5 Signs Your Anger is Out of Control
Like many Houston commuters, Rebecca drives 40 minutes to work every morning, and 40 minutes home every afternoon. When she gets home, her phone goes off throughout the evening with new emails. It seems like no matter how many chore lists and requests she makes, her home is always a mess; piles of toys and laundry accumulate everywhere.
Lately Rebecca feels as if she is about to snap. She’s found herself screaming red-faced at other drivers on the road. Last week, after a particularly draining struggle with her son over an incomplete homework assignment, Rebecca threw a plate against the wall.
Rebecca feels like she’s out of control. With her anger comes feelings of shame and guilt; her kids are starting to tiptoe around her. This is not what she wants, but when anger starts to build, Rebecca feels powerless to stop it.
Anger is a normal and healthy emotion that your mind uses to incite you to act quickly in negative situations. Feelings of anger can help you effect change. However, anger can begin to pollute your life when you feel anger disproportionate to what triggered it, or when your anger becomes destructive in your relationships.
If, like Rebecca, you’re scared that your anger might have less to do with traffic on the highway or a mess at home than with how you manage feelings of frustration, know that your anger can get better.
5 Signs You Could Use Help Controlling Your Anger
1. You feel like you’re often holding in your angry feelings.
As you go about your daily activities, do you find that you have to restrain feelings of anger? Anger can be hurtful to you if you feel it all the time and if it’s directed toward people or events that are regularly part of your day. Repressing anger isn’t easy; if you’re always trying to hold anger in, you could be feeling drained and exhausted. Held in anger can also lead to an explosion whether as an angry outburst, or behavior such as binge eating.
2. Your body is telling you your anger is out of control.
If you’re angry much of the time, you might be experiencing persistent headaches from clenching your jaw or from holding so much tension in your body. Maybe you feel jumpy and too quick to react. If you’re angry too much too often, it’s likely your body is also having a hard time.
3. You find it difficult to set your anger aside.
Perhaps you become overwhelmed by frustrated feelings before you have time to clearly think through solutions. Maybe somewhere in the back of your mind you realize your anger isn’t productive or rational, yet you don’t feel you have the strength to curb its power over you.
4. You feel like, or have been told, that you tend to blame others.
Negative thoughts and feelings might be overwhelming you; maybe you tend to direct them outward, blaming others for your frustrations. Maybe you realize you’re blaming others too often. Talking to someone to process what’s going on in your life might help shed light on deeper issues that are holding you back from peace.
5. Your anger trumps your deeper feelings and values.
Your anger is likely out of control if it’s a stronger presence in your life than the very things that make you you—your values, beliefs, and relationships with people you care about. Maybe you’re in an intimate relationship with someone you care for and respect, yet find yourself growing angry at him or her in ways you can’t control.
What can you do?
Understanding your anger can be an important first step toward managing it. Learning what triggers your frustration, and developing strategies for responding to triggers really helps; however, struggling alone with such a daunting task can make even simple steps toward peace seem too difficult. Don’t be afraid to ask for help—sharing the work of unburdening yourself of your anger can make a lasting and meaningful difference in your life.
Many people find that the source of their anger is connected to unmet needs, unexpressed emotions, or feelings such as fear or shame. A therapist can help you identify the root of your anger, which can help you address the real problem, not just the symptom.
For help with out of control anger give us a call to schedule an appointment at 832-559-2622 or schedule an appointment online.
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