Sometimes, emotions can be complicated to deal with. One of these is anger. While it might seem beneficial for people in recovery to let out some steam at the first sign of frustration, that is not always true if one has anger issues. For example, anger can cause people who are trying to stay sober to relapse. Perhaps you have already taken steps towards anger management. If you have anger issues, now is the time to do so before your emotions get out of control and you put your sobriety at risk.
Unhealthy ways of dealing with anger
People might deal with their anger in ways that help them avoid uncomfortable feelings but can be harmful to themselves and others.
Yelling or screaming
Some people let out their anger physically by yelling, cursing, or even throwing things. This may result in people getting injured or property getting damaged. People who feel guilty about these actions might find themselves feeling worse in the long run.
When individuals feel powerless against anger, they might lash out by hitting or pushing others. They may find themselves feeling like they’ve lost control of the situation, which can trigger even more anger.
Alcohol or drug use
Some people try to escape their negative feelings by drinking alcohol or doing illegal drugs regularly. Although these substances might offer temporary relief, they can also make it harder for people to function in their daily lives and harm relationships with other people.
Some people use self-harming behaviors to cope with anger, such as cutting or burning themselves. Although this may provide an emotional release, it could lead to serious medical issues and might stop them from reaching out for help when they need it.
Unhealthy coping mechanisms
People might use unhealthy ways of managing anger that can be helpful in the short term but will harm them in the long run.
People might try to avoid angry emotions by pretending they don’t exist. This could lead them to push down their feelings for a prolonged period, making it harder for them to manage intense emotions and ultimately feel healthy and happy again.
Excessive reassurance seeking
People might also try to avoid anger by asking for excessive reassurance from others. This could prevent them from building their own confidence and make it difficult for people around them to focus on themselves as well.
Alcohol or drug use
Some people find temporary relief in using alcohol or drugs when they’re angry. Although these substances might make them feel better in the short term, they can also lead to dependency and other serious medical problems.
Some people avoid addressing issues at hand because they don’t want to deal with the negative emotions that come up during conflicts. This can lead them to put off important conversations, which could build up until it’s impossible for people to resolve their differences.
People might communicate indirectly by ignoring others, forgetting what was said in conversations, or withholding information. These behaviors could put a strain on relationships and make it harder to resolve any real issues that need to be dealt with.
People might also engage in self-destructive behaviors, such as using drugs or alcohol, when they’re feeling angry. Although this may help them feel better in the moment, it can lead to serious health issues and make it harder for them to get through tough times.
Another way people might deal with their anger is by trying to control other people’s behavior. This can be achieved through intimidation, manipulation, or even violence toward others. When these behaviors are present in a relationship, both parties may feel uncomfortable and unhappy.
Positive ways to cope with anger
It’s important to remember that there are healthy ways of anger management instead of using these unhealthy coping mechanisms.
Taking a moment to focus on their breathing can be calming for people when they’re feeling angry. Taking deep breaths will help them feel more relaxed, which may also lower their blood pressure so they can think more clearly.
Talking it out
People might also try to address the issue that triggered their anger in a calm and clear-headed way by speaking with others about what’s going on. This can help them practice asserting themselves, which could ultimately benefit them if similar issues arise again in the future.
Another healthy coping mechanism is to take the time for themselves and do something to distract their mind from whatever anger-provoking event they experienced. This could be anything that boosts their mood, such as taking a hot bath or calling a friend.
If people find themselves using unhealthy coping mechanisms or acting in ways that don’t help them feel better as their anger management tactics it can be helpful to work with a therapist or coach. Getting help from other people could provide the support needed for someone to learn healthier ways of coping and deal with anger issues in a positive way.
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