Anger Management And Addiction Recovery
On the path to wholeness, we may discover that anger management and addiction
intersect. Recovery has a way of churning things up. We may recall painful memories from the past. We might become conscious of old wounds in new ways. Unpleasant emotions like regret, shame, or guilt might surface. Typically, anger follows close behind those feelings.
In this article, you will learn:
- How do we define anger?
- What is anger management? Why do we need it?
- What are some practical anger management principles?
- Are there drugs that cause anger?
- What if I want to know more about anger management and addiction?
How Do We Define Anger?
You know what anger
feels like, right? But perhaps you can’t completely put it into words. Sometimes it hits suddenly. You don’t even realize you’ve become angry. Until you’ve done or said something terrible. Therein lies the trouble with anger. Anger comes upon us so subtly that we scarcely notice it. We find it hard to see anger coming. The relationship between anger management and addiction is very important to understand if recovery is to be successful.
Anger motivates us to take action. It mobilizes us to rise up against a real (or perceived) threat. It wakes us up to something that stands in our way. And often, it validates its own existence. When we get angry, we really believe in ourselves. Anger helps us justify what we think, feel, or say. It makes us believe we’re right.
Physical symptoms of anger might include:
- Clinching the jaw
- Shorter breaths
- Tightness in the chest and abdomen
- Balling the hands into fists
What Is Anger Management?
Seneca, a Stoic philosopher, wrote a good deal about anger. Writing to his friend Novatus, Seneca equated anger with madness. Anger cares nothing for anyone else. It forgets about allegiances and relationships. Emotionally speaking, anger makes us both blind and deaf.
Terms like “anger management” refer to ways to productively express anger. Giving words to such a propulsive emotion proves a difficult task. Anger management helps us to see anger coming – maybe even before
Why Do We Need Anger Management?
Much of the time, we don’t become aware of anger until we say or do something irrational. We feel like we watch ourselves speak and act. Almost like someone controls us. We don’t know we’re angry early enough. But what if we could? Surely we could do something about it?
Awareness of anger might represent the single biggest advantage of anger management. It helps anger surface in our conscious mind more quickly. With awareness, we hear the almost inaudible sizzle of anger’s fuse. This gives us the ability of early detection.
To become aware of anger, we must become aware of ourselves. In fact, we must know ourselves, inside and out. Please don’t dismiss this idea as a fantasy. Self-knowledge proves a concrete, practical, useful tool. Awareness and self-knowledge don’t belong just to monks, mystics, and yogis. They belong to regular, everyday people. People with regular, everyday problems.
What Are Some Practical Anger Management Principles?
We’ve examined anger itself. Next, we looked at anger management and identified why we need it. Now, we turn to practical anger management principles for use in daily life.
Awareness Of Anger
Earlier, we briefly skimmed over awareness of one’s anger. To do that, one must spend time with oneself. One must set aside intentional time for this purpose. In that time, one has to cultivate a practice of self-knowledge.
Mindfulness meditation-based interventions (MMBIs
) appear effective for this purpose. As humans, we fall prey to our unconscious thoughts. Figuring ourselves out unfolds as a lifetime endeavor. Mindfulness meditation helps untangle these unconscious thoughts.
With meditation, one acquaints oneself with one’s thoughts. Over time, patterns in thought emerge. We learn to see emotions coming. We familiarize ourselves with destructive thoughts patterns. This perspective allows us to see our anger in time to meet it. And then, to take proactive steps to understand it.
Ask Questions Of Anger
Regard anger as a secondary emotion. We feel anger because we perceive danger, believe a threat exists or feel anger because we first feel something else. Fear might lie beneath our temper. That fear could manifest as a sense of panic or anxiety. Anger covers over those vulnerable emotions, often blocking our awareness of them.
The next time you feel angry, ask your anger some questions. Doing so will help you identify the emotions beneath it. In your recovery, you can isolate triggers for your anger. Then, you can deal with those accordingly.
Ask your anger questions like:
- What is the threat I perceive?
- Why is this a threat? What danger does it present to me?
- Am I trying to protect something?
- What do I feel underneath the anger?
- How can I put words to these emotions?
Are There Drugs That Cause Anger?
Certain drugs may indeed contribute to one’s anger. Drugs that cause anger include cocaine, alcohol, and amphetamines. Any of these might incite aggression
. Most of these substances affect neurotransmitters in the brain. Neurotransmitters help keep our bodies and psyches healthy. Whenever we interfere with neurotransmitters, we ought to expect a shift in our wellbeing.
Moreover, speak with your therapist or counselor for all medication matters. Medications like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and benzodiazepines
might help with anxiety and depression. Always check with your doctor before taking new medications. Inform yourself before you begin taking something like Xanax for anger.
What If I Want To Know More About Anger Management And Addiction?
Anger management and addiction relate to one another. In a therapeutic environment, recovery might produce anger in you. You might find it a painstaking process. It could prove very difficult at times. Recovery has a way of forcing us to deal with our past. That process might make us feel hurt, sad, angry, or guilty.
Nevertheless, Harmony Oaks knows that hope remains. We have personally witnesses people recover. Time and time again, we have observed people make giant leaps in their journeys.
If you want to know more about anger management and addiction, please reach out to us. Don’t wait any longer. Contact Harmony Oaks