Anger Issues: How EMDR, CBT And Mindfulness Can Change Your Life
There are many mental health challenges ordinary people face in modern life. Perhaps one of the least talked about is anger management.
As therapists based in London, trouble dealing with feelings of anger can be a difficult personal problem for people to broach and talk about. It is, however, more common than many think.
What Are Anger Management Issues?
We’ll all get angry at some point in our lives and for a variety of reasons. Anger only becomes a problem when it is difficult to control, persistent and is having a detrimental effect on your life.
Anger management is made all the more challenging because it is often associated with issues such as depression, drink and gambling addiction, anxiety, PTSD and other mental health problems.
When the ability to control anger gets out of hand, it leads to the break up of relationships, could mean you are losing a job and may even end up with a criminal conviction.
The first step in changing the way you deal with an anger problem is admitting there is an issue in the first place.
The good news is there are plenty of effective therapeutic approaches that will help to balance your wayward emotions. Here we take a closer look at therapies such as CBT, EMDR and mindfulness as ways to handle anger and how our Positive Mind Practice in London can help.
CBT and Anger Management
As human beings, we experience many different emotions. We feel joy, fear, anxiety and love. We laugh, we cry, we feel a sense of calm.
We also feel anger. An outburst here and there may offend those around us but rarely do they lead to damaging consequences. Anger can quickly become a habit; however if we allow it to get out of control.
Anger isn’t always just focused on another person either. Many people internalise their rage and bottle it up, which can be harmful.
What is CBT?
CBT is called Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, and it is a way of changing the way you view a particular behaviour and finding alternatives and setting goals to deliver different outcomes. It’s often referred to as ‘talking therapy’ and involves working through your issues with a qualified therapist.
CBT is very effective when dealing with a range of anger management problems. It’s a practical approach that puts the individual back in control. While there may be past issues that influence your anger problem, CBT tends to focus on the here and now and looks at putting in place strategies to change the way you feel or act.
How it Helps For Anger Management
CBT helps you look at anger differently and find other solutions rather than losing your temper over a particular situation. With your CBT therapist, you’ll look at what triggers your angry feelings and ways you can change your focus and exposure rather than letting rage get the better of you.
Every individual is different, and what works for one person won’t for another. A simple example would be replacing angry thoughts with mindfulness meditation or visualisation that helps redefine it to be much less damaging.
Using EMDR to Resolve Anger Issues
Eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing or EMDR has proven to be effective in dealing with psychological issues such as PTSD which often has an anger management component. It can be used in conjunction with other therapies to help individuals deal with the emotional turmoil of a difficult situation.
What is EMDR?
It uses a simple sensory input as a response to intense emotional feelings. For example, an individual may move their eyes from side to side in response to a moving finger as they also process angry feelings.
What this seems to do is lessen the impact of the feelings and allows a person to better process and understand what is happening when they get angry. It can enable them to change maladaptive behaviours and begin the work of putting something different and less damaging in place.
Can Mindfulness Help With Anger?
While both CBT and EMDR help individuals come to terms with their problems with anger and put in place positive solutions, dealing with outbursts on a day to day basis can be particularly challenging.
Mindfulness is a meditative approach that gives people a useful set of tools they can employ as and when needed.
What is Mindfulness?
We tend to go through life without being fully aware of what is actually happening to us. An angry outburst may overwhelm us without there being any real understanding of the emotions it causes and the thoughts that triggered it.
Mindfulness is about being present in the moment and watching our feelings, thoughts and body sensations in a non-judgemental way. It is achieved by regular practice and can have profound effects on the individual.
How It Can Help Manage Anger
It may sound slightly new age, but mindfulness has certainly proved beneficial in dealing with emotional outbursts. It teaches you to become aware of the physical and emotional things that happen when you get angry.
You can then use strategies like breathing and visualisation to lessen the impact of those emotions. You may use mindfulness to build up resilience to things that are likely to cause your anger, such as stress and anxiety.
You’ll not only recognise the angry emotion is there, but you’ll be able to accept that the emotion is real while creating some distance from it, allowing you to manage it better.
While this appears difficult, it’s something that anyone with the right training can use to help with a wide range of emotional challenges.
Find a Local Therapist in London
Managing anger is not easy, especially if it’s something that you have been struggling with for a while. It’s a habit that tends to reinforce itself.
It is not something that you have to live with forever, and there is plenty you can do. If you live in the London area and want to explore how CBT, EMDR and mindfulness can be used to develop a new outlook on life, then our therapists are on hand to help right now.
To find out more, contact our fully qualified team of therapists today.