Anger During Lockdown
What is anger?
Anger is a natural, though sometimes unwanted or irrational, emotion that everybody experiences from time to time. Anger is an emotion designed to produce action in response to the violation of social norms or seen as a solution in circumstances where a person considers a wrong- doing towards them. Often anger is seen as a disruptive emotional force, but it is meant to be an adaptive internal signal that prompts self-protective action. Actually, anger is a good emotion that sometimes is misunderstood or irrationally misused. Anger is a protective emotion, but when it gets out of control, the consequences can be serious.
What can cause anger and anger problems?
Anger comes from a variety of sources and can vary widely. Some common anger triggers include:
- personal problems, such as missing a promotion at work or relationship difficulties
- a problem caused by another person such as cancelling plans
- an event like bad traffic or getting in a car accident
- memories of a traumatic or enraging event
It is important to remember that the trigger is most likely not the cause of the anger. Anger almost always masks emotions such as, fear, lack of self-confidence, sadness, disappointment, anxiety, shame, guilt, helplessness, earlier trauma or grief, and many other emotions, even “good” ones at heart.
When you don’t have awareness of the underlying beliefs you can make the mistake of focusing on the trigger and missing the cause.
Recognising anger in yourself and others
There are often both physical and emotional symptoms to anger.
Possible physical signs of anger:
- Repeated rubbing of the face
- Firmly clasping hands together, or clenching fists
- Tightening of the jaw or grinding teeth
- Shallow breathing and/or breathlessness
- Increased heart rate
- Sweaty palms
- Trembling lips or shaking hands
- Rocking whilst sitting
- Pacing back and forwards
- Rudeness and lose of humour
- Raised voice
- Increased cravings
Possible Emotional Symptoms of Anger:
- Desire to ‘run away’ from the situation
- Sadness or depression
- Feeling guilty or resentful
- Feeling or desire to lash out verbally or physically
Here are some things you can do if you feel yourself getting angry
- Tell yourself to calm down. Slowly repeat gentle phrases to yourself like “take it easy,” “cool off,” or whatever works for you.
- Force yourself to leave the situation. Take a time out, walk away, and avoid coming back too soon. Take a walk or go for a run.
- Use visualization to calm down. Close your eyes and picture yourself in your favourite place.
- Count to 10 (or 50… or 100) if you feel like you’re about to do or say something harmful. It’s a quick, easy way to separate yourself mentally from the situation.
- Splash some cold water on your face.
- Slow down and focus on your breathing. Conscious breathing involves taking slow, deep breaths in through your nose, and slowly out through your mouth.
- Phone a friend. Do you have a supportive friend or family member who can lend an ear and calm you down?
If you feel you have an anger problem and you don’t deal with it, it could one day escalate to a point where you do something extreme and regrettable. Violence is one possible outcome. You could get so angry that you end up hurting yourself or someone you care about without intending to do so.
If you suspect you have an anger problem, it’s important to seek professional help.
How My Online Sessions Work & Prices
My online counselling sessions are conducted over Zoom. I send out an email before a session which contains a link to click on to join our session. As with my face to face sessions, online sessions are an 50 minutes long.
Unlike my face to face sessions, I am not able to guarantee our sessions are private as I can only control the environment my end; which will always be secure as I have a private, closed space to work in and use headphones during sessions. To ensure your session remains confidential, you will need to make sure you are in a quiet and private environment.
More details relating to online sessions can be found here.
Special lockdown prices:
£65 per session (normal price £78)
Sliding scale is available for those who are struggling financially during lockdown
I have set aside a number of sessions per week available FREE to NHS staff