The journey to recovery involves emotional lows and highs. During your addiction recovery, you will have both your triumph and down moments, and one of the emotions you will experience is anger. The primary reason for dealing with anger in recovery is that it is associated with relapse. Patients direct anger at themselves, specific people, the society, or less-specific units, such as law enforcement. If anger is becoming a hindrance on your journey to recovery, find an addiction treatment center at Northern Illinois Recovery Center, where you can learn how to manage anger and achieve your sobriety goals.
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What Are Ways to Reduce Anger in Addiction Recovery?
- Impulse control
- Better communication skills
- Avoidance of triggers
- Frustration management
Take a Moment Before Responding
A crucial thing during your addiction recovery process is to avoid giving responses out of anger. Anger often inspires you to act. However, responding while angry will increases your problems instead of solving them. Starting fights, shouting at your colleagues or seniors are a few negative things that anger can make you do. Before you respond, take a minute to calm down. Realize that you are angry, and anger will not solve anything. This will help you to come up with the right responses.
Take Deep Breathes
Whether you are furious or anxious, taking deep and measured breaths will calm you down. Your heart rate increases as you get angry. Try taking in a deep breath at the count of five, then breathe out for another count of five. This will allow your heart rate to slow down and dissolve some anger. You may not feel cheerful right away, but it will prevent you from doing something you may regret later.
Exercise Regularly During Addiction Recovery
Going for a morning run is an excellent way to blow off some steam. Whatever you are angry about will bother you less with every mile you cover. Exercise energizes your brain, and you begin to view problems from a different perspective. Exercising also lowers your blood pressure, which makes you less sensitive to stress.
Look for Solutions Before Acting
Sometimes people who make you angry do not mean any harm. Maybe they do not even think of you, and that is why you get angry. We often believe that our feelings are as important to others as they are to us, which is not true. Look for solutions instead of lashing out. Look at the problem that made you angry from the other person’s perspective. You will feel less attacked and find no reason to be angry.
Replace Anger with a Different Experience
There are things that when they clash with anger, they give birth to a positive emotion. Look for something such as hugging your friend and use it to suppress anger. You can also tell a joke. No matter how fake it may sound, the aim here is to diffuse the situation.
Learn How to Manage Anger at Northern Illinois Recovery Center
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Dialectical behavior therapy
- Individual therapy
- Group therapy
- Family therapy
If you think anger may get in your way to addiction recovery, call Northern Illinois Recovery Center at 855.786.1978 and learn more about managing anger during and after recovery.
Licensed Physician and Surgeon
Dr. Beth Dunlap, a board-certified addiction medicine and family medicine physician, and is the medical director at Northern Illinois Recovery Center. She is responsible for overseeing all the integrated medical services at both campuses. Beth completed medical school, residency, and fellowship at Northwestern University, where she continues to serve on the faculty as a member of the Department of Family and Community Medicine. She has extensive experience in addiction medicine at all levels of care, and her clinical interests include integrated primary care and addiction medicine, harm reduction, and medication-assisted treatment.