Anger Management
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Increase Anger Awareness

by Marty Brenner

anger_dangerYou use anger to increase awareness about those things you find offensive or dangerous. But you may not be aware of how the people around you view the frequency and level of your anger. Others may perceive your mild, occasional and justified irritation as violent, chronic and unfair rage. You may become aware of your anger when people repeatedly ask if you feel okay, you begin to have trouble with your spouse or you are in jail for assault. Increasing your anger awareness can put you in control of your emotions. Becoming aware of your anger is an important step in coping and controlling your emotions so that you can use them as effective tools in a complex world.

It may surprise you to hear from others that you have anger issues. You might have thought your anger was only on the inside, invisible to the rest of the world. You deal with your anger by mumbling snide comments under your breath or saying rude things out loud. These negative outbursts don’t effectively discharge your anger nor do they always provoke an angry response, so you might not later remember just how angry your behavior seemed at the time. Slinging a hurtful comment is not as memorable as receiving an emotionally-charged arrow through your heart.

You may have become aware of your anger issues by a judge or probation officer. Anger is a protective emotion, designed to give you the emotional power to overcome your adversaries. Left uncontrolled, however, anger can quickly overtake your life without your being aware of it. Anger seeps into every corner of your life, affecting everyone and everything around you.

Increase your anger awareness by noting the results of your angry behavior. Recall incidences where your anger got you into trouble at school or work. Have you lost lovers because they made you angry? You will need to become aware of and accept your angry tendencies before you can gain full control over them.

Accepting your inclination to anger can be difficult to accept. It naturally hurts your feelings when others point out your anger issues, but you can make substantial leaps in becoming aware of your anger by listening to the message others are trying to convey.

You can increase awareness of your own anger by noting those things that tend to trigger strong emotions. Assess your level of anger for each trigger and determine the frequency of your angry outbursts. You may find it helpful to start an anger journal in which you write down the things that infuriate you and the level of your response. Note whether the anger dissipated after you expressed your feelings or if you still feel angry hours or days after the event. Review prior entries to identify behavioral trends and gauge the effectiveness of your angry reactions.

It may seem counter-intuitive to listen to your enemy in the middle of an angry confrontation but he may be giving you important clues on changing your behavior to maximize your benefit. Anger is an effective tool but only if you use it wisely. Increase your anger awareness to prevent an overflow of negative emotions that can derail your attempts to correct the situation that made you so angry in the first place.

Why Marty?

Marty has been providing guidance and counseling for the last 20 years to a wide and diverse range of people.

Individuals challenged with various addictions including but not limited to – substance abuse, alcohol, and anger.

Marty is a certified chemical dependency counselor and anger management facilitator.

Affectionately known as “Marty”, he has positively influenced and helped reshape the lives of many people in recovery, ranging from ex-cons to his high profile clients in the Delray Beach, Florida.

Marty is an excellent resource with in-depth knowledge of all of the current trends in the substance abuse and mental health treatment fields, as well as individual options for successful recovery outcomes.

Today, residential facilities simply aren’t an option for many clients with busy work schedules and travel conflicts, which is why Marty tailors programs to meet the needs of these clients, whether it be in his office or a location of their choosing.

His approach is casual and non-threatening. Marty is very kind and caring.

As you know, it is difficult to convince clients that anger management or substance abuse treatment is critical. Career commitments, privacy, reputation and other concerns may conflict in making treatment the priority it should be.

It is Marty’s primary goal to help people rebuild lives using tried and true techniques.

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Thinking Your Way Out of Anger

by Marty Brenner

Stop ThinkingNature endowed humans with thoughts and emotions to help them interact with the rest of the world. You use reason to design tools, build things and resolve conflicts. Emotions give you a reason to take physical action. Your anger, for example, fuels the fight portion of the fight-or-flight response whereas fear tells you to run away. There is a constant tug-of-war between thoughts and feelings within you. Sometimes you respond to an event with clear thoughts and calm calculation and, at other times, the same event will cause you to explode in a violent rage. While it may be hard to believe while you are in the throes of an emotional tirade, you can think your way out of anger.

The first step to thinking your way out of anger is to identify those things that trigger your strong emotions. You may experience moral outrage at social issues, such as abortion, homosexuality, politics or wind farms. Stress can often cause anger, especially when others are to blame for these stresses.

Evaluate your responses to those triggers. Consider your behavior each time you were exposed to each trigger and identify consistencies in the outcome. For example, you yell at your kid every time he brings home a poor report card yet he never seems to do any better in school. Decide if your anger is the most effective behavior for improving your child’s performance.

