The issue of anger is experienced by all individuals to varying lengths at different points in time of life. It is imperative to ensure that the unique emotion of anger does not lead to hurting yourself or another individual or even damaging a property. The article evaluates the concept of anger and outlines various strategies and techniques that can help manage anger.
‘Anger deprives a sage of his wisdom and a prophet of his vision – Rabbi Simeon B. Lakish, Talmud’
Anger and How to Successfully Overcome It
Anger can be described as an emotional feeling that is characterized by a strong feeling of annoyance, displeasure or hostility towards another individual or something that one feels has intentionally done him or her wrong. According to Campbell, Price and Newton (2000), anger and frustration tend to be natural by products resulting from an individual’s powerlessness over a condition. This indicates that people tend to be angry when they are unable to make their presence felt in a particular situation. Also, anger is an emotional response to any obstruction that prevents an individual from reaching their target or achieving any set objective. On daily basis, other people and circumstances tend to impede us from reaching our set targets. According to Berger (2018), there is variation in the intensity in anger that ranges from mild irritations to as high as intense fury and rage. Anger can have both good and bad effects. In the good sense, anger provides an avenue for the expression of our negative feelings until it gets worse. The intensity of anger depends on the situation and the individual responding to the situation. The situation or manner where anger can be described as appropriate means it is a normal behavior but if anyone gets angry more easily and often on minor incidents or situations and more intensely than an average person would, then it is bad for the person’s health and for others around such individual.
Mills, Green and Reddon (2005) explained that an angry person exhibits several physical signs which include jaw clenching, grinding of teeth, flushed (red and hot due to showing of strong emotion), feeling hot in the neck and face, trembling, goose bumps, headaches, increase and rapid heart rate, dizziness and hyperactivity. These signs tend to vary from one individual to the other. Excessive anger can cause problems and can be dangerous to the individual’s physical health. Anger can further lead to weakened immune systems, Gastrointestinal complications, imbalance in reproductive hormones, cardio vascular diseases, and disturbed nervous systems. Also, it has a significant negative effect on the mental health of people. Such mental health conditions include lowered mood, increased pessimism, anxiety and irritability. Berger has further identified that anger if not well managed can significantly affect the individual’s general performance in academics, work and general attitude. Anger has become a contributing factor to some cases of suicide.
Managing one’s anger can be learnt or by receiving support from a professional in the form of anger management. It also takes loads of commitment and a personal decision to avert the negative emotion of anger when they arise. Anger can be managed by undertaking the following:
A series of changes in one’s physical position have been identified to help manage anger. Changing the eye position, standing up stretching while letting out an audible sigh, doing jumping jacks, doing a ridiculous dance that pokes fun out of you, walking over to a window for fresh air and sunlight, massaging the back of your neck with one hand whilst singing can be effective in managing anger.
Another strategy to managing anger is sitting down and writing down exactly what you want from a particular situation that is causing the anger. In this case, the individual is expected to be clear, fair and realistic in describing exactly the expected end result of the situation. There is the need to encourage more specifics in the description made. After outlining these details, you tend to find yourself drifting out of these negative thought, you can identify that the usual arbitrary and materialistic things you have also yearned for, are clearly not what you want.
Also, make a conscious effort to eliminate negative words such as ‘can’t, Not, Don’t, No’. Such words get us to focus on the things that we do not want. Language is a powerful thing that influences our subconscious mind and furthermore our feelings. It is effective to replace negative words with opposite ones. For instance, saying things like ‘I don’t want war’ should be replaced with ‘I want peace’. It is hence important to replace all negative thoughts and feelings with positive ones in managing anger.
There is also the need to surrender to one’s ego when one needs to be right, to blame, to be spiteful and to be revengeful. There is the need to surrender to the moment than to be rather become worked up by the situation. One must become mindful, watch their thoughts, and learn to separate one’s thoughts from their own identity. One must note that one’s thoughts are not you. Note that things will play out irrespective of whether one can become emotional or not. Trust that the universe will work its course and do its job. By not surrendering, one gets worked up for nothing and the human body suffers as a result.
A circle of positive influence can also be an effective way of managing anger. It is hence counter – productive to be around people with similar feelings and issues. It is healthier to be around friends and families or groups of people or individuals with a positive outlook to a situation. Such people remind us of our capabilities to sour above people and situations causing us to be angry. Being around people with happy and optimistic attitude help raise our awareness and help us move out of the unimaginativestate resulting from anger.
Another effective way of managing anger is meditation. Meditation is the training of the mind to calm the noise in the mental space as well as lower our thought count and draw inner wisdom as it usually helps us recognize and remain anchored in our divine state. Meditation helps an angry mind remain centered, in a state of acceptance, of flow, peace and love. Also, one can learn a series of breathing relaxation techniques. This requires sitting or standing up straight, loosen up clothes and inhaling through your nose whilst exhaling through your mouth. Repeating this 5 to 10 times helps calm down one’s nerves whilst counting the number of times that the breathing in and out is done.
Laughter is also one way to eliminate anger. One must laugh or smile often and learn to forgive people whose actions and inactions trigger anger in them. There is hence the need to identify trigger factors of one’s angers and avoid them.
Anger is an everyday emotion if not checked on a daily basis can destroy relationships and reputations. Several effective ways of managing anger have been identified and require an individual’s commitment to managing anger. At London School of Management Education (LSME), we pride ourselves in supporting our cherished students who we regard as partners in various ways to develop and nurture their potential. If you are having issues with your anger and is quick-tempered, then please contact your assessors/lecturers/counsellors for support. We will do our best to assist you in getting over this habit.
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Have a blessed week and keep safe!
Campbell, D. C., Price, J. L and Newton, W. L (2000). Understanding Anger in Residents. Fam Med 200032, pp. 85 – 86.
Berger, G (2018). Anger Management. Accessed from https://glennberger.net/anger-management/#.W3l6WWXPz0E, Date Accessed 7th September, 2018.
Mills, J. F., Green, K and Reddon, R. J (2005). An Evaluation of the Psychache Scale on an Offender Population. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior. 2005 35, 5, 570-580.