This month’s health and lifestyle column from Corinne Yeadon, of the Being Better private therapy practice in Skipton

FIREWORK season may be over until new years, but what ignites you and sets you off?

Anger is often a behaviour that people want help to manage, as a starting point there are benefits to understanding what triggers anger. Anger gets a bad press, it’s important to separate anger as an emotion or thought from the behaviour.

Our emotional palette is a spectrum, no good or bad, just different. While there may be beliefs that we have no control when we are angry, we are not feral beasts and have the power to make cognitive and measured choices, although it may not feel like that in the moment.

As a child someone pulling one of my plaits would unleash the ferocity of a gladiator, propelling me from 0-60 in a heartbeat. As an adult I wouldn’t be best pleased if someone yanked my hair, but I would hope I have evolved some and wouldn’t revert to the flailing, kicking, gnashing, fireball of my childhood. We develop skills as we mature and this learning never stops and with any new behaviour or habit, takes practice.

Reflecting on what triggers us or causes flashpoints is the beginning of moving from the reactive to the responsive. Physical states play a big part, if feeling unwell, tired or hungry an incident which would not ordinarily warrant an eye roll could cause a reaction of nuclear proportions.

We are all unique, someone being late, queue jumping or littering can make some of us irate and others prompt a mere shrug of the shoulders. It’s the bigger picture, what it represents. Certain behaviours make us rage because of what lays beneath, feelings of being disrespected, undervalued or dismissed. A perception of being criticised or treated unfairly can unleash an inferno of anger.

We are allowed to feel what we feel and have thoughts, it’s what we do them that’s the key. Identifying a safe outlet can help, which may be a physical activity or emotional expression that’s not harmful to yourself or others.