|A man looking at the camera angrily. / Photo by: Dean Drobot via 123RF|
In a world where stress, sickness, death, terrorism, crime, and injustice is rampant, it is understandable why more people are experiencing anger and are having a hard time dealing with it. According to webangermanagement.com, 64% of the world’s population is becoming an angrier place.
In relation to this, webangermanagement.com also reports that 58% of people do not know where they could get help with their anger issues, if they needed to consult someone about it.
Goodtherapy.org defines anger as, “a strong feeling of displeasure. It is often a reaction to stress, failure, or injustice.”
Dr. Schinnerer, an anger management coach states, “While anger is a normal human emotion, ongoing impulsive anger often leads to massive, sometimes irrevocable problems in interpersonal relationships, work and on general quality of life.”
Usually, people are afraid of showing their anger because of the consequences that follow. Since full-blown rage can cloud a person’s rational thought, this often leads them to wanting to hurt someone. It can be themselves or other people around them. Regrettably, this can happen to those closest to them, thus severing their ties with a loved one.
Psychology Today states that if left unmanaged this anger can lead to, “Self-harm or erupts into hostile, aggressive or perhaps even violent anger toward others.”
In accordance with this, 20% of people have reported to have cut ties with a friend or a lover because how they acted while they were angry.
Anger, while it is seen as a destructive and overwhelming emotion can be controlled. It may be difficult to handle, but there is a way to deal with it. You are allowed to express anger but in a healthy way.
The Positive Side of Anger
Psychologist Susan Wall h, however, says that not everything about anger is negative.
She explains, “Anger is one of our primary emotions. Like all our primary emotions, our anger tells us important information of our experience to a situation. Generally, anger suggests that something unjust has happened to us.”
Albert Rothenberg, Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School affirms, “It is important to know that anger isn’t a bad emotion. Any emotion you have is simply a reflection of how you are thinking about some situation. Anger, is generally a response to the primary thought “...it shouldn’t be this way.”
Wall adds, “It suggests our needs have been ignored, stomped on or dismissed by another. In essence, our threat system has been activated, and this signals, we need to take action.”
Goodtherapy.org supports this claim by saying, “Anger can help individuals relieve stress by motivating people to solve a problem instead of enduring it.”
This means anger is a warning emotion. It just reminds us that something is not right and we need to find a solution for it.
What Causes Anger?
|Two drivers argued who did the accident first. / Photo by: Cathy Yeulet via 123RF|
Goodtherapy.org states that there internal and external factors that cause a person to be angry. They indicate that the internal factors may include frustration or failure. External factors may involve loss, humiliation and bullying. They further clarify that anger is more associated with how the person reacts to the event rather than the event itself that enraged them in the first place.
These reactions in turn spur negative thoughts. These negative thought patterns are:
This happens when anything that happens to an individual is claimed to be someone else's fault.
This involves jumping to conclusions. The individual uses statements with “always” and “never” in them.
Due to having a hard time tolerating frustration, a person gets upset when what they think should happen doesn’t happen in reality.
When the individual thinks the person tried to offend them on purpose.
- Collecting straws
This is when a person recalls all the small incidents until they have decided that they have had enough or what is known as the “last straw”.
Rothenberg explains, “unexpressed anger that leads to hostility and destructiveness.”
He also states that, “ “Feeling hostile" always involves the wish or intent to inflict harm, pain, or actual destruction on another person or creature. "Being hostile" always involves inflicting or trying to inflict some type of destruction, psychological or physical, upon another. Anger, however, does not necessarily involve destructiveness, harm, or pain to another.”
Hostility manifests itself in the forms of attack, violence and revenge. In addition to this, the angered person can resort to teasing, sarcasm and gossiping.
How You Can Deal Will Anger the Healthy Way
It can be intimidating to confront your feelings of anger. Fortunately, you can channel angry energy towards something else that could help improve
According to Goodtherapy.org, here are the ways you can manage your anger:
A therapist will always be happy to assist you in managing anger.
- Relaxation Techniques
Breathing and mental exercises can help you calm down and manage your anger more easily.
- Lifestyle changes
This includes meditation, excercises, jourmaling, enagaging into a new hobby, time management, and expressing your feelings in a journal.
- Clearly communicating your anger in an argument
Determine if you want the person to explain himself so you could understand better why he did that or if you want the person to apologize for offending you. State this explicitly and calmly. Tell the other person how you feel using “I” statements. Be sure to focus your attention to the current problem, not the issues that surround it. When the argument gets too heated, you may ask the person to give you time to take a break from it and let you go somewhere else to clear your thoughts.
Anger should be a bridge to communication, not a barrier to it. Learning to manage your anger can save your relationships and improve the quality of your life and health.