Understanding the Nature of Anger
Anger is something that deals with our emotional structure. It’s a state that varies in intensity from light irritation to fury or full-fledged rage.
As most of the medical research might say that anger is completely normal and healthy, but as a matter of fact, it is not. There is absolutely no reason to take it as a healthy sign because there is nothing good or pleasant coming out of you or for others.
Anger can be considered normal only when it is out of our survival instincts. Basically, it is okay to express anger to defend ourselves, which is an instinctual response to threats.
It can be caused by both external and internal circumstances. You can be angry at a specific person, or when you are stuck in traffic or excess worrying about personal problems or due to traumatic memories of the past.
It’s natural and totally great if one wants to convey a message through their feelings, but if your reaction to anger is to explode at something or someone, it is much likely to have a negative impact on you and the people around you.
Effects of Anger
Getting angry or raged up all the time can have serious complications with your daily aspects of life:
1) Mental health: Since it’s a natural human emotion but it is often regarded as negative. Chronic anger uses a lot of energy in the system which clouds our thinking, judgement and makes it harder to focus or to enjoy little things in life. It can also lead to stress, depression, anxiety and other mental issues.
2) Physical health: As one might know that anger is directly related to high blood pressure, expressing anger in the heat of the moment makes you more susceptible to heart disease, low immunity, diabetes and high blood pressure.
3) Relationships: It also causes to leave scars or wounds on the people you love the most, because it’s hard for others to trust you when your only emotion that they feel is anger. They would hesitate to speak honestly and wouldn’t feel comfortable around you.
4) Professional life: As far as job life is concerned, it’s fine to have debate with your coworkers or supervisors, but lashing out on them would seriously take a toll on your career and other people’s lives.
How anger management can help you control your life
Anger management is not something about suppressing your anger. It will eventually come out one way or the other regardless of how hard you try to keep it in. The primary aim of anger management is to make you understand the message behind the emotion and let it out in a healthy way where no one gets harmed.
When you master the art of it, you will not only feel better, you will also be able to manage any conflictual situations around you and strengthen personal relationships.
Anger can be a useful emotion if it is expressed properly. This would take some work, but the more you practice it on a daily basis, the better perspective you will have in your life.
1) Learn what’s causing your anger: People generally think it’s the external factors like actions of other people that cause anger. But it has to do more with your internal thinking and how you interpret situations. Negative thinking patterns trigger anger and irritability, such as:
- Overgeneralizing: For example: “You always disrespect me. You never consider my needs. You never listen to me”.
- Blaming: When something bad happens, you tend to blame it on others rather than taking the responsibility yourself.
- Jumping onto conclusions: You assume that you “know” what someone else is thinking or feeling or that they intentionally hurt or upset you, ignored you or didn’t trust you.
When you go through and identify your own thought patterns, you will eventually end up with “Is my reaction to this even needed?” or “Is this true or is my mind controlling my emotions?” or “What advice would I give to another person going through the same situation?”
2) Angry warning signs: When you start to get angry, your body would start giving you physical signs.
- Clenching your jaw or hands
- Heart racing
- Wander around by walking faster
- Trouble focusing
By being aware of these signs in the heat of the moment, gaining control over your feelings is pretty easy.
3) Come up with solutions rather than reacting: If you are a person who regularly gets raged up, its time to consider the things around you for a change. Look at your routine and try to identify the things that trigger you easily. Be it people, situations or traffic.
Identifying the causes can provide you with ways to avoid or view the situations differently. Remind yourself that anger is not the solution and will only make the situation worse than it already is.
4) Don’t hold any grudges: If you allow anger or other negative feelings to take over positive feelings, you might find yourself traveling down the bumpy road of bitterness. Learn to forgive and move on because forgiveness is a powerful tool to deepen and strengthen personal relationships.
5) Learn to express it in a healthy way: Resolving conflict in a positive way will strengthen gratitude towards yourself and people around you. Relationships become weak when negativity spreads around.
- Prioritize your relationship: Maintaining the relationship is a lot more important than winning an argument. Allow the person to have their own viewpoint and opinions, and respect them.
- Be in the present: Rather than looking for excuses from the past, learn to be in the present and come up with possible solutions to solve a conflict.
- Take some time to cool down: If the situation gets out of control, get yourself some alone time as long as it takes you to settle down.
Once you are calm and thinking clearly, state your needs and concerns clearly and directly without hurting others.
6) Relaxation or cool down: When you get angry at someone or something, relax your mind and body by doing some deep breathing exercises. The key is to breathe deeply as though you are breathing in through your stomach and exhale slowly through the mouth.
You can also listen to peaceful music, do some yoga poses – whatever it takes to encourage relaxation.
7) Use humor to relieve tension: Humor can be a great tool to diffuse rage in many ways. It can help lighten up the mood within and around you by keeping a balanced perspective.
Use humor that wouldn’t hurt anybody’s feelings. Laugh with the people around you and not “at” them.
8) Realize if you need professional help: Despite doing everything mentioned above and you still persist to have the same level of anger and rage within you, then it would be time to consider external help.
Anger management classes: This is where you meet other people who are going through the same situations and struggles in their lives and discussing with them will help you learn new tips and techniques.
Therapy or psychologist: A therapist will try and identify your problems or causes in your daily life and help you deal with them. Depending on the circumstances and techniques, the time period would vary from person to person to manage their mental health.