Sunday, 08 November 2015 11:25

Understanding Anger Featured

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Anger is a physical and mental reaction to a perceived threat to you, your loved ones, your property, your self-image, or some part of your identity. Anger is a warning bell that tells you that something is wrong. Anger takes many different forms from irritation to blinding rage or resentment that festers over many years. Our feelings are influenced by our emotional make-up, how we view the world, what happens around us and our circumstances. Like other emotions, anger rarely acts alone. Anger is a normal emotion with a wide range of intensity, from mild irritation and frustration to rage.

Anger has three components:

1. Physical reactions, usually starting with a rush of adrenaline and responses such as an increased heart rate, blood pressure, and tightening muscles; often known as the “fight or flight” response.
2. The cognitive experience of anger, or how we perceive and think about what is making us angry. For example, we might think something that happened to us is wrong, unfair, and undeserved.
3. Behaviour, or the way we express our anger. There is a wide range of behaviour that signals anger. We may look and sound angry, turn red, raise our voices, clam up, slam doors, storm away, or otherwise signal to others that we are angry. We may also state that we are angry and why, ask for a time-out, request an apology, or ask for something to change.

The way you express your anger says a lot about you. There are times you can lose the respect people have for you just because of the way you reacted and expressed your anger. Ticked off. Fed up. Enraged. Call it what you will, but we’ve all been there. Anger is part of being human. There is no crime to be angry. There is nothing wrong when you express the fact that you’re angry but how you go about this expression can make people to support you or distance themselves from you. The real danger is problems start when you bottle up your anger, react now and think later, or feel that a destructive response is justified just because you’re furious. You need to be in control no matter what even if you think you’re right as to the cause of the anger. Control matters a lot.

It is important you understand how to react as this can affect you in many other ways. In fact, both flying off the handle and wallowing can take a toll on your health, increasing pain perception, depression, and your risk of heart disease. But a healthier response can soothe stress, lower your risk of heart problems and depression, and improve your relationships. If that all sounds too good to be true, get this: we can all learn to handle our anger more effectively. You need to discover the tempo of your temper—and find yourself a better rhythm.

I am not here to stop you from being angry. As a matter of fact I will be very scared of you if you are never angry. You are not only dangerous to you but also to everyone that is in contact with you. Everyone experiences anger, and it can be healthy. It can motivate us to stand up for ourselves and correct injustices. When we manage anger well, it prompts us to make positive changes in our lives and situations. Mismanaged anger, on the other hand, is counterproductive and can be unhealthy. When anger is too intense, out of control, misdirected, and overly aggressive, it can lead to poor decision making and problem solving, it can also create problems with relationships and at work, and can even affect your health.

Although anger is a universal human emotion, there are many variables involved in when we get angry, how angry we get, or how long we stay angry after experiencing a threatening, hurtful, or unexpected situation. What makes a person angry? Why do we get angry over the smallest things and blow up out of proportion with what is happening? Why do we get angry at the people we love and care about? Anger can appear to be irrational but if you learn to look below the surface you will find the real causes of anger. When you find the real causes you can successfully overcome your anger.

As we go about our lives, we’re constantly weighing up situations and deciding what we think about them: good or bad, safe or unsafe etc. How we interpret a situation influences how we feel about it. If we think we are in danger, we feel afraid. If we feel we have been wronged, we feel angry. These feelings determine how we react to the situation. We translate meanings into feelings very fast. With anger, that speed sometimes means that we react in ways we later regret.

I cannot categorically pinpoint the root cause of anger as it varies from one individual to another. Anything can cause anger depending on the individual. According to the Cognitive Behaviour Theory, anger is a consequence of many causes such as cognitive, social/or behavioural models that we have learned from others, the lack of social skills and problem solving strategies, and several biological factors. The main cause of anger is represented by our irrational perceptions and evaluations of situations when our rights and goals are apparently broken. Put in simpler terms, thoughts are the underlying factor of anger.

Your thought is very important factor here. This affects your belief as well. A belief that is self-defeating or irrational can cause anger as well. To describe a belief as self-defeating or irrational is to say that:

• It distorts reality (it is a misinterpretation of the reality) or it involves some illogical ways of evaluating yourself, others, and the world around you
• It prevents you from achieving your goals and purposes;
• It creates extreme emotions which persist, cause distress, and immobilise;
• It leads to behaviours that may harm you, others, and your life in general.

People with anger problems often have simple explanations for their problems —they believe that other people caused their emotional upsets. They won’t admit they reacted the way they did because they lost control of their emotion. Events and circumstances alone do not trigger anger. This feeling is a direct consequence of how people perceive reality.

Anger is a completely normal, usually healthy, human emotion. But when it gets out of control and turns destructive, it can lead to problems. Anger, disappointment, and resentment can’t be erased. But they can be evaded. Your ability to regulate your anger, in turn, affects how you’re perceived by the people around you. Calming yourself down when you’re frustrated, of course, may be more easily said than done. Life is not an ‘Easy Street,’ you have a responsibility to make the most of life no matter what life throws at you. You have the responsibility to handle your anger in an appropriate way that won’t endanger your life and the life of those you’re dealing with.

As search for ways to control your anger today, I wish you the best and encourage you never to give up until you have the control you seek. Good luck.

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