Limit your exposure to those things that make you angry. If politics and current events upset you, don’t watch the evening news. Choose instead to work out at your local gym or cook dinner for your family. Think your way out of anger by picking your battles wisely.

You will be exposed to things that make you angry. You can identify some of these things ahead of time, like sharing an office with an annoying co-worker for 40 hours a week. Try to plan your reaction ahead of time. For example, your co-worker uses your coffee cup and doesn’t rinse it out. Instead of growing angry the next time he helps himself to your property, buy a similar cup and present it to him as a gift. You’ve converted an opportunity for anger into an invitation for friendship.

Rehearse speeches to use in times of trouble. For example, you are a clerk in a store that accepts utility payments. People often come into your place of business angry and upset because their lights have been shut off, and they sometimes take out their aggressions on you. Instead of participating in an angry exchange, you can use a rehearsed speech such as, “I can tell you worked very hard to make this utility payment and I can understand your passion. I’d like to help you resolve the problem.” Using a rehearsed speech can help you contain your own defensive and angry reaction to a predictable but infrequent event.

Use the Anger Control-Out technique to gain control before emotion turns into physical action. Anger Control-Out describes how and when you express your emotions. The knee-jerk reaction to anger is an explosive and immediate outburst but this instant rage is rarely effective in resolving complex or chronic issues. Counting to ten before reacting gives you time to gain an accurate assessment of the level of danger and develop a more appropriate and effective reaction.

Why Marty?

Marty has been providing guidance and counseling for the last 20 years to a wide and diverse range of people.

Individuals challenged with various addictions including but not limited to – substance abuse, alcohol, and anger.

Marty is a certified chemical dependency counselor and anger management facilitator.

Affectionately known as “Marty”, he has positively influenced and helped reshape the lives of many people in recovery, ranging from ex-cons to his high profile clients in the Delray Beach, Florida.

Marty is an excellent resource with in-depth knowledge of all of the current trends in the substance abuse and mental health treatment fields, as well as individual options for successful recovery outcomes.

Today, residential facilities simply aren’t an option for many clients with busy work schedules and travel conflicts, which is why Marty tailors programs to meet the needs of these clients, whether it be in his office or a location of their choosing.

His approach is casual and non-threatening. Marty is very kind and caring.

As you know, it is difficult to convince clients that anger management or substance abuse treatment is critical. Career commitments, privacy, reputation and other concerns may conflict in making treatment the priority it should be.

It is Marty’s primary goal to help people rebuild lives using tried and true techniques.

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Conflict Resolution

by Marty Brenner

Anger helps you resolve conflicts. Anger gives you emotional power during battle – on a good day, you overpower your enemy and you have instant conflict resolution. On a bad day, your adversary wins and you are sent home to lick your wounds. In either case, anger brought an end to the problem. Anger loses its power when the conflict does not end in a clear and permanent resolution.

Conflict_02_

Anger, especially chronic or violent anger, can also be the root cause of conflict. Inappropriate expressions of anger, like an unpleasant temperament or vicious outbursts, can lead to unnecessary fighting and trauma between family members, friends and co-workers. Especially violent encounters can even lead to bodily harm, death and imprisonment.

Anger can cause you to be “stuck in a moment” in such a way that makes resolving the conflict impossible. For example, you are angry at your wife for losing a high-paying job that meant a great deal to her. You feel she was careless or incompetent and that you deserve a wife who can supply you with lots of money in a well-respected job. Your anger at her job loss grips you so tightly that you cannot force yourself to even look at her resume or search the job boards. In fact, you explode with anger prior to job interviews to the point where she is crying and has to cancel. Your anger prevents you from resolving the very conflict that made you angry in the first place.

Your anger can prevent others from participating in your efforts to resolve a problem. When anger overwhelms you, you may feel very defensive and unable to agree with anything your adversary proposes. If you are behaving in an angry manner, yelling loudly and punching holes in walls, you induce the fight-or-flight response in observers. Participants in the conflict become unwilling or unable to seek a resolution to the initial conflict.

Nature provided humans with more than one emotion to help us resolve problems. You have many powerful weapons in your emotional and mental tool belt, including empathy, patience, tolerance and reasoning. Anger management counseling helps you replace ineffectual or violent anger with emotions and thought processes that result in more positive conflict resolution. In other words, you can learn to solve your problems without resorting to anger.

