You’re never mad without good reason. The problem is, you’re surrounded by good reasons to be mad.
Angry outbursts can make you feel powerful and in control for a few brief moments. But once the adrenalin fades, you’re left with the wreckage of your anger, which could include permanent damage to the people or things you love. Chronic anger increases your risk for high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease, too.
Whether your anger is justified or not, the way you express it may endanger your relationships and even your livelihood. If you feel chronically irritable or angry, if you frequently have outbursts or experience conflict, you may benefit from anger management therapy.
At The Soho Center for Mental Health Counseling, our caring counselors help you identify anger triggers and learn new strategies for responding to provoking situations at our offices in Greenwich Village, Manhattan, New York City. We also offer anger management sessions and other forms of interventions via teletherapy.
How effective is anger management, and how will it benefit you? Below are the answers you need.
First, it works
The most important thing to know about anger management is that it isn’t a waste of time, and it isn’t new-age mumbo-jumbo. Numerous studies demonstrate that men who’ve undergone mindfulness cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) decrease outbursts and increase emotional regulation.
In other words, anger management therapies put you in the driver’s seat of your own emotions. You learn to objectively view triggering situations and act with intention instead of with an unconscious outburst.
Being in the driver’s seat of your own emotions makes you better in an actual driver’s seat, too. One benefit of anger management is that you’re less likely to engage in road rage. Road rage is a criminal offense that’s been responsible for more than 300 deaths since 2013.
You learn your triggers
When you feel angry or irritable, something in your environment has usually triggered your response. Maybe your boss said something demeaning. Or your children are acting out.
Whatever brings on your angry outburst, the first thing we help you do is identify those times and situations that are most likely to make you feel out of control. When you feel out of control — whether it’s because another driver cut you off, or you got fired from your job — you’re more likely to try to regain control through anger.
We help you learn the triggers in your life that are most likely to touch off feelings of anxiety and anger. You learn to prepare yourself ahead of time and practice strategies for coping with trying situations so that they don’t overwhelm you.
You master new strategies
Right now, your first response to a triggering situation may be an outburst of anger. Usually, angry words and actions don’t actually remedy the situation and may only create new complications.
Through CBT and other types of therapies, you learn new ways of responding to triggering situations. For instance, you learn to communicate your angry feelings in a way that someone else can receive and respond to without feeling threatened.
By learning how to express how you’re feeling and why you’re feeling that way, you’re assertive about your needs without being aggressive. Clear communication is more likely to yield the results you want.
You re-channel your energy
Anger releases hormones such as cortisol that surge through your body and make you feel temporarily powerful. But when the adrenalin subsides, you may feel exhausted or spent. And you’ve used a tremendous amount of energy that probably didn’t solve the problem in front of you.
Through anger management, you learn to rechannel the energy that you used to reserve for outbursts in more productive ways. Instead of feeling frustrated and angry and spinning your wheels, your brain has the freedom to redirect your energy and come up with solutions.
You break other addictions, too
When you’re filled with anger and rage, you may turn to substances, such as alcohol or recreational drugs, to try to dull the pain and turmoil. Like the adrenaline surge from anger, though, once the substance leaves your system, the temporary relief you received is gone.
If substance use is linked to your rage, we may recommend specific therapies that help you break those addictions. If your anger has negatively affected your family or other relationships, we may also recommend short-term couples or family counseling.
Get back in the driver’s seat of your emotions by learning how to manage your anger productively today. Contact our caring and sensitive team by phone or by using our online form. We also offer telehealth counseling sessions.