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Managing Anger after Brain Injury

brain injury and anger issues

Helpful Anger Management Tips For Traumatic Brain Injury

Many survivors of traumatic brain injury (TBI) have difficulty controlling their anger. Some feel anger because they are frustrated with their situation, their dependency on others, their physical pain, etc. Others struggle with anger due to a damaged limbic system, which is the brain’s emotional control center. Their reasons for their anger may be completely valid, but that doesn’t make it any easier for them to deal with the consequences of their condition.

People with fully functional, healthy brains take their ability to control their anger entirely for granted. They don’t realize how essential that ability is to daily life. By controlling our anger, we are better able to:

  • Avoid hurting others physically or emotionally;
  • Make good decisions;
  • Communicate with others;
  • Flourish in our relationships; and
  • Live a happy life.

As you can see from this list, there are many benefits to controlling your anger.

Fortunately, even if you have a brain injury, it is very much possible for you to manage your anger. Improvement may not come immediately, but with practice and patience, you can learn how to cope with anger more effectively and regain control of your life. Check out these tips below and pick some you think will work for you and your loved ones:

  • Learn how to recognize the signs of anger. Common early warning signs include muscles tensing, feeling flush or hot, increasing heart rate, churning feeling in your stomach, headaches, pacing, and other unpleasant emotions.
  • Remind yourself that you ultimately have power over your emotions.
  • Acknowledge your anger, but don’t focus on it. It is perfectly normal for you to feel anger over your situation, but don’t let it become an obsession. Instead, focus on the good things in your life and look forward to the future.
  • Relax and focus on your breathing. Meditation can be a very useful skill in managing anger.
  • If an interaction becomes too heated, walk away. Take a break, get some fresh air, clear your mind, and return to the interaction after you have calmed down.
  • If you are about to say or do something out of anger, close your eyes and count to ten. Taking the time to reevaluate the situation and to consider the intentions and/or feelings of the other person will help you avoid saying or doing something you may regret later on.
  • Find constructive ways to blow off steam. Do something that you enjoy doing, that puts you in a good place, whether it’s taking a jog, reading a book, playing a video game, talking with a friend, etc.
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If you are having an especially hard time controlling your anger, consider talking with a trusted professional or joining a support group. You do not have to deal with your troubles alone.

This article has been provided by the compassionate brain injury lawyers at Wilshire Law Firm.

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