MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - Coronavirus stressors may be the tip of the iceberg when it comes to someone’s temper for some people.
Bruce Lynch, a licensed therapist at the Center for Counseling and Wellness, helps clients with anger management.
He explained anger as a secondary emotion, something we feel to protect ourselves in response to our primary, or first, emotion. He said primary emotions include but are not limited to fear, embarrassment or guilt.
He told WMBF News to deal with feeling angry you must figure out your primary emotion causing the anger. Then, he said, do something to cool it off. That can be taking a walk or taking a break from the discussion and revisiting it when you’re feeling better.
Lynch described what he calls the ‘anger thermometer’ to keep yourself in check.
“We usually talk about an anger thermometer. And, you know, at a 10 you’re usually going to act out aggressively. Whether it be a phone, text, behaviors, verbally, whatever the case may be. You got to keep yourself under a five because if you get to an 8 or a 9 on that scale, you’re going to a 10. It’s hard to come down from that,” Lynch explained.
Lynch also said breathing techniques will help.
“You can literally lower your blood pressure and your pulse by doing that. When we start to get angry, typically blood goes to our muscles, to our heart and to our lungs to prepare for a fight or flight reaction. So by taking deep breaths and just taking it slowly, you can lower that. You know, doing some progressive muscle relaxation. Clenching your fists, breathing in *exhales* and the releasing," Lynch said.
Lynch said to take big, deep breaths ten times for 4 seconds each to cool off.
For more information or help, you can reach licensed therapists at North Myrtle Beach’s Center for Counseling and Wellness.