Do you sometimes experience trouble controlling your emotions – particularly anger? Then hypnosis for anger management therapy might help you to become more relaxed and calm even in emotionally tense situations, instead of going ballistic.
To better understand what’s involved, let us look at what anger actually is.
Anger is a biochemical mechanism in your body that serves a very important function: to protect you and your standing in society.
A person who would never get angry would probably quickly be pushed aside by more assertive people, and would also be taken advantage of. Anger can be a source of energy.
However, in our modern society, the usefulness of anger has diminished rapidly. In many cases, anger harms us more than it serves us and if you’re on of the people who have short fuse then it’s in your own best interest to do something about it.
Causes of Anger
Some people are mainly angry because of “in the moment” situations.
Something might go wrong, they might feel let down, they might feel cheated, disappointed or otherwise violated, and this triggers immediate aggressiveness. To them, anger is a way of defending their immediate rights, and their emotional, physical, spiritual and material territory.
Road rage is one of the most common examples – a bad driver who aggressively pushes his way through traffic in front of you.
And if you are a parent, you know how skilled kids are at pushing your buttons. Have you ever been in a hurry, and you had to deal with a stubborn child who knew very well that you were squeezed for time and was acting that way for no apparent reason whatsoever other that it wanted to cause you trouble? And yet, especially with kids it is important how you manage your anger, because you’re a role model for them, you’re setting an example for life. If you blow a fuse all the time, it will affect them psychologically. And you know the effect angry outbursts can have on the harmonious relationship of your family – it can hand like a dark cloud over a dinner table, when it should really be an atmosphere of joy.
Another kind of anger disorder is when people carry a lot of anger inside because of something that happened in the past. And they just can’t let go of that anger, even though things are long over.
This can be particularly destructive psychologically. Because the person that suffers the most from that anger is the angry person. You see, as mentioned previously, anger is a biochemical mechanism that takes place in your body. And it’s not healthy.
In fact, if you carry a lot of anger inside of you for long periods of time, or get extremely angry several times a day, anger is toxic: it literally poisons your body, lowers your immune defenses and makes you more prone to disease and illness. Digestive problems, high blood pressure, heart disease and even premature aging of the skin – all these are some of the effects constant anger has on your health.
Scientific studies have shown that being angry actually impairs your performance on all three levels:
- your cognitive functions, which include clear thinking and the ability to concentrate,
- your emotional resourcefulness, which impacts how you can respond to lifes challenges, and
- your physical energy – how alert and energized your body feels.
In both cases – immediate and past-related anger – anger management therapy can be a solution to your problems and free of a lot of emotional, mental and physical energy.
However – anger management therapy does not mean that you actually have to go to visit a therapist.
We actually advice against seeing an anger management therapist sometimes because we do not agree with some of their methods. There is still a widely held believe that venting anger helps to relieve aggression. And that’s why some therapists utilize techniques such as beating up pillows with a bat to “get the anger out”. The thought behind this is to get something that’s bad out of your system.
But aggression isn’t a substance in our body – it’s something that we do. And the more we engage in it, the stronger it gets.
Yes, it feels good to slam a door when we are angry, to throw a plate against the wall. But it doesn’t help you to get a grip on your anger. See more on that in the InfoBox Catharsis – Does Releasing Anger Help Get Rid Of It?
You can enjoy the benefits of anger management therapy in the comfort of your own home. There are excellent, professionally produced recordings with subliminal suggestions for people with anger disorders. These recordings have proven highly effective for people who use them on a regular basis.
You can listen to these recordings every night before you go to sleep, but also when you have a hard time getting over anger and frustration.
You won’t have to burst out in anger, you can avoid explosions of rage – and instead, you can remain calm, emotionally steady and in control of your feelings. At the same time, you can still be assertive and make your point – but you can do so in a much more effective and socially acceptable way.
Catharsis – Does Releasing Help Get Rid Of It?
In the 1990s many psychotherapists and anger management therapists recommended to people to “let their anger out”.
The psychologist Brad Bushman wanted to find out how effective this kind of anger management therapy was. Because at the time it was popular advice to “let the anger out”.