Effective conflict resolution without anger is a learned behavior and properly resolving your problems actually reduces your anger. For example, learning to walk away from a dangerous situation will help you avoid stimulating the fight-or-flight response that invokes anger. Conflict resolution methods help you recognize events that tend to trigger your anger so that you can avoid those triggers.

You can learn to tailor your reactions to optimize conflict resolution so that you gain the most benefit. Even though you feel out of control and overwhelmed with anger, you know you can actually control your own emotions. For example, you know you would not speak to a judge hearing your burglary case in the same way you treat the jerk who cut you off on the freeway. Use anger as a powerful tool to resolve the conflicts in your life without making them worse.

Why Marty?

Marty has been providing guidance and counseling for the last 20 years to a wide and diverse range of people.

Individuals challenged with various addictions including but not limited to – substance abuse, alcohol, and anger.

Marty is a certified chemical dependency counselor and anger management facilitator.

Affectionately known as “Marty”, he has positively influenced and helped reshape the lives of many people in recovery, ranging from ex-cons to his high profile clients in the Delray Beach, Florida.

Marty is an excellent resource with in-depth knowledge of all of the current trends in the substance abuse and mental health treatment fields, as well as individual options for successful recovery outcomes.

Today, residential facilities simply aren’t an option for many clients with busy work schedules and travel conflicts, which is why Marty tailors programs to meet the needs of these clients, whether it be in his office or a location of their choosing.

His approach is casual and non-threatening. Marty is very kind and caring.

As you know, it is difficult to convince clients that anger management or substance abuse treatment is critical. Career commitments, privacy, reputation and other concerns may conflict in making treatment the priority it should be.

It is Marty’s primary goal to help people rebuild lives using tried and true techniques.

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Releasing Anger

by Marty Brenner

releaseAnger is a natural response to a dangerous situation. Anger is the fight in the fight-or-flight response. When you perceive something as being wrong or harmful, anger gives you the emotional power to effect real change so that you can return yourself to a safe environment. You release an incredible amount of angry energy when you fight for your life. Once the danger has passed, nature intended you to let go of any anger left over from the battle so that you can return to a peaceful and productive state of mind. Anger should be a sudden and momentary reaction to a dangerous situation and fully released after the danger has dissipated.

You release anger in two ways- either you effect meaningful change so that you find the situation less offensive, or you abandon your passion for that particular subject. When you express your anger appropriately, by stating your thoughts clearly to someone with the authority to address the problem, you resolve the issue and no longer have the need to feel emotional about it. You release anger through effective change. The second way to release anger is to abandon the issue, or simply grow tired of fighting about.

It is important to release your anger by either working to resolve the problem or by forgetting about it. Left incompletely or inappropriately expressed, anger accumulates inside you. Transgressions from the past reside in your conscious or subconscious. Old anger combines with new anger, or even become associated with other negative emotions such as fear and paranoia. Unless you properly release anger, it begins to overwhelm other, more positive emotions like love and compassion.

We are born with excellent communication skills. A baby cries to let his parent know when he is hungry or uncomfortable and generally returns to a happy mood once his needs are fully met. The infant begins to associate assertive communication with a beneficial reaction- he feels uncomfortable, he vocalizes his discomfort, his family resolves the problem and the child releases his anger and returns to playing with his toys.

Anger has a cumulative effect, especially if not completely discharged. Let’s say the child did not get enough to eat, leaving him cranky. His natural reaction is to continue expressing his needs through crying and acting in an angry manner, refusing to take a nap or play with toys. Pretty soon, this cranky baby continues to cry and fuss, no matter what his parents do. The baby cannot release his anger and return to a happy state.
Releasing anger will reduce the frequency and severity of emotional outbursts. Anger empowers you against things you find dangerous or offensive and this emotional strength feels rather good, especially if you are angry because you can’t seem to change a bad situation. You increasingly draw upon unreleased anger as a source of power and find yourself behaving in an angry manner more frequently.

An incomplete release of anger is bad for your health. Suppressing your anger instead of releasing it raises your blood pressure and contributes to depression. Unreleased, suppressed anger may develop into chronic and serious conditions like depression and self-hatred, major illness or a combination of all three. Suppressed anger can eventually materialize in extreme paranoia, phobias, psychosis, delusions and suicidal thoughts or behaviors. Some people try self-medication as a way to release anger, using drugs, alcohol or other types of addictions or obsessive-compulsive behaviors.

Why Marty?

Marty has been providing guidance and counseling for the last 20 years to a wide and diverse range of people.

Individuals challenged with various addictions including but not limited to – substance abuse, alcohol, and anger.

