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Challenge your Mindset

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How are you feeling?

Is anger ever a good thing?

anger

Anger as an emotion has developed as a survival instinct through the history of humanity. It’s designed to help us react to potential threats to our wellbeing. In the modern world, we’ve come to acknowledge anger negatively, and don’t see the potential productivity within it. According to Weber, 28 percent of us identify our anger as ‘harmful’ or ‘useless’. Anger is supposed to help us identify when something is wrong, so how do we come to realign anger with doing what’s right?

From reaction to emotion

Practicality is the main factor of anger. A combination of social, biological and psychological factors dictate what triggers anger, from our world views, to our natural disposition, to our past experiences. Anger acts quickly to create physical symptoms. Our nervous system becomes excited causing our heart rate, blood pressure, adrenaline levels and blood sugar levels to rise. [Do women and men react differently to stress] The overstimulation requires quick thought and is part of the simplification process in judging right or wrong. From there, we decide how to act on our anger, the most important part in deciding whether our anger is good or not.

What is a threat?

People’s differing environments mean no one gets angry by the same things. Anger might be triggered by stress, anxiety, exhaustion or general sensitivity and can relate to any part of our lives we feel we need to protect, from family to ourselves, money to possessions, and self-esteem to the greater good. Identifying what is threatening you will help you decide the appropriate way of managing and acting on your anger For example, if you’ve had a bad day which has caused negativity to build in you as it progresses, would that justify anger?. Sometimes, we need to reflect on the things that threaten us and decide whether they are threats or not. Figure out whether it’s you or them, and minimise the risk of doing something you’ll regret.

Long term anger

Very often, anger is not acted upon at all. Internalising anger leads to a variety of manifestations that cause harm to you and others. Most commonly, situations you have no control over, such as long term neglect or abuse, will cause you to mismanage the consequent anger. Development of psychological conditions and mental illnesses, such as emotional abusing, major or manic depression, dissociative and anxiety disorders, will come from internalising anger. In worst case scenarios, long term anger will affect the personality of a person permanently. [Popular anger management techniques] They become cynical, temperamental and callous, which can result in violence towards others and themselves, such as self-harm or alcohol and drug abuse, making anger worse. Remember, anger is an emotion, but resultant actions are separate. Anger does not always have to lead to aggression. Apart from mental illness, uncontrolled anger can lead to physical illnesses in the heart and stomach, and increases susceptibility to colds as well as the risk of contracting cancers.

A force of good

Channelling anger towards a positive outcome is possible, and historically has led to great victories in social injustices. Moral outrage works to defend something sacred, innocent or important, and if used to its full potential, can have a lasting effect. If you’re angry about the way a friend or family member has been treated, or about rules and regulations set up in public or private that you don’t agree with, anger can be the motivation and source of creativity you need. The passion of anger is what can put an idea in motion. The Ancient Greek philosopher

Aristotle said:

“The man who is angry at the right things and with the right people, and further, as he ought, when he ought, and as long as he ought, is praised.”

Thinking before acting

The most effective way to decide how to handle your anger is to slow down the reaction rate. Because the nature of anger is impulsive, practise techniques which allow you more thinking time when deciding a course of action. Don’t erupt. Breathe deep, count to ten, leave the situation, do something fun and relaxing or scream into a pillow – whatever helps you keep your anger in control. Going back to the source of anger after calming down is greatly beneficial, especially if arguing with someone else. [Mantras to follow when you're mad with someone] Learning how to talk assertively is a great communication skill, and great communication skills are a major factor to dealing with anger. For empowering advice on communication skills and assertiveness join now for access to expert bite sized video strategies, ebooks and a supportive community.

Controlling anger ultimately comes back to you. Anger is personal, but can quickly become many other people’s problem too. Help yourself. By hearing others perspectives and demonstrating yours clearly, problems can be solved. The wellbeing of the body can greatly affect how we act to situations. By looking after your health regularly with good diet and exercise, as well as moderating your intake of alcohol and abstaining from drug abuse, you can greatly reduce your tendency for anger.

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This article was contributed by Pink Moods.