Anger Management - from the Health and Healing Series at SupportNet.ca - Resources for Your Recovery.

Recovery is learning to enjoy life - without the use of alcohol or drugs that alter mind or mood.

It is treatment for the condition of addiction - an approach to the challenges of life - and a path to personal growth.

Recovery requires us to learn - about the true nature of addiction.

It may be personalized - but it has its necessary Principles and its Ways.

The Principles of Recovery provide direction - to the choices that we face each day.

The Ways of Recovery provide us with tools - that help us to heal - and to enjoy life on life’s terms.

This Learning Seminar introduces the topic of Anger Management -

What you need to know about anger- how to recognize and respond to it in healthy ways.

Understanding Anger

Anger is a flash of hot feeling - spreading from within our stomach or chest.

It signals our sense that someone has been wronged - our selves or another we care about.

Anger is a disturbing feeling - and uncomfortable for us to sit with.

It pulls at us to react - to strike out or to hurt those we believe are the cause of our anger.

And this is the first and common way that we allow anger to control us - and to bring problems into our life.

To strike out in impulse means that we are overwhelmed by anger - that our better judgment is overtaken.

Instead of our choosing how to act - a feeling in our body is allowed to take control - in brief moments that can result in devastating consequences.

To strike out is only one of many ways that we allow anger to create problems - for us or those around us.

Some of us are brought too easily to anger. Others do not even see their own anger. Or we relive angry scenes in our mind - and hold the tension within our body.

We may be so used to carrying anger in our body - that its tightness just comes to feel normal.

Sometimes our families don’t teach us how to see our anger - or tell us to ignore it when it shows.

But to not see anger does not mean that it does not exist. It will express itself in its other ways - as turmoil in our stomach or tension in our muscles - fantasies in our mind - or directed to those convenient to us.

Sometimes anger creates its greatest problems - when we do not even see it at all.

Unexpressed anger turned inwards may result in self destructive behaviors, depression or reckless drug abuse.

And if there is nothing to be angry about today - we pull memories in from the past. We rethink wrongs real or imagined - and re-feel the anger today.

Resentment is a deep, burning anger that is held over time. It occurs when we believe that someone is getting - what should otherwise be due to us.

Resentment increases its grip on our life - each time that we play it over in our mind - rethinking and refeeling again and again.

We aggravate other health problems - asthma, pain or irritable bowel - when we hold anger in our body and mind.

And for those in recovery from addiction - anger and resentment are common triggers to relapsed use.

Anger Management

Anger Management helps us to identify and to better respond to our anger.

Be Mindful - Take time in the day to check your self out - for signs of anger or resentment.

Feelings of anger - tightness in your stomach or muscles - angry words towards others - rethinking past wrongs - violent fantasies. Any of these may indicate that you are feeling angry - or reliving angry experiences from the past.

Listen to comments from others - who may find your conduct angry or threatening.

Question Your Self - Do I hang on to past wrongs?  Do I relive these over and again in my mind?  Do the thoughts on my mind give rise to angry feelings?  Or does my mind play out angry images of revenge?

What lies beneath the anger that I feel?  Is my anger just another way to blame?  Or have I felt hurt by the person I am angry with? Is this person really the cause of my anger at all?  Have I looked at where I laid the seeds of this problem?

Don't backpack - and learn to let go. Take time to understand where angry feelings are coming from. Deal with them as they arise. Assert yourself when it is best to do so.

Talk about what is really going on. Journal write. Write an angry letter - and safely burn it. Ask for help - to forgive and let go. Ask for help - on behalf of the person with whom you are most angry.

Repeat the Serenity Prayer. When you find yourself lost in angry fantasy - let go and repeat the Serenity Prayer quietly to yourself.

Grant me Serenity - to accept the things I cannot change - Courage to change the things that I can - and Wisdom to know the difference.

Take a calming abdominal breath - and move on with your day. Do this over and again - as often as may be necessary.

When you find yourself lost in angry imagination - you have a choice.

Continue - and increase the hold that anger has on you. Let it go - and lessen the grip that anger has on your mind and body.

Prepare a plan - for times when anger turns to rage. Walk away. Take a break. Count to ten - and consider the consequences. Talk with a friend or write in your journal. Set boundaries.

Write your plan down. Be specific. Make Anger Management a part of your Personal Program of Recovery.

If you have been wronged - talk with a lawyer. Explain your situation to a police officer. File a complaint.

There are means to respond to justifiable anger. Turn it over - to someone who can help. Justified or not - anger always hurts the one who holds it.

Anger narrows our vision. We can lose sight of all but our anger.

Take time to recall - that things could be worse. Remember - This too shall pass. Write a list of things for which you are grateful.

Consider your role in the circumstances at hand. And ask yourself if you have ever done - the very thing that you are angry at someone else for doing.

Care for, Calm and Express yourself. Anger and resentment thrive when we are not looking after our self.

Remember - H A L T - Don't let yourself get too hungry, angry, lonely, or tired. Care for your self - and be better prepared to deal with what life brings your way.

In Summary

The problem with anger is not that we sometimes feel it.

Problems with anger occur when we ignore or disregard it - when we hold it in our mind and body - or when we allow it to overtake our judgment.

Anger Management helps us to recognize the signs of anger in our lives - to understand the forms that it takes - to learn how to let go and to better respond to the occurrence of angry feelings.

You have now reached the end of Anger Management.

Look for this and other Learning Seminars at www.SupportNet.ca – Resources for Your Recovery.