Understanding Anger
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Understanding Anger

Years ago, I attended a ‘Personal Re-engineering course’ conducted by a behavioral expert (actually a swamji). In the course of one of the sessions, he asked us to smile; everyone came back with a beaming smile; that wasn't a problem. Next he told us to clap our hands, which again was easy. Finally, he asked us to get angry; the entire class tried to invoke feelings of anger, to contrive a situation or incident that made them angry.

what is anger?

The point he was trying to make was that anger is very often an emotional response to an external stimulus and this external stimulus is usually sudden and unexpected, giving us little time to control it. The ‘control center’ of anger is usually ‘outside’ and has to do with a perceived threat to our value system or something we hold dear. Its like saying ‘this is how you should behave or what you should say or what you should do or how you should treat me and I will get angry if these are violated’. This emotion is very often sudden and occurs in our sub-consciousness.

Anger phases from mild irritation and frustration to rage, whence it may manifest into action. The first sign is a whoosh of adrenaline

responses such as a throbbing pulse,

increase in blood pressure, and

tightening up of muscles.

bloodshot eyes

This is followed by a behavioral manifestation- raised voices, clamming up, slamming doors, storming away, or other some other signal signifying annoyance . We may also articulate the reason for what it is that has made us angry, ask for some space in time, request an apology, or ask for some alteration in behavior.

So what can we do about it?

As we said before, anger occurs in our sub-conscious strata and anger management lies in bringing it into the realm of our consciousness. That is to say,

  1. recognize the signs,and identify what it is that makes us angry.
  2. take a few moments before you respond to the provocation, and absorb every bit of the emotion.
  3. do not try to shut it out;
  4. scream or shout out to yourself if you must and in a few moments when you feel relatively lighter,
  5. analyze the thought that has engendered this feeling.

Do this being aware of every single thought. What will happen eventually is that you will have complete control of your emotions .

Is anger bad?

Anger per se, is neither good nor bad. The feeling isn't the problem—it's how you express it that makes all the difference. Anger is a natural reaction of self preservation that can be traced back to our atavistic roots .But as Human Beings we have the ability to evolve, understand and alter the way anger can be projected. When we manage anger well, it prompts us to make positive changes in our lives and situations. This gives you a ‘feel good’ bounce since you were able to control an emotion which could have possessed you negatively. Anger mismanaged, on the other hand, is counterproductive and can be unhealthy.

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici


Street Talk

Isn't it great to accept suffering as an external set of circumstances. nice article.

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Thanks for your comment, Jonathan

Reply
  about 9 years ago
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