With nearly 2.4 million people incarcerated, the United States is home to the world’s highest incarceration rate. In total, 7 million people are under some form of correctional supervision. In a summary of studies on crime, anger, and prior record of violence, Don Kates and Gary Mauser found that 80 to 90 percent of murderers had prior police records, in contrast to 15 percent of American adults overall indicting that violent crimes are committed by people who lack the skills to modulate anger, express it constructively, and move past it.
Problems with anger relates to our inability to express other feelings or emotions appropriately. Interventions addressing anger often involve recognizing our affective states and understanding the difference between feelings and action. Many of us have limited understanding of what we are feeling most of the time. We say that we are “angry” but mean that we are frustrated, hurt, lonely, and afraid.
It is undeniable that as a people, we collectively have a major problem expressing our anger appropriately. As a psychotherapist, I have witnessed firsthand many angry men and women. Believe it or not, men and women handle anger differently from each other, with men handling rage a lot more intensely than women, according to a study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. In the study involving four laboratory experiments with 111 men and 145 women, researchers found that men get angry and tend to stay angry and fuss, while women tend to find ways to distract themselves when they get angry, sometimes internalizing that anger, which in turn leads to depression and self-hate. Because anger is a universal emotion with both positive and negative attributes, having a deeper understanding of anger is key to our personal safety and the safety of others.
Many anger experts would argue that most anger begins with blame. As we grow angered about some “thing” or with some person, it becomes challenging to resolve exactly what we are angry about. Acknowledging that you’re allowed to make mistakes, regardless of the circumstances, forces the need for self-blame to go away. When we expect ourselves to be more than what we realistically are capable of being, we blame ourselves for failing despite the fact that we were never equipped constitutionally to take on such a challenge. Handling anger is rooted in acceptance on a deeper level. We have to learn how to accept things as they are and learn how to live life on its terms.
Today if you are serious about managing your anger, I challenge you to make a decision about addressing your ANGER issues by programing your mind to shut off the automatic inclination to be angry, display rage, and act on these feelings. It is completely normal for us to be angry, especially when we feel that we have been fundamentally wronged. Learning how to manage our anger or channeling it appropriately is extremely important… because our lives depend on it.
This interactive blog will teach you healthier ways of expressing your anger. Each blog/lesson will begin with a discussion about anger and will end with an accompanying homework assignment. The seven lessons that this anger management series will focus on are:
- Why is anger management important? Am I more prone to display anger because of my race, gender, or sexuality?
- Healthy vs. Unhealthy Anger
- Uncontrolled Anger’ Grave Consequences
- Psychological Imbalance Resulting from Anger
- Prevention and Early Detection
- Self-Control: What am I really feeling and how can I express it appropriately?
- Resolving my “anger” and Moving On
Finally, let’s grow together by first making a commitment together
Today, I have decided to do something different, because I realize that doing the same thing and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity. I choose not to be insane. I acknowledge that I am responsible for my own thoughts, feelings, and behaviour and I commit to working with Dr. Warrick over the next seven lessons to manage my anger.
Now, if you have decided to work with me to address your anger, please fill out the information below to notify me of your decision. We promise to keep your decision confidential.