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4 min read

How To Manage Anger: 3 Tips For Peace of Mind

man feeling frustrated with a lot of activity

It starts with simply getting annoyed—someone cuts you off in traffic or forgets to do a simple chore. As the situation unfolds, however, you feel yourself starting to heat up. Before long, you can't even believe how mad you are, and it erupts.

Key Takeaways:

  • Some anger at the right stimuli can be healthy, but struggling to control destructive anger or violent behavior is not.
  • There are many easy and free techniques you can use to reduce anger or at least stop it from building further.
  • For those of us struggling with anger management, therapy can be extremely helpful.

Anger at levels and in response to stimuli that make logical sense is healthy, but those of us with anger management issues can experience anger that is definitely not healthy.

Uncontrolled anger is not only bad for the person who's upset. It can be extremely hurtful—or even dangerous—for their loved ones and the people around them.

Luckily, anger management is highly treatable in most cases. In fact, there are several therapists right here in Austin who specialize in anger management and how to treat it.

Let's take a look at why some anger is hard to control and how you can use coping strategies to deal with anger better.

Anger Management Austin Resources on This Page:

What causes uncontrolled anger?

3 Anger Management Techniques to Help You Relax

What is the best therapy for anger management?

Anger Management Therapists in Austin

What causes uncontrolled anger?

When someone can't control their anger, it's usually for some underlying reason, such as:

  • Financial stress
  • Alcoholism
  • Family conflicts
  • Intense pressure at work
  • A mental health condition like depression or anxiety

Normal anger is a perfectly healthy response to certain stimuli. In fact, a lack of any anger in any circumstance might be a problem you should talk to a therapist about.

But when intense anger spirals out of control, leads to violent behavior, or causes problems or harm in relationships, it needs to be addressed.

Along the same vein, anger as a response to a stimulus that should not have caused it also may need to be examined by a mental health professional.

When you experience "normal" anger, the brain produces and binds to a class of neurotransmitters called catecholamines. This interaction causes your muscles to tense up and gives you a burst of energy that, in caveman times, would have allowed you to charge at a predator to protect yourself and your family.

Nowadays, catecholamines make us shout at people we love, act on impulse, and maybe even say a few curse words.

After a few minutes, catecholamine levels should begin to dissipate, allowing you to talk about what happened and, ideally, come to a peaceful and healthy resolution.

People who have trouble controlling their anger, on the other hand, keep making more and more of these chemicals. This is usually caused by negative thoughts that keep getting worse and unhealthy ways of coping with stress.

3 Anger Management Techniques to Help You Relax

If you struggle with anger management, here are a few techniques that can help you calm down or at least prevent yourself from becoming angrier.

The Obvious One: Take a Deep Breath

Taking a deep breath is the most common piece of advice for those who struggle to control their anger because it's the fastest way to reduce stress in a very physiological way.

Intense bouts of destructive anger are caused by a flood of chemicals in the brain, making your muscles tense up, your heart pound, and your mind race.

Amid all of this activity, your body is preparing for what it thinks will be a battle. Taking a deep breath introduces oxygen to your brain, which activates your parasympathetic nervous system and begins the process of resetting your ability to rest.

Take a few deep breaths as you're reading this article, and you should be able to feel this process in motion.

Give Yourself Some Space

Getting out of a situation that seems to be making you angry and out of control does two things:

  1. You are removing yourself from the stimulus that is causing the episode, allowing time to calm down before re-approaching the situation more rationally.
  2. It can prevent you from saying things you don't mean to people you love. Nothing's worse than going too far when you're not thinking clearly.

Once you're feeling calm, head back in and talk about what happened in a more constructive and healthy way.

Refer to an Underlying Cause

Most of the time, destructive anger is caused by something else going on in the mind, like financial or work stress or depression.

Referring to this cause out loud, if you know what it is, can be extremely helpful in calming you down. It reminds you of a real reason for your actions, which might make them easier to measure and, therefore, easier to control.

Of course, you shouldn't just blame an outburst on something and then leave it at that. If you know the cause of your intense anger and are ready to resolve it, or if you don't know what's causing it, it might be time to see a therapist.

What is the best therapy for anger management?

Cognitive-behavioral therapy is fairly well-researched and has been shown to help with anger management. Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), which is similar to CBT, has also been shown to work.

Every patient responds to every type of therapy differently, so talking to an individual therapist in Austin about your options can help you narrow down your treatment plan.

Are anger management classes worth it?

Anger management classes or group therapy sessions can definitely help you get your anger under control.

In group therapy, you can not only get help from a licensed therapist, but you can also learn how to deal with problems and get different points of view from other people who also have trouble controlling their anger.

Anger Management Therapists in Austin

Every member of our staff at Williamsburg Therapy Group is a licensed doctoral-level psychologist, and many of them have extensive knowledge and training on managing anger.

We also have support groups for a wide range of mental health issues, so you can deal with any underlying problems that might be making it hard for you to deal with your anger in a healthy way.

Start by scheduling a therapy appointment in Austin or getting in touch with us to get matched with the right therapist for you. Feeling better may be closer than you think.

Book a Therapy Session in Austin Today

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