Anger is the emotion that seems to get people into the most trouble with teachers, parents, family, friends and police. Too much anger fuels huge problems. Ever see someone having “road rage?” It’s scary to watch or experience and it’s very dangerous. Someone who gets that angry is out of control, is showing terrible judgment and is placing his own and other’s lives in great jeopardy.
Anger occurs when frustration is high. In moderation it is fine. It warns us that something is wrong and needs to be addressed. It often arises from a sense of injustice, a feeling that something is very unfair. It is a great motivator: sometimes for the good, as when a person uses anger to take constructive action and does not lose control; and sometimes it’s bad, as when a driver loses control and acts with reckless hostility.
We all live in a frustrating world. We all need to learn how to control or direct the frustration, which can quickly turn into anger. Temper tantrums are only for very young children. When you feel yourself becoming too angry, or on the brink of acting on your anger, you might: 1. Try the old “count to ten” technique: it often works by delaying action.
2. Think about the fear or frustration that caused the other person to act in a way that upset you.
3 Try to feel empathy for the person rather than anger. Sometimes compassion calms hostility.
4. If you or someone (or something) you care about is being treated unfairly, try to offer a solution that makes the situation more fair.
Sometimes simply walking away is a great alternative to acting out your anger. That takes a lot of poise and maturity—and it shows a lot of poise and maturity, too.
Anger doesnâ€™t have to be a bad emotion. When kept in check, anger can inspire great writing, great athletic performance or great social progress. But restraint and good sense are the keys to having anger be constructive rather than destructive. It can be either.
If you grew up in a family that responds to anger by shouting and yelling, you will probably get angry easily and respond naturally in this way. If you grew up in a family that responds to anger by always talking things through, being polite, and never blowing up, you may still become angry at times, but will learn to handle it by hiding it. There are benefits and drawbacks to both styles. Expressing your anger can help you to feel relief and avoid further stress, but it may hurt others and put that stress onto them. Worse, it may not help to change the situation which made you angry in the first place. Holding your feelings in and not expressing anger can cause you to feel the effects of stress in other physical and emotional ways if you don’t somehow get relief. When you feel yourself getting angry, a first step is to consider the source of the anger. Are your feelings justified, or are they selfish? Will expressing your anger help or hurt the situation? Can you solve the problem in a way that doesn’t hurt others physically or emotionally?
When you feel yourself getting angry take the following steps:
1. Take a deep breath, hold it a minute, then slowly let it out.
2. Take a moment where you don’t say anything, but just think about the situation.
3. Ask yourself why you are upset: Are you not getting your way? Does someone not understand you? Has someone else done something to you?
4. Before you react, consider what you will gain by your reaction. Your number one goal should be to get the best results from the situation.
Now respond. This might mean walking away rather than making things worse. It might mean talking things over. It might mean expressing your anger in a firm but calm way. It might mean explaining to someone else how they upset you. It might mean letting your anger go because you realize it is unproductive.
If you follow these steps and practice them whenever you can, you will find that, while you might still get angry, you may also get better results and feel less stress.
Intense emotions demand intense modes of expression. While there are many outlets for the feelings typically deemed positive, however, there are far fewer methods for constructively coping with anger, frustration, fear, sadness, or stress. Consequently, such feelings can cause us to believe that we are no longer in control of our emotional state. Backed into a mental corner, we may lash out at the first individual we encounter. Most of us will quickly discover that our misdirected outpouring of fury has not relieved the pressure of our pain. Powerful emotions are like the lava in a volcano poised to eruptâ€”held in check with nothing but an eroding layer of calm. Within us lies the power to direct the flood of feeling that surges forth by channeling it into productive, artistic, or laborious pursuits.
Retaking control of our emotions at their height can be difficult because our already negative feelings can convince us that others are deserving of our wrath. But if we consciously look for healthier ways of expressing what we feel, we can both safely dispel our pain and use the energy of that pain to add value to our lives. Anger and sadness, for example, can become the inspiration that induces us to dedicate ourselves to bringing about the change we wish to see in the world. If we act rather than react, we can become effective agents of positive transformation. When we channel our frustration or feelings of stress into outside-the-box thinking and proactive exploits, we are more apt to discover solutions to the issues that initially left us stymied. And if we view fear as a signal that we need to reexamine our circumstances rather than a cue to flee, we may gain new and unexpected insight into our lives.
Channeling your emotions into constructive action can also prevent you from engaging in cyclical rumination in which you repeatedly relive the situation, event, or expectation that originally sparked your feelings in your mind’s eye. Since you are focused on a goal, even if your ambition is merely to better understand yourself, your pain is no longer being fed by your intellectual and emotional energy and quickly ebbs away. You not only avoid lashing out at others, but you also actively take part in your own healing process while honestly acknowledging and honoring your feelings.