Anger Management for Dummies: A Book Review

Anger is a normal human emotion included with the standard equipment that we receive at birth. Today, I’ll be sharing some of the insights that I gained from Anger Management for Dummies by Charles H. Elliot and Laura L. Smith.

Through my work as a therapist, I find myself normalizing anger often. Because the expression of anger can be disturbing, a lot of people feel guilty about becoming angry. When we look beyond the expression of anger itself, we find that the root is often an unmet need or a fear. We express this through anger.

For example, I tend to get angry when I’m tired or hungry. In this case, the unmet needs are sleep and food.

In their book, Elliot & Smith discuss anger management, which is something that we all can use from time-to-time. Specifically, they offer tips and information for those who often feel controlled by anger vs. having the ability to control anger as it happens.

Ongoing anger and stress can produce ulcers, hypertension, depression, and anxiety.

To manage anger, the authors explain that we must understand the early signals; for example, rapid breathing, blushing, tensed muscles, perspiration, and clenched hands.

While anger feels uncomfortable and often has a just cause (a fear or unmet need), the authors remind us that peak anger typically subsides after 5-10 minutes.

Though we can’t control what triggers our anger, we are responsible for how we choose to manage our feelings. There are several anger management skills that we can use to help:

“Brooding breeds anger.”

For more information about anger management, click here.

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