A long wait at the doctor’s office; bumper to bumper traffic; an untidy roommate; owed money; rumors about your recovery – you’ll likely encounter these and many other anger triggers once your return to your sober life.
While feeling anger is normal, feeling it too strongly or displaying it frequently and aggressively can harm your health and jeopardize your recovery. In fact, many experts say that unmanaged anger is among the biggest relapse triggers.
Control Anger to Prevent Relapse
At 10 Acre Ranch, relapse prevention planning is one of the most important steps in the addiction journey. To this end, we help our male clients identify and cope with many emotional and situational triggers that precede relapse.
When it comes to anger, there are four general anger cues or warning signs that we all experience, notes the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration – and being able to identify them is a key step in stopping your anger from escalating.
- Physical: How does your body feel? Has your heart rate increased? Do you have tightness in the chest? Feeling hot or flushed?
- Behavioral: Are you clenching your fists, raising your voice, staring at others?
- Emotional: What other feelings are you experiencing? For example, fear, hurt, jealousy, disrespect
- Cognitive: What thoughts come to mind in response to the event?
In addition to knowing these cues, you can try some simple steps to calm yourself, including:
- Take five. Sometimes walking away from a hostile situation or heated discussion to get some fresh air is your best bet. If your anger stems from traffic, crank up the radio and sing as loud as you can.
- Time yourself. Before you react, wait at least two minutes. This forced break will enable you to slow down and act in a more appropriate way. For some, the ticking of the clock can be a calming tool in itself.
Relapse Prevention Planning
Let us help you learn how to identify and cope with stress, anger, self-pity, and other emotions that can harm your recovery. To learn more about our relapse prevention program, call 877-228-4679.