Everyone experiences anger on occasion, but frequent and intense anger can become very uncomfortable. No one wants to fly into a rage at the slightest inconvenience, but when you have an anger management problem, it can feel impossible to get your emotions in check. You may feel like you lose control when you get angry, and you may later regret what you did or said. As you age, you might notice changes in your mood and personality. Some people feel more calm and centered as they grow older, but others start to struggle with anger. Fortunately, support is available in the form of anger management therapy, an approach to counseling that helps you identify your triggers and diffuse your anger before it takes over. If you or an aging loved one has been lashing out more frequently, you should understand what causes anger issues and how anger management therapy can help.
Causes of Anger Issues in Seniors
For some seniors, anger is a lifelong struggle. For others, anger issues start developing later in life. One of the most common causes of anger issues in aging adults is frustration with a loss of independence. If you’ve had to start relying on others for transportation, household chores, or other tasks, feeling frustrated is completely understandable. You might notice yourself lashing out at others because you’re upset that you can’t handle everything on your own.
Another possible explanation for angry outbursts is difficulty communicating. This is especially common among seniors who have experienced a stroke, been diagnosed with dementia, or are facing other challenges that affect language. Feeling like no one understands what you’re saying can be incredibly frustrating.
Physical pain sometimes leads to heightened anger and agitation, too. When you’re always uncomfortable, your frustration tolerance can decline. It’s much harder to cope with challenging situations when your body hurts, so you or an aging loved one may have a shorter fuse as a result of a chronic health condition.
Signs of Anger Issues
An occasional outburst or loss of patience isn’t always a sign that you or your loved one has an anger problem. However, consistent issues with anger are cause for concern. Here are some of the most common signs of an anger management problem:
- Feeling angry daily or almost daily
- Angry outbursts that are disproportionate to the triggering event
- Feeling out of control when your anger is provoked
- Muscle tension, racing heart rate, and other signs of physical stress
- Inability to talk through an issue in a constructive way
- Avoiding taking responsibility for problems
- Regretting what you did or said once you’ve calmed down
5 Benefits of Anger Management Therapy
Anger management therapy techniques can transform the way you relate to yourself and your emotions. Here are five great benefits of anger management therapy for seniors:
1. Anger management therapy reduces your angry outbursts.
The primary goal of anger management therapy is to reduce how often you feel consumed by your anger. During anger management therapy, you and your counselor will identify the triggering situations that provoke your anger. Then, you’ll practice calming techniques and other strategies that help you stay in control of your emotions. Being able to navigate life without reacting in anger will improve your overall mental health.
2. Anger management therapy improves you physical health.
Physical health symptoms can be particularly concerning for seniors. When you’re angry all the time, you might face issues like high blood pressure, muscle pain, headaches, and difficulty sleeping. Your emotional and physical symptoms are closely linked, so managing your anger is a great way to help your body relax. When you achieve a state of peace with anger management therapy, you’ll notice that your nervous system is also more regulated.
3. Anger management therapy helps you connect with your loved ones.
A strained relationship with friends or family is one of the most devastating results of an angry outburst. Your loved ones may distance themselves from you if you’re struggling to keep your anger in check, but therapy is a great opportunity to strengthen your relationships. You and your therapist can explore how your anger affects the way you relate to others, and you can learn how to communicate about your frustrations in a healthy and productive way.
4. Anger management therapy teaches you about yourself.
Developing self-awareness is an excellent benefit of any type of counseling, but anger management therapy can be especially enlightening. Anger issues often affect people who don’t know how to acknowledge and honor their emotions. If you’ve always tried to suppress your feelings, anger management therapy could be your opportunity to develop a stronger sense of emotional self-awareness. By talking through your challenges with your therapist, you can learn more about your core beliefs, your values, and how your emotions influence your behaviors.
5. Anger management therapy empowers you to take control of your life.
When you experience angry outbursts, you may feel entirely out of control. Your rage builds up until you can’t hold it in, and you cope with the feelings by lashing out or engaging in self-destruction. Although no one should expect to control their emotions, it is possible to control how you respond to them. Through therapy, you can learn how to take ownership of your emotions, your thoughts, and your behavior. This empowers you to keep striving to get your mental health in the best shape possible.
Anger management therapy has countless benefits for seniors. Counseling can be your chance to explore your emotions, develop coping skills, and learn how to connect with your loved ones. Anger affects practically every area of your life, so managing your anger can have a profound effect on your mental health.
Blue Moon Senior Counseling provides anger management therapy and a wide variety of other mental health services for adults. You can contact us today to schedule a meeting with an anger management therapist.