Anger management manual - survivor’s guide to taming inner demons

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Sometimes we think that negative emotions, such as anger and irritation just make our life a misery. In fact everything is much more complicated. Actually, they are just a specific feedback of our organisms, which helps us to adapt to the changeable conditions of life.

The good of negative emotions can be compared with the good of physical pain. From one side, pain is not a pleasant sensation, but if you don’t feel pain (and such cases exist) you can break the arm without noticing it.

And as physical pain is a signal that something goes wrong with the body, negative emotions show us that some important psychological needs are not met. It can be the need for love, respect, acknowledgement or professional success. Positive emotions, on the contrary, show us that all basic needs are met and everything is OK.

People, who are afraid of expressing their anger, usually excuse it with the worry of getting “out of themselves” and to smash everything around into bits and pieces. But anger can not be the reason for violence, violence and anger are not linked directly. Only in those people who are violent by nature anger can trigger violence.

Anger is a striking response to an obstacle or injustice and you can learn to control it and to use its energy with no harm for those around.

Have you ever been thinking how our physical potential depends on our emotional state? The stronger our emotions are, the more impressive are our physical abilities – one can move mountains and jump over the walls being at the emotional peak. But it’s better to think over the things being in a calmer state, for the intellectual and reasoning abilities lay deep dormant when one is angry.

What happens with unexpressed anger?

Every emotion gives us energy – positive or negative, so does the anger. There are just two options here: or you can control and transform this energy and channel it for something positive and constructive, or it possesses you and becomes really unmanageable and uncontrollable. The attempts to hide anger, not to show it, lead to accumulation of emotions and this delayed-action bomb can blow up at any moment. Usually at the least appropriate moment.

Resent scientific researches show that women feel anger just as often as men do and their anger is equally strong and intense. The reasons for getting angry are also the same – bad treatment, unfavorable situations at home and at work, unrealized desires etc. But anger harms female health as much as male one. It causes a number of health problems, such as depression, high blood pressure, heart diseases, arthritis, alcoholism and obesity.

Another way to deal with anger is to redirect it onto someone or something what does nothing with the initial source of anger. Not onto the boss who shouted on you, but onto a secretary or subordinate; onto your child instead of the spouse who offended you.

This way of dealing with anger can bring you only temporary relief, but it will hurt the feelings of other people and ruin relationships. You have to find the core of your anger, to find the source of it. This is the only way for you to correct the situation and put everything right, or if it doesn’t depend on you, to accept the inevitable.

Anger management is not so easy and it includes few stages. The most important thing is to stop before you blow up and say or do things you will regret afterwards.

First stage of anger management - to be done straight away

1. Try to discern the symptoms of anger, i.e. what happens to your body in these moments – rapid and heavy breath, increased heart rate, flushing etc. You need to do it in order to be able to take urgent actions. Don’t hide your anger, as it will lead to even worse consequences.

2. Try not to react so strongly. Analyze the situation. As every other strong emotion, anger impairs your ability to think logically and coherently, and you will need mental clarity to find the way out of problem situation. Breathe deeply and count to ten (or hundred if you are at the verge of a murder) imagine what you would think seeing someone else in the same situation, assume that may be the whole thing is not so terrible as it seems to you at the moment.

3. Think about something pleasant, about the things which make you happy and joyful, for example about holidays or hot foamy bath with a glass of champagne. It can be helpful in annoying situation, especially if you can do nothing to change it, for example being locked in a traffic jam. You can call your friend or relative who would calm you down and appeal to your common sense by applying reason and detached attitude to the apocalyptic situation you are in.

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