When inhibitions are lowered because of alcohol use anger is often a result. If you expect to get a handle on an anger issue here are a few thoughts.
1. Anger is a natural emotion based on perceived or real injustice.
Emotions are neither good nor bad. It seems as though anger has received a bad rap here as an emotion totally unacceptable and to be avoided at all costs. Let me distinguish between the emotion and the behavior. It is never acceptable to take anger out on another person verbally or physically. There are even laws against taking anger out on animals.
The point is to understand the emotion of anger is simply trying to tell us something about ourselves and what we believe to be true. It may or may not be true. This is where anger management comes in. If you get angry without even fully understanding what is true about the situation, there may be a problem.
Anger is a powerful emotion and quite primitive. It is a survival instinct emotion. When we perceive injustice, unfairness or pending harm to self or those for whom we care, anger is the emotion arising.
It is possible for your anger to be based on irrational thinking. If this is the case you will be getting angry with distortions of thinking. Then your behavior is likely to be unproductive and/or harmful to yourself or others. This is where you need to draw the line. If you do not know how to do this you need to seek professional help.
2. Anger can only be managed effectively if distortions of thinking are cleared up.
The only way to become effective in managing anger is to clear up distortions of thinking. It may be we believe certain things because it is how we were taught. It may be the example given by parents, care givers or close friends.
These beliefs may be almost hardwired into our thinking. It may take time with a therapist to work through erroneous thinking. It is time well spent. If you look for a quick fix to long standing irrational anger it does not exist.
When you begin to understand what thinking brings on your anger, you modify the thinking. This can be practiced over and over again until it becomes the default instead of
the anger. This is the crux of anger management.
3. Anger management is about accepting legitimate anger and channeling it into
There are times injustice is real and the expression of anger appropriate. It is important to remember to keep your dignity and respecting the dignity of others in whatever expression of anger you choose. Speaking out in the appropriate forum, writing a letter to the person offending, exercising to release the energy of the anger, or deciding to let it go because it really does not make a difference in your day to day life.
Written by Wendell Montney