How To Manage Anger
The goal of dealing with anger is to learn how to own the moment, so the anger does not own you!
Are you susceptible to anger? Most certainly you are. Anger is an accumulation of built-up stresses this is why you can more easily flare up after you have had a day full of frustrations.
Understanding my emotional meltdown in this world that is on a meltdown can cause me to become restless and volatile. Our tempers are about to blow.
We must learn to let go of our anger and our resentments. Otherwise, the next frustration will lead us down a road we don’t want to go.
What’s raging up and around you? Is it road rage?
In the most general sense anger is a feeling or an emotion that ranges from a mild irritation to an intense fury and rage. Many people often confuse anger with aggression. Aggression is a behavior that is intended to cause harm or injury to another person or thing. Hostility on the other hand refers to a set of attitudes and judgements that motivate aggressive behaviors.
The Good The Bad And The Ugly
Our anger can be a healthy reaction. that is if it is expressed in a focused, healthy way rather than using it to punish another.
When does anger become a problem?
Anger becomes a problem when it is felt too intensely, is felt too frequently, or is expressed inappropriately. Feeling it too intensely or frequently places extreme physical strain on the body.
It creates energy and motivation in us to fight. This form is physical and this is when your amygdala stimulates adrenaline you go to the physical extreme where you want to knock someone off their rocker. How your body responds is increased heart rate, tightness in the chest, and feeling hot or even flushed. These are warnings that our anger is escalating out of control.
We are up against something that infuriates us deeply. You want to dominate and retaliate it is a self-defense mechanism to prevent further harm to yourself.
Acting impulsively to control its value in defending itself against danger. Anger feeds on itself it’s cumulative. Each episode builds into a momentum that you won’t be able to stop which will lead to more agonizing problems like domestic violence.
Growing up in these environments is detrimental to future generations. And can become a learned behavior. We must break this cycle! A clue is we clench our fists or even stare or glare at others we may even pace back and forth, slam a door or two, or raise our voices just to be heard.
The inappropriate expression of anger initially has apparent payoffs. In the long term, however, these payoffs lead to negative consequences.
The long-term negative consequences far outweigh the short-term gains.
Anger Is A Habit
Anger can become a routine, familiar and predictable response to a variety of situations. When anger is displayed frequently and aggressively, it can become a maladaptive habit. A habit, by definition, means performing behaviors automatically, over and over again without even thinking about them. The frequent and aggressive expression of anger can be viewed as a maladaptive habit because it results in negative consequences.
Learn to recognize your anger and learn how to diffuse your anger. When you are upset, freeze and start counting to redirect your mind. Learn some breathing exercises. Take ownership of your body again. You may feel hostile self-talk, images of aggression, or taking revenge.
Pump the brakes, turn off your motor, and allow it to cool off. Dim the lights and turn on some soothing music.
Make the time to decompress in other activities. Take a walk lookout ahead to see what’s out there with ease come back to yourself and evaluate what got you so worked up
We must learn how to respond versus react. What is bringing us sadness or better yet causing us anxiety? Is it PTSD, is it trauma? Feelings that you may feel are fear, hurt, jealousy, or even disrespect. Other feelings may be that you feel abandoned, afraid, discounted, humiliated, or even rejected. These feelings are the core or primary feelings that underlie our anger. It’s easy to discount these primary feelings because they often make us feel vulnerable.
An important component of anger management is to become aware of and recognize the primary feeling that underlie our anger.
Cognitive cues refer to the thoughts that occur in response to the anger-provoking event. When I become angry, I will interpret events in certain ways. The actions of others as demeaning, humiliating, or controlling.
Space the final frontier, or is it? Do you have the right amount of personal space from others? Or are these thoughts “self-talk” because they resemble a conversation, I’m having with myself? This self-talk is usually very critical and hostile in tone and content. It reflects beliefs about the way we think; beliefs about people, places, and things. Our fantasies and images can indicate an escalation of anger. We might fantasize about seeking revenge on someone for something.
Danger sets off an automatic response known as the fight or flight response that is activated through hormonal signals.
The pain from it all is called many names. Our bodies are physically attacked, it’s all internalized and our nervous system is on overload. we start to experience chronic pain and this comes in all forms.
Breaking Down Anger
You can break the anger habit by becoming aware of the events and circumstances that trigger your anger and the negative consequences that result from it. In addition, you need to develop a set of strategies to effectively manage your anger. Identify anger-provoking events and situations.
Distinguish Between Events & The Interpretation Of These Events
- Events refer to facts.
- Facts a (thing) is known or proved to be true (certainly).
- Interpretations refer to opinions, value judgments, or perceptions of the events.
- Interpretations – the (action) of explaining the meaning of something (explanation)
- Opinion – a view or judgment formed about something not necessarily based on fact or knowledge (thinking)
- Value judgment – an assessment of something as good or bad in terms of one’s standards or priorities (comparison)
- Perception – the ability to see hear or become aware of something through the senses (appreciation, realization)
When you get angry it is because you have encountered an event in your life that has provoked your anger. These specific events touch on some sensitive areas of yourself. Let’s call them red flags. A history of past issues that easily lead to you getting angry. These events that you are experiencing in the moment are the exact moments from the past causing you to feel the same.
Here are some that are similar to many. Long waits, long lines, traffic congestion, crowding, social distancing, financial matters, wrongly accused, wrong directions, stolen property, rumors.