Updated on March 26, 2024
3 min read

Anger Management Techniques For Early Recovery

If you find yourself feeling angrier than usual during recovery — that’s completely normal and understandable. Maintaining sobriety in the early stages can be incredibly frustrating, and that can sometimes come out as anger.

However, remember that feeling angry and acting on it are different. Uncontrolled anger can hinder the recovery process; it can even cause a relapse. Because of that, managing your anger in recovery is important.

Failing to regulate your emotions and lashing out due to unchecked anger can also negatively impact your relationships and quality of life. Fortunately, there are many ways to manage anger during recovery, even if it’s difficult.

Why are Anger and Addiction Linked?

Navigating through addiction can be very emotional and stressful. Some days, you just want it to be over. Dealing with the various challenges of recovery can be frustrating.

Some of the reasons why anger and addiction are linked include:

  • Unresolved anger
  • Stress
  • Guilt or shame
  • Triggers
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Feelings of loss or pain
  • Withdrawal symptoms

Some people might even blame themselves for their addiction and get frustrated. But recognizing these frustrations is the first step to managing them. If you can identify what shifts your mood, good or bad, you can take more informed steps to manage your emotions.

Ways to Manage Anger During Recovery

Working alongside your doctor, therapist, or support group can help you develop techniques to manage your anger. There are also other ways to manage your anger; these include:

Knowing Your Triggers

Try identifying the root cause of your anger. You can do this by keeping a journal to track your anger and reflecting on what might cause it.

Understanding your triggers can help you prepare different strategies for managing them. It can also help you know what to avoid to prevent frustrations or anger.

Relaxation Techniques

Taking a breather from your frustrations is often easier said than done. However, exploring relaxation techniques can help you calm down, and finding the right one for you will be a great aid in your recovery.

Some relaxation techniques include:

  • Breathing exercises
  • Meditation or yoga
  • Listening to soothing music
  • Calm activities like walking, drawing, etc.

Positive Communication

Good communication skills are essential for expressing your feelings calmly and clearly. Oftentimes, poor communication leads to hurt feelings, misunderstandings, and conflict.

Try expressing your feelings with “I” statements rather than accusatory “you” statements. For example, you can say, “I felt lonely this week because you were busy,” rather than “You made me feel lonely.” This shift can help you communicate your frustrations, listen to others, and reach a peaceful resolution without seeming accusatory.

Seeking Support

Aside from seeking professional help, you can also find support from trusted friends and family. Having people to confide in can be helpful when dealing with tough emotions as you’re going through recovery.

You can also share your thoughts and feelings with a support group like Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, or SMART Recovery. Your support system is really important – they can offer guidance and understanding the whole way through your recovery journey.


Online Therapy Can Help

Over 3 million people use BetterHelp. Their services are:

  • Professional and effective
  • Affordable and convenient
  • Personalized and discreet
  • Easy to start
Find a Therapist

Answer a few questions to get started

Woman drinking coffee on couch

Treatment Options that Help Manage Anger

Rehabilitation centers offer various treatment options that can also help you manage your anger. These include:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): An evidence-based approach that can assist you with identifying negative thought patterns that contribute to anger during addiction recovery
  • Dual diagnosis treatment: A treatment program that addresses co-occurring mental health conditions alongside addiction, which can help you manage your anger
  • Individualized or group therapy: Allows you to express your feelings in a one-on-one or group setting to manage your anger and addiction
  • Addiction counseling: Counselors provide support and guidance for those dealing with addiction or behavioral disorders
  • Support groups: Provide an empathetic community to assist anyone attempting to maintain sobriety after treatment

Get Professional Help

BetterHelp can connect you to an addiction and mental health counselor.

Find a Therapist

Answer a few questions to get started

Rehab Together

Key Takeaways

Navigating through the challenges of addiction can be frustrating. Because of this, anger is a very common emotion to feel during recovery.

However, unmanaged anger can hinder your recovery. It can also potentially lead to a relapse.

Fortunately, there are various techniques to manage your anger. There are also addiction treatment options that address the root of your anger.

Get matched with an affordable mental health counselor

Find a Therapist

Answer a few questions to get started

Updated on March 26, 2024

Related Pages