What is Anger?
Anger is "an emotional state that varies in intensity from mild irritation to intense fury and rage," according to Charles Spielberger, PhD, a psychologist who specializes in the study of anger. Like other emotions, it is accompanied by physiological and biological changes; when you get angry, your heart rate and blood pressure go up, as do the levels of your energy hormones, adrenaline, and noradrenaline.
Anger can be caused by both external and internal events. You could be angry at a specific person (Such as a coworker or supervisor) or event (a traffic jam, a canceled flight), or your anger could be caused by worrying or brooding about your personal problems. Memories of traumatic or enraging events can also trigger angry feelings.
Examine your anger patterns
Why do you tend to fly off the handle more than others seem to? Anger responses can become habitual. That is, you may respond automatically to a situation that makes you angry, with little pause to think about your reactions. The intensity of your anger may even catch you by surprise.
How do you express your anger? Consider these questions to assess your anger responses:
- Do you express anger in a way that overwhelms you and others?
- Do you get angry more often than most people you know?
- Do you get angrier than is necessary?
- Do you use threatening language or gestures?
- Do you get angry enough to hit, throw or kick things, people or animals?
- Do you seethe for hours?
- Do you hide angry feelings from others or try to suppress your feelings?
- Do you use alcohol or drugs to calm your rage?
- Do you experience physical reactions such as muscle tension or a racing heart when you get angry?
- Does expressing your anger usually leave you feeling better about yourself and the person who angered you?
What is an anger management class, and how does it work?
An anger management class is a way to teach people how to express their anger in a controlled, healthy way. We teach people about what anger is, how to recognize their anger triggers, how to become aware of their own feelings of anger, and how to keep their anger under control. We also discuss what other feelings they may have going on, such as depression. We can do this individually, with spouses or families, or in groups.
In an effort to reduce the level of violence in our families and communities we will be offering anger management classes for all of our clients. Mothers and children can be sources of frustration as many of us can attest to, but we want to insure as much as we can that the men who complete our program are able to channel that frustration in acceptable and safe ways that protects the family. Domestic violence and child abuse are genuine concerns in our communities and we must do all we can to reintegrate the black male in a way that maintains the safety of the family members. Remember, our primary focus is on the safety and well-being of the child, not the father
If you are suffering from any of these symptoms, please contact our office. If you don’t contact our office, please contact someone.
- Reprinted by permission from Anger Options