Anger is a common emotion and is also difficult to describe. The reason it is difficult to describe is because everybody has anger and we all get angry from time to time. Plainly speaking anger is an emotion – a strong emotion at that – generally associated with annoyance and displeasure. Anger arises when limits or fairness are violated and we feel it necessary to have a forceful response aimed at taking proper assertive actions in order to protect ourselves.
In most cases, anger has been seen to lead to negative results in relationships, health and our own mental calm. When one’s self esteem is low or hits rock bottom, anything and everything can make that person irritable or angry. We won’t go into these as these are fairly well known – we’ve heard numerous sermons on how we should be controlling our anger. Typically, when our self-esteem is high frustrations, insults and anger would just roll off.
Anger, irrespective of what causes it, normally leads to many not-so-nice actions such as violence, jealousy, revenge, shame and animosity. If anger causes emotional outbursts, physical abuse and violence, these actions need to be controlled. People with chronic anger issues are more susceptible to face health conditions like diabetes, insomnia, depression, etc. in the long run.
However Anger has a positive side too!
Anger is a normal, natural and automatic emotion. All human beings have it. It cannot be totally wished away – even Albert Pinto cannot totally give up on his anger. It’s a natural human reaction and a part of our evolution.
Furthermore, suppressing anger is also not good – for our health! Hiding or bottling up anger without venting it can have mad effects on our mood and even aggravate symptoms of anxiety and depression and it could also put more pressure on our cardio-vascular systems. Acknowledging anger, on the other hand, has an opposite positive effect on our mood and our physical health.
Mark Twain used to say “When angry, count to four. When very angry, swear”
Anger can also lead to many nice responses in people such as innovation, motivation, and sharpness in situations of risk. Anger is often the trigger that makes us take a positive & corrective action at the spur of a moment – like seeking a second opinion in the face of a medical emergency, or in deciding when enough is enough in a relationship, or when you put in your paper at a thankless workplace etc.
Anger should not be confused with anxiety or outbursts which devalue or demonize natural human behaviour. Anger in reality motivates one’s self confidence and connects to make us feel things.
When anger is acknowledged or verbalized, anxiety slowly and gradually fades away. Accepting feelings of anger can refrain one from managing unwanted acting out behaviours. This will also help in keeping limits and control over reactions to anger. At times anger is something to be listened to.
A few try-at-home tips for managing anger upheavals
1. Notice when you are angry. Simply noticing that you are angry and hearing yourself say “oh I am getting angry now” in itself is a great way to dispel the pressure within.
2. Try not to wallow in self-pity about how unfair the world is or how unfair your life has been. These type of thoughts leads to a feeling of self-defeat and increase distress and anger.
3. Analyse what caused the anger in you. Could it have been avoided? If it an be avoided, then there is always a next time. Learn from it and avoid it in the future.
4. Do not get judgemental about the other person (if the situation involves someone else). Thoughts like “She will never change”, “I cannot let him get away”, “this is unfair to me” etc adds to your anger. When framed in absolute terms, words such as “never”, “always”, “can’t”, “have to” while thinking of a problem further gives rise to anger.
5. Learn to forgive. Every situation is not an end-of-life situation and so sometimes the situation or person that is making you angry won’t really damage you deeply in any way. So having a forgiving attitude helps curbing anger.
6. Breathe. Deep breathing is easy to practice and always helps in releasing the pent up emotions inside you.
It is vital that emotions are channeled in a healthy manner. There are techniques to manage anger and curb destructive behaviour. Anger can eventually lead to tender feelings of forgiveness that is not forced. Many people are not actually experiencing anger it may be something else so anger management would not serve them appropriately.
Seek Therappo’s online counsellors based in India for managing or controlling your anger, anxiety or sadness when they become consistent and overpowering feelings. Online counselling sessions are effective. With Therappo’s online chats one feels safe and secured and learn tips and tools to cope with and process one’s emotions in a healthy way.