by Krisitn Kuiper, LMSW, MSW
For some reason, I’m seeing a lot of people who are struggling with anger right now. Do you ever feel like you can go from 0-10 before you even realize it? Ever feel like you blow up (or maybe you shut down) and then have to reap the negative consequences in your marriage, with your child, or in your friendships? Well, if this is true for you, I encourage you to read on…
Anger shows up in a lot of ways. Sometimes people show it—yelling, irritability, sarcasm—and sometimes people don’t—stomach aches, depression, resentment. No matter how it shows up for you, anger is an emotion that requires our attention and understanding so that it doesn’t affect our relationships in harmful ways.
I use a helpful scale with clients who are struggling with anger that increases understanding of this emotion and helps with practical ways to handle actions that result from anger. This scale describes the levels of emotion that have to do with the primary emotion of anger. See if you can identify in yourself when you are feeling:
Often we disregard emotions that seem “smaller” or “not a big deal” like when we feel annoyed or irritated. But, by doing this, we often cut off our ability to manage more challenging and serious emotions like rage or even fury. By identifying in yourself what you feel in your body when you examine each of these levels and also what thoughts are present for you when you feel each of these emotions, you’ll become more aware of how you can stop the 0-10 cycle, maybe even recognizing when you go from 0-2! I think your family and friends will thank you and you’ll end up feeling better about yourself.