Paul Krauss MA LPC is a professional counselor in Grand Rapids who has a great deal of experience helping men, women, and teens overcome anger outbursts, irritability, and resentments.
There are many good reasons to be angry and so Paul Krauss will not tell you to stop being angry. Anger is a human emotion and it is a valid one. Paul will help you figure out how to utilize the energy from your anger toward something that benefits you instead of being destructive toward yourself or others.
“Anyone can become angry; that is easy. But, to be angry, with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose, and the right way, this is not easy.”- Aristotle.
Here are 3 tips for dealing with Anger:
1. Figure out why you are feeling angry.
There are many sources of anger, but three of the most common are:
A. Recent Frustrating Event(s): “It’s the straw that broke that camel’s back…” Often times, it can be the ‘little things’ such as being stuck in traffic when you’re in a hurry, extra assignments at work when you are already feeling overwhelmed, something breaking in your kitchen that needs replacing. Whatever the source, if we are frustrated often and don’t deal with it– anger can be stored inside of us and this can lead to an anger outburst, or the feeling of being irritated or stressed constantly.
B. Hurtful On-Going Situation(s): These are often situations that cannot be resolved immediately, such as an ongoing conflict in the workplace (a boss expecting more hours than you can reasonably give, or a coworker causing there to be more work for you), difficulties with a spouse or significant other that cannot be resolved easily–such as bickering or arguments about money, sex, or what to do with children, friends, or relatives. Whatever the source, ongoing situations can lead to chronic feelings of irritability and anger–and can lead to anger outbursts, sadness, and even depression.
C. Past Unresolved Situation(s) of Hurt: There are many valid reasons to be angry about things that happened in the past. For instance, someone abused you, someone cheated on you, someone cheated you out of money, someone left you out of a friend group, someone said mean and hurtful things about you, etc. (this can be a long list). Past situations can lead to a feeling of resentment, which is stored in the body and contributes to long-term negative feelings. It is even more difficult to resolve resentments, because, often times, the short-term coping skills of releasing your anger or confronting a difficult situation are impossible–because your anger comes from a past situation. There are many advanced therapy techniques that Paul Krauss can utilize with you to help you feel resolved inside, even if you cannot resolve a past situation with the source of your pain. One of these techniques is called EMDR therapy and Paul Krauss has advanced training in EMDR.
2. Learn Strategies to deal with Anger.
There are many different strategies that you can learn to deal with anger–whether it is coming from recent frustrations, on-going situations, and past unresolved situations of hurt. In fact, there are so many that it would take about 15 pages to list and explain them all–Paul Krauss MA LPC has advanced training in these and will help you figure out which is the right one for you. Here is a short list:
A. Releasing the Anger from current frustrations: There are many skills that can help you learn to release your anger (and not store it!) resulting from current frustrations. One of many is removing yourself from the current situation (walking away, driving away, or taking a long walk) so that your nervous system has time to calm down and you can think clearly, instead of acting on your anger or escalating the situation. Another one is learning how to “breath counting” which is a technique that Paul Krauss can teach you–in this technique you work on breathing in on the “1” and out on the “2” and focusing all of your attention on your body naturally breathing–while attempting to focus less on thoughts of the current situation.
B. Learning Assertiveness Skills to deal with ongoing situations: Often times, ongoing situations cannot be fixed overnight, but if you learn assertiveness skills, you may be able to construct a boundary over time that will lead to your ability to be insulated or become less angry about the situation that you cannot change. Furthermore, learning assertiveness skills can help you move from feeling like a victim to feeling self-assured and confident.
C. Directly addressing your past hurt and resentments through journaling or counseling: How many times has a “bad memory” replayed in your mind and all of a sudden you felt a physical sickness or deep anger in your body? Many times resentments feel as if they are stored in your body and we feel that we are “back there.” If this is happening to you, there are advanced counseling techniques that can help reduce and even take away these bad feelings and “bad memory” replays–but it is very difficult to do it on your own. One strategy that has helped many people is actually to write down on paper exactly what happened and how you feel about it now and how you felt about it then. Then stop writing and go do something fun. Over time, this form of “journaling” (though you can shred everything you write–you don’t have to keep it) can help you gain a feeling of distance from the unresolved past situation. If you do not feel better after 2-4 writing sessions, it may be time to see a professional counselor.
“Constructive action is the antidote to violence.” – Gandhi
3. Get rid of our bad habits associated with Anger.
We all have bad habits–these are often “knee-jerk reactions” where we seem to “automatically” do or say something that we didn’t want to do or didn’t mean to say. The counseling process can help you learn to “reprogram” your automatic reactions and bad habits in a way that will ultimately help you feel more in control.
Here are 3 bad habits often associated with anger to look out for. With time all of these habits can change.
A. Suppression: This method seeks to deal with anger by hiding it and not dealing with it at all. Often times, we learn this bad habit in childhood. Some people hold their anger in, swallow their anger, deny their anger, and can even make themselves feel physically sick from suppressing their anger. If we do not learn to express our anger, it can build up and create negative consequences.
B. Aggression: Violence, yelling, name-calling, threatening, blaming, intimidating, bickering, griping, hurtful criticism, and sarcasm are common example. This is one of the most obvious forms of unhealthy anger expression. Aggression is focused outward (toward someone else) and is the opposite of suppression.
C. Passive-Aggression: Silence, procrastinating, playing dirty tricks, emotional withdrawal, nasty comments, showing up late, and not participating are some ways that passive-aggression takes shape. This unhealthy expression of anger is focused on someone else, but unlike aggression it is done in often hidden and sneaky ways. It can be toxic to relationships and communities.
Remember, anger can be damaging and toxic to not only yourself, but everyone you meet. Children are easily affected by feelings of anger in a parent just as people can “sense” your anger at a workplace. If you are feeling angry and don’t know what to do about it–take action before long-term negative consequences occur! Anger can also turn into depression if not treated.
If you or a loved one is experiencing daily bouts of anger, irritability, rage, or resentments, call Paul Krauss today 616-200-4433 or email him at [email protected] and set up a complimentary 15 minute consultation.
“Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.” – Mark Twain
Check out Paul Krauss’ podcast here or On itunes.
Paul Krauss MA LPC was trained to help people dealing with anger by Anger Expert Mike Speakman.
The Healthy Expressions of Anger Workbook by Mike Speakman LISAC.