Marty is a certified chemical dependency counselor and anger management facilitator.

Affectionately known as “Marty”, he has positively influenced and helped reshape the lives of many people in recovery, ranging from ex-cons to his high profile clients in the Delray Beach, Florida.

Marty is an excellent resource with in-depth knowledge of all of the current trends in the substance abuse and mental health treatment fields, as well as individual options for successful recovery outcomes.

Today, residential facilities simply aren’t an option for many clients with busy work schedules and travel conflicts, which is why Marty tailors programs to meet the needs of these clients, whether it be in his office or a location of their choosing.

His approach is casual and non-threatening. Marty is very kind and caring.

As you know, it is difficult to convince clients that anger management or substance abuse treatment is critical. Career commitments, privacy, reputation and other concerns may conflict in making treatment the priority it should be.

It is Marty’s primary goal to help people rebuild lives using tried and true techniques.

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Expressing Anger

by Marty Brenner

anger2Anger is a way of communicating your displeasure with a particular event. You need to express anger at certain times as a way of defending yourself. For example, anger would be an appropriate reaction to a rape attempt. Sudden, angry outbursts are normal and healthy expressions of your desire to defend yourself from attack. In an ideal world, when you properly express your anger to the person, the other party stops doing the egregious act and your anger dissipates quickly and completely. Unfortunately, anger is such a powerful emotion that it is often very difficult to express your feelings completely and in an appropriate manner.

A healthy expression of anger is normal response to a stressful event. Your brain identifies a threat, you express anger, the threat retreats and you feel better. You can express your angry response to this threat in a variety of ways. You can yell, stamp your feet, shake your fist and slam down the telephone or even cry. You may not be able to deal with your appropriate anger in an appropriate way, so you repress your feelings and do not express anger at all. In the worst case scenario, you express your anger through violence to yourself or to someone else.

A person with an angry temperament does not always need a specific event to trigger his expression of anger. This person is more prone to display an angry reaction on a regular basis and his anger is not always expressed to the appropriate parties. Because his anger is misdirected, his expression of anger does not fully expunge his emotion and he is left with residual irritation and frustration.

Mental health professionals use a standardized questionnaire to assess several important aspects of a person’s anger, including how well this person expresses this emotion. Anger-In describes a person who has the desire and ability to suppress anger and hold it in, while Anger-Out depicts a person’s tendency to express their angry feelings. A person who ranks highly on Anger-In does not properly express their feelings while a person who scores well on Anger-Out frequently verbalizes his displeasure on a regular basis. Psychologists use separate scales to measure Anger-In and Anger-Out, recognizing that a person can simultaneously vent their frustration while still suppressing their true feelings.

Another anger scale measures Anger Control-In and Anger Control-Out. Anger Control-In describes the person’s attempt to cool off and resume to a relaxed state of mind before expressing anger. You practice Anger Control-In when you count to ten before you speak. Anger Control-Out depicts a person’s efforts to control how they express their anger. You may clench your fist, grit your teeth and speak in quiet tones instead of doing what you really feel like doing, which is punching a wall, screaming and yelling.

Anger is a protective emotion, intended to keep you from mortal harm. Anger allows you to say, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore” with such authority that others will take you seriously. When expressed appropriately, anger is an effective tool for positive change. When suppressed, or expressed incompletely or inappropriately, anger accumulates inside until the ball of emotion is too large to fit through the regular portals of emotional expression, like having a heart-to-heart talk or a quiet discussion in a friend.

Why Marty?

Marty has been providing guidance and counseling for the last 20 years to a wide and diverse range of people.

Individuals challenged with various addictions including but not limited to – substance abuse, alcohol, and anger.

Marty is a certified chemical dependency counselor and anger management facilitator.

Affectionately known as “Marty”, he has positively influenced and helped reshape the lives of many people in recovery, ranging from ex-cons to his high profile clients in the Delray Beach, Florida.

Marty is an excellent resource with in-depth knowledge of all of the current trends in the substance abuse and mental health treatment fields, as well as individual options for successful recovery outcomes.

Today, residential facilities simply aren’t an option for many clients with busy work schedules and travel conflicts, which is why Marty tailors programs to meet the needs of these clients, whether it be in his office or a location of their choosing.

His approach is casual and non-threatening. Marty is very kind and caring.

As you know, it is difficult to convince clients that anger management or substance abuse treatment is critical. Career commitments, privacy, reputation and other concerns may conflict in making treatment the priority it should be.

It is Marty’s primary goal to help people rebuild lives using tried and true techniques.

More Reading

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