Recovery can be a time of intense emotions. Anger, particularly, can run high during recovery and can stem from a variety of factors, such as pain, fear, or vulnerability. Learning how to effectively manage anger can help ensure that it does not trigger a relapse or set you back in your progress.
How to Let Go of Anger During Recovery
In recovery, you will learn techniques to help you manage your anger and cope with your feelings and emotions. Some of these strategies you can do on your own whenever the emotion strikes, while other strategies may take place during therapy sessions. Learning to control your anger may take time and patience but will be an important part of the recovery process.
One way to manage anger is to observe how it affects you. For example, you may notice physical responses to anger, such as a racing heart rate or an increase in your blood pressure. Anger can cause you to clench your fists or jaw or make your face turn red. It can cause shortness of breath or indigestion.
Everybody Is Different Regarding Anger Management
Each person may respond to anger differently, so what helps one person manage their anger may not work well for another. You can pull from a variety of anger management exercises and see what works best for you. For example, some people respond well to movement–taking a walk outdoors or shooting hoops can use up excess energy and help put things in perspective. Others may find it more helpful to sit still and focus on their breathing. Other techniques include:
- Writing in a journal
- Talking out the emotion with a neutral person
- Doing an activity that you enjoy
- Positive self-talk and affirmations
Therapy to Help Manage Anger & Addiction
Recovery programs use a variety of therapy techniques to help with anger. Therapy can help you learn to control your anger and impulses, help you understand your triggers for anger, and help you improve communication and problem-solving skills. Other techniques may include:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
- Components of dialectical behavior therapy
- Experiential therapy
- 12-step meetings
Identify the Cause of Your Anger
Knowing why you feel anger can help you manage it in a healthy way. Often in recovery, you will need to face the causes of your anger. Some people may feel anger towards themselves due to their addiction, or feel anger at what their addiction may have cost them financially or emotionally. They may have long-seated anger toward family members that continues to disrupt their relationships with them.
Some common reasons for anger during recovery are:
- Feeling helpless and exhausted
- Having to make such a big life change
- Having to follow a recovery plan
- Recognizing the effect of addiction on you and/or your family
- Feeling embarrassed or ashamed
- Feeling unloved or treated unfairly
Knowing what your triggers for anger are can help you not only identify the cause but also avoid any specific situations or people that arouse your anger.
Remember that anger is not a bad emotion. It is a signal that something in your life is not working, and anger can be part of the healing process. You may have used alcohol or another substance to numb your feelings and push them aside. In recovery, you are forced to face your feelings and deal with them in a healthy manner.
We Are Here to Help
Understanding anger management in recovery is important to maintaining sobriety for the long-term. At Twin Lakes Recovery Center in Atlanta, we can help you overcome your addiction and manage your emotions. We have board-certified professionals on staff to provide individual, group, and family counseling.
At Twin Lakes Recovery Center, help is available 24/7. To find out more about our programs, contact one of our addiction specialists to set up a confidential consultation by filling out our convenient online contact form.