By Dr. Dean Aslinia
Anger is a highly intense and often momentary emotional response. This secondary emotion often develops towards people or situations when they don’t tend to conform to our expectations. More or less all of us have experienced those sudden fits of annoyance when a machine stops working at the wrong moment or say, a friend cancels plans last minute. Now granted some people are perennially hotheaded, flaring up at the slightest provocation. But even if that’s not who you are, you still have expectations of how you’d like to be treated, addressed, or communicated to. Expressions of anger can often take varied forms, ranging from a low key grumbling to explosive outrage, and there are different techniques to cope with each.
Anger is not completely a negative emotion, like it’s preached to be, nor is its expression always condemnable. You are as much entitled to be angry as you are to feel any other normal human emotion like happiness or anxiety. In fact, expression of assertive anger to a certain degree is healthy and even necessary for your own peace of mind. It is when you make your needs and concerns clear in front of others, thereby ensuring that the same event which triggered your anger doesn’t repeat itself. Unbridled rage or fury, however, can have adverse effects both on your professional life as well as your personal relationships.
Anger is not just a state of mind; it is very much a physiological phenomenon as well. When your temper goes out of control, it is accompanied by certain physiological changes such as an increase in heart rate, blood pressure and levels of adrenalin and noradrenalin hormones. Thus, too much of anger can effect you physically, besides tampering with your mental well being.
Anger management therapies rely on a number of relaxation techniques to keep your temper in check. Regular meditation and yoga can help in calming the mind so that it does not get triggered easily. Also, when you feel like you’re losing your cool, try deep breathing or chanting relaxing words. When you breathe from the diaphragm, your attention is diverted from the crisis situation and instead focused on the process of inhalation and exhalation. Thus it helps to release the tension and stress.
Some people use humor as a defence mechanism to hide feelings of hurt or anguish. Well, you can do the same to take your mind off things that make you angry. Crack lame jokes wherever possible. Chances are good that after some time you’ll be able to see how utterly insignificant the things that were about to drive you crazy, had been. However, this does not mean you can laugh off everything. There will be serious problems in life where humor won’t and probably shouldn’t work. For such situations, you have other techniques.
Refrain from making decisions while you’re angry. Anger is quite an overwhelming emotion that causes you to lose your rationality temporarily. You cannot think straight and tend to jump to conclusions that are often inaccurate. When such a situation arises, wait until your rage has subsided before making an important decision. Also, after you have calmed down, try to objectively judge the situation as well as your reaction to it. In case of violent fights or brawls, always ask for forgiveness from the person at the other end, even if it was not initiated by you. Sometimes, a simple act of apologizing can be enough for preventing damage to relationships.
If none of these help, consider taking help from a counselor, therapist, or psychotherapist. Remember that while excessive outbursts of anger can be harmful, complete suppression isn’t particularly desirable either. If you keep denying yourself opportunities for venting your pent up frustrations and disappointments, it will not be too long before you explode. What we are looking to achieve is basically a state where we can come to terms with the things that make us angry and react without hurting others or ourselves ; in other words, an emotional equilibrium.
Becoming aware of what has caused our secondary emotion of anger to come to surface, can often times help us determine the underlying primary emotions that we have for years suppressed or ignored. Realize, once those primary emotions are honored and resolved, then we can finally lay to rest the anger responses. A licensed mental health professional can allow you to explore those primary emotions and guide you to decreasing their impact on your daily life.
For more information on Anger Management Courses in the North Texas Region please visit UleadUlearn Anger Management Course Offerings.