarily as a way of surviving and protecting us, too much of it can lead to detrimental emotional and physical changes. It can cause havoc in our own daily lives and for those we are closest to.
Constant anger can lead to depression, eating disorders, alcoholism and self-injury along with high blood pressure, increased heart rate, and increased adrenaline. Intense and constant anger can negatively affect your business relationships and especially your relationships with those you love the most. It can make a person rude, unapproachable and just plain hard to live with.
Anger is a secondary emotion, which is caused by and hides a deeper emotion. If your friend is untruthful to others about something you have done, you may get angry when what you are really feeling is hurt or betrayed. Anger is often caused by deep sadness and, most often of all; it’s caused by fear. Next time you are angry, slow down and really think about what you are “feeling”. Could you actually be feeling hurt, disappointed or are you fearful of something?
Any management of anger will require you to look at the deeper reasons for it. Sometimes, these may be half-forgotten, avoided, denied or buried. Often anger can be a need for control - of others, events or yourself. It is also often an existential issue caused by lack of meaning, loss, isolation or lack of freedom. If you address the deeper issues in counseling, you’ll begin to see certain triggers that present themselves which bring about your anger. Once these triggers are identified you can start to lower the amount of anger.
Resentment is a very corrosive, hidden and unpleasant form of anger. It’s a mixture of jealousy, frustration, bitterness and harbored injustice. It is a real joy killer. You simply cannot be happy if you have deep-seated resentments about someone close to you. It’s better to talk it over and see if you can reach a compromise. Ask yourself if the resentment you feel towards the other is about what you lack rather than what they have and address that honestly and positively in your own life – asking them to help with it as much as they can.
If anger is taking over you and negatively affecting your daily life with those you love, or those you work with, please seek out a therapist so you can begin the process of healing.
Liz Birch is a licensed Marriage & Family Therapist who provides services in her office in Orange, CA but also has options for home-based psychotherapy. Her areas of expertise are in communications, relationships, marriage strengthening, stress reduction, depression, trauma, anxiety, anger, personal growth, and ptsd (civilian and military).
She can be reached via LizBirchTherapist.com, email at LizBirchMFT@gmail.com, or by calling 714-614-0612.
I'm a licensed Marriage & Family Therapist who works with individuals, couples and families. I hope I inspire you to take risks and step out of your comfort zone. You might be surprised what you discover.