What is Anger?
Anger is an emotion or feeling usually felt when someone has been unfair or unkind towards you or someone else. I’m sure many of you have felt that intense feeling building up inside you as if you are going to burst, and quite often blurted something out and maybe felt guilty later on when the anger has subsided.
Is this a problem? Generally speaking no, in fact anger does have a few positives e.g. recognise if someone is hurting us, make us realise that we may need to make a change and can give us a burst of energy ‘fight or flight’ response.
So when does it become a problem? Basically if your anger is out of control, regularly hurting yourself or others around you and having a negative impact on your life you may need to address the problem. Anger can also lead to aggression, this doesn’t just include the physical, outward aggression but also inward aggression – hating yourself, denying yourself things that make you happy and even self harming. Then there is passive aggression – making it obvious to others that you are angry – blanking or not responding to others, being sulky, refusing to do things etc.
Symptoms of Anger
Anger can affect everybody differently but the following symptoms are the most commonly recognised. Firstly the most common effects on your body.
Tension, tense muscles
Weak, wobbly legs
Butterflies or churning in your stomach
Chest feels tight
Rapid heart rate
Next are some commonly recognised affects on you mind.
The ‘red mist’
Resentment towards others
You probably won’t see all of these symptoms and possibly have some that are not listed. That is fine, this is just a list of some commonly noticed symptoms. The important thing is to recognise the feelings you have associated with your anger, this is the first step in learning to deal with your anger.
Self Help Books
There are lots of strategies and techniques that can be used to help identify and treat anger problems. These include talking therapies/counselling, different anger management programmes and help for violent or abusive behaviour. If your anger is very bad then please get help and advice from your GP. However there are plenty of really good self help books available which can be used to help control your anger and also offer help and support for your family or support group.
Below I have chosen my top 5 self help books for anger. Please let me know your thoughts and how you helped your own anger problems.
Overcoming Anger and Irritability, 2nd Edition: A self-help guide using cognitive behavioural techniques by Dr William Davies
Available as a paperback, Kindle, audiobook and audio CD versions. This is a great book based on Cognitive Behavioural Techniques and describes clearly what can provoke your anger and how to prevent it in the short and long term. This book is also recommended by the national Reading Well Books on Prescription scheme for England.
Mind Over Mood, Second Edition: Change How You Feel by Changing the Way You Think by Dennis Greenberger and Christine A. Padesky
Available as paperback, hardcover and Kindle formats. This is an incredible book with over 1,100,000 copies sold. This book is again listed in the NHS bibliography programme. Using CBT to beat depression, anxiety, panic attacks, anger, guilt, shame, low self-esteem, eating disorders, substance abuse, and relationship problems. Containing worksheets, step-by-step plans and helps set achievable goals and helps track your progress.
Mindfulness for Anger Management: Transformative Skills for Overcoming Anger and Managing Powerful Emotions by Stephen Dansiger PsyD
Available in paperback and Kindle formats. This is a newly published book, it is well laid out and covers an introduction to anger, offers practical exercises and real world applications. The idea is that mindfulness is not just a philosophy but a daily practice which will enable you to run your own life.
Anger Management For Dummies by Gillian Bloxham and W. Doyle Gentry
Available in paperback and Kindle formats. Many people are aware of the ‘dummies’ series of books which cover many subjects. The writing style and illustrations make these books clear and easy to read. This edition guides you through the whole process of identifying and dealing with the underlying causes of anger and how to deal with this anger in a constructive way.
Cool That Volcano: How to Help Children Stay Calm, Manage Anger and Master Emotions by Peter Black.
Available in paperback and Kindle formats, this book takes a step-by-step approach to teaching children how to manage their emotions. Many parents are quite aware of temper tantrums and explosive behaviour and this book is jam packed with techniques and methods which will help improve yours and your child’s life.
Thanks for reading
Please let me know what you think by leaving a comment below.