Taming Your Temper: Learning to Turn Down the Heat

Aug 20, 2008, 01:00 ET from California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists

    SAN DIEGO, Aug. 20 /PRNewswire/ --You're late for work, your toddler
 spilled jam on your suit and now your car won't start. How do you deal with
 the rising anger? Whether you brush it off and move on, or lash out in
 frustration, how you deal with anger affects not only yourself, but also
 your spouse, your children and even your career.
     As hard as we may try to stay calm, situations always arise that push
 our buttons. While feeling anger isn't a bad thing, it is important to
 constructively express that anger. It may seem surprising, but being overly
 passive and keeping your anger pent up can be just as unhealthy as having a
 violent outburst. Both reactions can cause headaches, insomnia, high blood
 pressure and digestive problems. A recent study at the Duke University
 Medical Center even found a link between anger and heart disease -- yet
 another reason to tame your temper.
     If your health isn't enough of a motivation to control your anger,
 outbursts in the office or at home can be detrimental to your career and
 personal life. Blowing up at a co-worker can negatively affect morale,
 productivity and teamwork in the workplace. In the household, intense or
 chronic anger can have a devastating effect on children and your marriage.
     So how do you know if you need to express your anger more
 constructively? Use these questions to assess your response to anger:
-- Do you try to intimidate others with your anger? -- Does your expression of anger ever frighten or overwhelm yourself or others? -- Do you use threatening language or gestures? -- Do you get angry enough to physically harm someone or something? -- Do you turn to alcohol or drugs to ease your anger? -- Do you experience muscle tension or an elevated heartbeat when you get angry? -- Do you try to hide or suppress your angry feelings from others? If your answer is yes to even just two of these questions, you should seek professional guidance to help you learn how to better express your anger. A Marriage and Family Therapist can help you become more aware of what triggers your feelings of anger so you can learn to keep that anger under control. For more information about Marriage and Family Therapists, or to locate a therapist in your area, please visit http://www.TherapistFinder.com. About CAMFT The California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, with 27 chapters throughout the state, is an independent professional organization, representing the interests of licensed marriage and family therapists. CAMFT provides TherapistFinder.com as a resource to the public looking for marriage and family therapists located in California. For more information about CAMFT, please call (858) 292-2638 or visit http://www.camft.org.

SOURCE California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists