By Emily Bristow, Counsellor at The Eaves
Many of us from a young age are taught that it is not good to be angry. We were given a cookie or distracted by a squirrel and if that didn’t pacify us then we were labelled a “problem child” if we weren’t able to be silenced. Imagine now, as an adult, when something has triggered anger in you then someone shoves a piece of cake in front of you and you were told to eat it. It would probably make you feel even more angry?!
I have met a number of people who never knew that anger was actually a healthy emotion because of similar experiences as above when they were younger – most commonly the “problem child” label. Anger is a warning sign that something in our environment is wrong or a boundary has been crossed and when it goes ignored it doesn’t mean it goes away. Anger provides an energy in order to take action and defend or protect ourselves. If that energy is internalised it can take root physically and contribute to illnesses such as depression.
The key to healthy anger is communication, which can be achieved in the following ways:
• Respectfully or constructively – keeping the other person engaged instead of attacking them.
• Assertively – communicating your feelings without the aim of hurting the other person.
• With moderate voice tone. You do not need to shout in order to be heard.
These can sound easier said than done in the heat of the moment – I am certainly not immune to being caught out on occasion! However, if you are aware that you can be easily triggered and that anger is often close to the surface then it could be worth giving yourself the time and care to reflect on what your anger is trying to tell you. After all, if you want to be heard then start by listening to yourself.
We have highly trained Counsellors, Psychologists and Psychotherapists available across Surrey in Guildford, Godalming, Haslemere and Farnham. Support is available to individuals of all ages, Monday to Saturday between 9am and 9pm.
To read more about Emily Bristow, or to enquire about her lastest availability, please see her full profile here