Anger is a natural, healthy emotion we all feel from time to time. However, when it goes out of hand and starts to get in the way of your work, health and relationships, learning anger management skills coupled with tried-and-tested natural therapies will help you cope better with your anger issues.
What is Anger Management?
Anger management is the process of recognising and regulating anger, a powerful emotion that may be caused by external or internal factors. People with anger would usually attribute their negative emotions to someone who has wronged them or an unfair situation wherein they felt shortchanged. However, there are also many occasions when the inability to pause and analyse the event before reacting to it triggers uncontrollable anger.
Developing an anger management strategy will help you identify the signs of anger and stay calm so that you can deal with any situation that angers you efficiently. In doing so, you prevent dishing out hurtful words or taking unwarranted actions which you could regret afterwards.
Who Needs Anger Management Therapy?
It's never advisable to keep yourself from feeling or expressing anger as this will potentially lead to a mental health issue like anxiety, depression or bipolar disorder among others. However, frequent episodes of emotional outbursts of anger or physical violence can alter your biological processes and cause increased heart rate, high blood pressure and vasoconstriction, which are all components of a heart attack.
Anger can and should be expressed in a calm and controlled way. If you have difficulty keeping your anger under control, then that's an indication that you need to attend anger management classes facilitated by certified mental health professionals.
What are Signs That You Have Anger Management Issues?
Most people with anger management issues display a calm or friendly facade to mask the negative emotions they're struggling with. However, they cannot conceal the physical symptoms of holding back anger which include:
- Constant irritation
- Rapid mood swings
- Tense muscles
- Throwing or breaking objects during angry outbursts
- Making threats of violence
- Subjecting family members to domestic violence
- Constant playback of negative experiences
What are Natural Therapies for Anger Management?
Antidepressants and other medications, in addition to anger management programmes, provide people with intermittent explosive disorder, a behavioural disorder characterised by unwarranted verbal outbursts or physical aggression, or other uncontrollable anger issues with temporary relief. However, these come with unpleasant side effects like headaches, insomnia, tremors, dry mouth and digestive issues among others.
Incorporating behavioural therapy and other natural remedies into a conventional medical treatment plan will not only reduce the adverse effects of standard medicines but provide the most effective techniques for managing your emotions better.
Cognitive Therapy for Anger Management
Cognitive therapy is a therapeutic approach used in psychotherapy to change how we feel towards events, people or objects that make us angry. It focuses on problem-solving skills and positive communication, rather than dwelling on past experiences.
Relaxation Techniques for Anger Management
Relaxation therapy helps reduce the physical, psychological and emotional impact of stress, tension and anxiety when we are angry. Relaxation techniques are part of psychotherapy and include deep breathing exercises, guided imagery, meditation and mindfulness, among others, to assist the mind in responding to unpleasant situations in a calmer and more positive way.
Regular Exercise for Anger Management
Releasing pent-up anger through a physical activity like running, swimming, boxing, or even gardening, is a safe and effective way to eliminate positive emotions, rather than taking your frustrations out on other people and regretting it afterwards. What's more, engaging in regular exercise will improve your physical health and mindset.
Aromatherapy for Anger Management
Aromatherapy promotes relaxation and calmness, especially in situations where you're likely to switch on your angry button. Get a soothing aromatherapy massage to calm your nerves and shift your mood. Also, essential oils like lavender, vanilla and eucalyptus can instantly create a positive ambience when you're on the brink of getting angry.
Herbal Remedies for Anger Management
Whether you add them to a casserole dish, take them in the form of tea or tincture, or apply them topically as part of your skincare routine, herbal remedies are adaptogens that alleviate stress and anxiety and help the body restore homeostasis. Taking herbs can reduce the negative effects of anger on the mind, body and emotions as these natural medicines improve sleep, cardiovascular health, digestion and energy levels. Some herbs that can curb anger include the following:
- Saffron is derived from a flowering plant called saffron crocus that helps alleviate anger, anxiety and depression. It functions like pharmaceutical antidepressants minus their side effects.
- Cnicus benedictus is usually taken as a herbal tea for calming the nerves and supporting liver function. Anger can take a toll on the health of your liver if it's not managed properly, so taking two cups of cnicus benedictus tea each day is a great way to manage your emotions and keep your liver in perfect condition.
- Ashwagandha contains natural antidepressants that combat stress, which in turn reduces aggression.
- Chamomile reduces anxiety, stress and muscle tension, while improving sleep quality.
- Ginkgo relaxes the blood vessels, hence improving blood circulation, oxygen supply to the organs in the body and neural transmission.
- Dandelion is a great herb to have whenever you're on edge. Just steep it in hot water and let its calming properties fill your cup. The herb also strengthens the digestive system, especially the liver.
- Hawthorn is packed with antioxidants that control blood pressure, support the nervous system and promote cardiovascular health.
Anger management is difficult for many people, especially those with traumatic experiences or underlying mental health conditions. These natural remedies can help in the management of negative emotions and promotion of positive thoughts. Discuss them with your doctor to find out which among these natural treatments is most suitable to your health. You can also consult a natural health practitioner in your area through the Natural Therapy Pages.