ANGER Anger is a healthy emotion when it is expressed appropriately. When it is not, it can have devastating effects. Anger is at the root of many personal and social problems, e. g. , child abuse, domestic violence, physical and verbal abuse, and community violence. Problematic interpersonal relations may also disrupt employment activities because of the interference of anger on workplace performance.
Left unchecked, anger can destroy relationships, obstruct problem solving skills, and increase social withdrawal. Anger also affects our physical health. For example, it can tax our immune system; contribute to headaches, migraines, severe gastrointestinal symptoms, hypertension, and coronary artery disease. Anger is a healthy and valid emotion.
But many of us are taught not to express or show our anger. This often leaves us feeling frustrated and unable to express how we feel inside. As a result, some of us store and suppress our anger, while others may express it, but in negative and unhealthy ways. Individual counseling sessions will assist you in learning how to express and communicate your anger in positive and effective ways. Anger is ‘an emotional state that varies in intensity from mild irritation to intense fury and rage,’ according to CharlesSpielberger, Ph. D.
, a psychologist who specializes in the study of anger. Like other emotions, it is accompanied by physiological and biological changes; when you get angry, your heart rate and blood pressure go up, as does the level of your energy hormones, adrenalin and / nor adrenalin. Anger can because by both external and internal events. You could be angry with a specific person (Such as a coworker or supervisor) or event (a traffic jam, a canceled flight), or worrying or brooding about your personal problems could cause your anger. Memories of traumatic or enraging events can also trigger angry feelings. The instinctive, natural way to express anger is to respond aggressively.
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Anger is a natural, adaptive response to threats; it inspires powerful, often aggressive, feelings and behaviors, which allow us to fight and to defend ourselves when we are attacked. A certain amount of anger, therefore, is necessary to our survival. On the other hand, we can’t physically lash out at every person or object that irritates or annoys us; laws, social norms and common sense place limits on how far our anger can take us. People use a variety of both conscious and unconscious processes to deal with their angry feelings. The three main approaches are expressing, suppressing, and calming. Expressing your angry feelings in an assertive — not aggressive — manner is the healthiest way to express anger.
To do this, you have to learn how to make clear what your needs are, and how to get them met, without hurting others. Being assertive doesn’t mean being pushy or demanding; it means being respectful of yourself and others. Anger can be suppressed, and then converted or redirected. This happens when you hold in your anger, stop thinking about it and focus on something positive. The aim is to inhibit or suppress your anger and convert it into more constructive behavior.
The danger in this type of response is that if it isn’t allowed outward expression, your anger can turn inward — on yourself. Anger turned inward may cause hypertension, high blood pressure or depression. Unexpressed anger can create other problems. It can lead to pathological expressions of anger, such as passive-aggressive behavior (getting back at people indirectly, without telling them why, rather than confronting them head-on) or a personality that seems perpetually cynical and hostile. People who are constantly putting others down, criticizing everything and making cynical comments haven’t learned how to constructively express their anger. Not surprisingly, they aren’t likely to have many successful relationships.
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Finally, you can calm yourself down inside. This means not just controlling your outward behavior but also controlling your internal responses, taking steps to lower your heart rate, calm yourself down and let the feelings subside. According to Jerry Deffenbacher, Ph. D. , a psychologist who specializes in anger management, some people are really more ‘hotheaded’ than others; they get angry more easily and more intensely than the average person. There are also those who don’t show their anger in loud spectacular ways but are chronically irritable and grumpy.
Easily angered people don’t always curse and throw things; sometimes they withdraw socially, sulk or get physically ill. People who are easily angered generally have what some psychologists call alow tolerance for frustration, meaning simply that they feel that they should not have to be subjected to frustration, inconvenience or annoyance. Theycan’t take things in stride, and they ” re particularly infuriated if the situation seems somehow unjust: for example, being corrected for a minor mistake. What makes these people this way? A number of things. One cause may be genetic or physiological; there is evidence that some children are born irritable, touchy and easily angered, and that these signs are present from avery early age. Another may be sociocultural.
Anger is often regarded as negative; we ” ve taught that it’s all right to express anxiety, depression or other emotions but not to express anger. As a result, we don’t learn how to handle it or channel it constructively. Research has also found that family background plays a role. Typically, people who are easily angered come from families that are disruptive, chaotic and not skilled at emotional communications. Simply put, this means changing the way you think. Angry people tend to curse, swear or speak in highly colorful terms that reflect their inner thoughts.
When you ” re angry, your thinking can get very exaggerated and overly dramatic. Try replacing these thoughts with more rational ones. For instance, instead of telling yourself, ‘oh, it’s awful, it’s terrible, everything’s ruined,’ tell yourself,’ it’s frustrating, and it’s understandable that I’m upset about it, but it’s not the end of the world and getting angry is not going to fix it anyhow.’ Be careful of words like ‘never’ or ‘always’ when talking about yourself or someone else.’ This machine never works,’ or ‘you ” re always forgetting things’ are not just inaccurate, they also serve to make you feel that your anger is justified and that there’s no way to solve the problem. They also alienate and humiliate people who might otherwise be willing to work with you on a solution. For example, you have a friend who is constantly late when you make plans to meet.
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Don’t go on the attack; think instead about the goal you want to accomplish (that is, getting you and your friend there at about the same time).
So avoid saying things like, ‘You are always late! You ” re the most irresponsible, inconsiderate person I have ever met!’ The only goal that accomplishes is hurting and angering your friend. State what the problem is, and try to find a solution that works for both of you; or take matters into your own hands by, for instance, setting your meeting time a half-hour earlier so that your friend will, in fact, get there on time, even if you have to trick him other into doing it! Either way, the problem is solved and the friendship isn’t damaged. Remind yourself that getting angry is not going to fix anything, that it won’t make you feel better (and may actually make you feel worse).
Logic defeats anger, because anger, even when it’s justified, can quickly become irrational. So use cold hard logic on yourself. Remind yourself that the world is ‘not out to get you,’ You ” re just experiencing some of the rough spots of daily life. Do this each time you feel anger getting the best of you, and it ” ll help you get a more balanced perspective.
Angry people tend to demand things: fairness, appreciation, agreement, and willingness to do things their way. Everyone wants these things, and we are all hurt and disappointed when we don’t get them, but angry people demand them, and when their demands aren’t met their disappointment becomes anger. As part of their cognitive restructuring, angry people need to become aware of their demanding nature and translate their expectations into desires. In other words, saying ‘I would like’s omething is healthier than saying ‘I demand’ or ‘I must have’s omething. When you ” re unable to get what you want, you will experience the normal reactions — frustration, disappointment, hurt — but not anger.
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Some angry people use this anger as a way to avoid feeling hurt, but that doesn’t mean the hurt goes away. Sometimes, our anger and frustration are caused by very real and inescapable problems in our lives. Not all anger is misplaced, and often it’s a healthy, natural response to these difficulties. There is also a cultural belief that every problem has a solution, and it adds to our frustration to find out that this isn’t always the case. The best attitude to bring such a situation, then, is not to focus on finding the solution but rather on how you handle and face the problem. Make a plan, and check your progress along the way.
(People who have trouble with planning might find a good guide to organizing or time management helpful. ) Resolve to give it your best, but also not to punish yourself if an answer doesn’t come right away. If you can approach it with your best intentions and efforts, and make a serious attempt to face it head-on, you will be less likely to lose patience and fall into all-or-nothing thinking, even if the problem does not get solved right aw Word Count: 1577.