So he did an experiment ((Brad J. Bushman, Does Venting Anger Feed or Extinguish the Flame? Catharsis, Rumination, Distraction, Anger, and Aggressive Responding, Pers Soc Psychol Bull June 2002 vol. 28 no. 6 724-731, doi: 10.1177/0146167202289002)) which made people angry and upset at another person.
And then he let some of the study participants beat a a punching bag, and he let other participants just sit and wait.
After that, he told them they had to compete with the person they were angry with by pushing a button as often as possible. And if they won, they could make the other person hear a annoyingly loud sound, and they could set the volume of the sound.
Those people who beat a pillow set the volume of the sound to 8.5 on average, whereas those who just sat and wait still for a couple of minutes on average set the volume of the sound to 2.47. This shows that the people who beat a punching bag didn’t get their anger out – they just prolonged it and wanted to punish the person whom they were angry with with a much louder sound. Whereas the group who just sat and waited for two minutes cooled down and lost some anger.
He did another experiment that involved forcing another person to eat hot chilli sauce, and the result was the same: If a person was made angry at someone and then was told to beat a punching bag for 2 minutes, they forced the other person to eat much more spicy chilli sauce than if a person was made angry at someone and then was told to just sit and wait for two minutes.
There was a lot more research done on this subject, especially by Bushman, Baymeister and Stack, and here is how they summarized their findings:
People did indeed enjoy hitting the punching bag, but this was related to more rather than less subsequent aggression toward a person…hitting a punching bag does not produce a cathartic effect: It increases rather than decreases subsequent aggression.
It’s true that venting can make you feel great – but that doesn’t mean that it dissipates anger. In fact, because you felt great after you experienced – and then engaged in – anger, your brain remembers that chain like this:
feel anger -> engage in aggressive behavior -> feel great
And since your brain is designed to reinforce behaviors that make you feel great, it will seek out anger more often, so that you engage in aggressive behavior more often, because it makes you feel great.
Do you see how dangerous this kind of anger therapy is? It can actually create a biochemical anger addiction in your brain.
That’s why we believe anger management hypnosis is the best approach.
We know that “letting off steam” is not the right choice of action for people who carry a lot of anger. So does that mean you should just swallow your anger? Put a lid on it and sweep it under the carpet?
Turns out this isn’t the right approach either. What are the effects of suppressing anger? Well, it’s self-destructive because it redirects the negative energy into your own body. It’s easy to see that people who don’t express their anger aren’t emotionally healthy, and if they do it for a long enough time it even manifests itself in the form of physical diseases.
Many people think that you basically have two choices to deal with anger:
- express anger or
- suppress anger
But there is another option: resolve anger.
How do you resolve anger?
It’s a step by step process. At first, you just calm down yourself. Deal with your anger in a rational way. Many people find that imagining a wise old man (or woman) helps them – wise old people usually don’t explode in a fit. They might get angry, but they can tame their anger and transform it into energy which helps them to resolve a conflict.
Focusing on your breath, and breathe in and out a couple of times in a relaxing way can help to get over that emotional intensity. First, just look at the anger inside of you, be aware of it, notice how it feels, where in your body it’s located. And then as you breathe out, imagine the anger leaving your body together with the stale air you exhale.
One of the techniques that is used in hypnosis for anger is mental imagery (a scientifically proven method of visualization). A recent study ((Dominik Mischkowskia, Ethan Kross, and Brad J. Bushmana (2012). Flies on the wall are less aggressive: Self-distancing “in the heat of the moment” reduces aggressive thoughts, angry feelings and aggressive behaviour. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology DOI: 10.1016/j.jesp.2012.03.012)) has proven that this is an effective way to deal with anger, even if you use this technique in the moment (for example, during a confrontation that makes you angry). Simply imagine yourself to be a fly on the wall, looking at the situation. This helps you to emotionally dissociate yourself more easily and remain calm and relaxed. Used in the course of a anger hypnosis session this is even more powerful, because it can help your mind to automatically turn this disassociated state on at the right time.
Ultimately, hypnosis against anger can help you to create a new subconscious pattern of dealing with anger. Just try it out.
Find out how you can use hypnosis to transform the negative energy of anger into positive productivity.