Monday, January 14, 2013

Causes & Cures For Anger

Anger is a secondary emotion that people unconsciously use to protect or deflect a wide variety of uncomfortable feelings away from themselves and possibly onto other people. Many times anger stems from low self-esteem, or other feelings of inadequacy. What then is self-esteem and why is it important? How can we recognize it and what can we do to increase it? While much of a person’s self-esteem is developed throughout their childhood and is rooted in their family of origin, we can always make the conscious effort to alter our behaviors and learn to increase our sense of purpose, accomplishment, and acceptance later in life. This is typically a slow process and it isn’t always easy.

Here are some ways to catch these negative patterns as they happen, and to begin changing them.

•Get sober. Get help through 12-step groups to stop self-destructive behaviors. Addictions make learning harder and can bring down your mood.
 •Practice self-care. Make new positive lifestyle choices.
 •Identify triggers to low self-esteem. Don’t personalize negative or stressful events (e.g., criticism). If you do a self-defeating action usually follows.
 •Stop and take notice. Pay attention to the familiarity of the impulse. We tend to overreact in the same way to the same things over and over again.
•Acknowledge reaction. Take note of how you are reacting. Then actively choose to change it rather than just passively noticing it.
 • Choose response. Hold in self-defeating impulses and instead act in a positive, self, caring and functional way.
 ◦Experience feelings. “Feel” feelings in your body and identify your needs. When we do not respect our feelings, we are left to rely on what others want and believe.
 ◦Detachment. End all abuse; say “no” to misrepresentations and assumptions. By maintaining personal boundaries, we discourage abuse by others and assert our separateness.
◦Assertion. Voice what you see, feel, and want by making “I” statements. By expressing our thoughts, feelings, and desires in a direct and honest manner, we show that we are in charge of our lives.
◦Receptivity. End self-absorption; listen to others’ words and meanings to restate them. In this way, we act with awareness of our contribution to events as well as empathize with the needs of others.
For more information about coping with anger through increasing self esteem, please visit our website at, or call us at 1-888-992-6479. Remember, "we are not responsible for being down, but we are responsible for getting up" (Jessie Jackson).