Everybody knows what anger is, whether as a mild annoyance or as full-fledged rage. Anger is a completely normal, usually healthy, human emotion. But when it gets out of control and turns destructive, it can lead to problems—problems at work, your personal relationships, and in the overall quality of your life. At times anger comes like a tornado that devastates relationships, properties, lives and finally at times ends up going to jail and life imprisonment.

The Nature of Anger

Anger is an emotional state that varies in intensity from mild irritation to intense fury and rage. Like other emotions, it is accompanied by physiological and biological changes; when you get angry, your heart rate and blood pressure go up, as do the levels of your energy hormones, adrenaline, and noradrenaline.

People who are easily angered generally have a low tolerance for frustration, inconvenience, or annoyance. They can'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? 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 a very early age. Another may be sociocultural. Anger is often regarded as negative; we're 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

Anger can be caused by both external and internal events. You could be angry at a specific person or event or your anger could be caused by worrying or brooding about your personal problems. Memories of traumatic events can also trigger angry feelings.

Expressing Anger

The instinctive, natural way to express anger is to respond aggressively. Anger is a natural, adaptive response to threats; it inspires powerful, often aggressive, feelings and behaviours, which allow us to fight and to defend ourselves when we are attacked. A certain amount of anger, therefore, is necessary for our survival.

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 and constructive but in non - aggressive manner is the healthiest way to express anger.

  • Anger can be suppressed, and then converted or redirected. This happens when you hold in your anger. 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 behaviour. They seem hostile and cynical.

Anger Management

Coping with anger is an acquired skill — almost anyone can learn to control their feelings with time, patience, and dedication. Anger management involves a range of skills that can help with recognizing the signs of anger and handling triggers in a positive way. There are people get angry more easily and more intensely than the average person does. There are also those who don't show their anger in loud spectacular ways but are chronically ill. They withdraw socially, sulk, or get physically ill.

Techniques to Manage Anger

  • Have a glass of water

  • Deep, slow breathing: Focus on each breath as it moves in and out, tries to spend more time exhaling than inhaling.

  • Identify the trigger and try to redirect the thought process to a more constructive place.

  • Identify anger at an early stage and to express your views while remaining calm and in control.

  • Becoming aware of the consequences of anger can help in managing anger.

  • Go for a short walk

  • Talk with a person who is not immediately involved, such as a friend, family member, or counsellor

  • Buying some time can be fundamental in limiting an angry response. These can help calm a person or distract them long enough to process their thoughts in a constructive way.

  • Slowly repeat a calm word or phrase such as "relax," "take it easy." Repeat it to yourself while breathing deeply.

  • Nonstrenuous, slow yoga-like exercises can relax your muscles and make you feel much calmer.

  • Easing physical tension: Try tensing each part of the body for a count of 10, then releasing it.

  • Mindfulness: Meditation is one example of a mindfulness technique, and these can help shift the mind away from anger during triggering situations, especially after consistent practice.

  • Exercise: Physical activity is a great way to use up excess adrenalin. A brisk run or walk or combat sports, such as boxing or martial arts, can be useful outlets for aggressive or confrontational feelings.

  • Create distractions: Distraction techniques, such as dancing to energetic music, taking a relaxing shower, or building, fixing, writing, or drawing, can provide distance from the issue.

  • Writing can also help a person identify and alter thoughts that contribute to disproportionate anger.

  • Have assertiveness training so that you can express anger in a more constructive way.

  • Also, focusing on solutions rather than problems increases the chances of a resolution and reduces the likelihood of an angry reaction.

  • Acceptance of the situations. Life is full of ups and downs.

  • Learn the attitude of forgiving as nobody is perfect.

  • Group or individual therapy can help a person identify and manage triggers

  • Keep an anger diary Recording feelings of anger during an episode and reporting what happened before, during, and afterward may help people anticipate triggers and cope more effectively.

  • Cognitive Restructuring -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.

Persons with alcohol or drug dependence, bipolar, psychotic and personality disorder need the help of mental health practitioners. Some signs that a person may need professional or medical help include:
 

  • being in trouble with the law

  • frequently feeling that they have to hold in their anger

  • regularly having intense arguments with family, friends, or colleagues

  • getting involved in fights or physical confrontations

  • physically assaulting a partner or child

  • threatening violence to people or property

  • breaking objects during an outburst. Tools and techniques can help people come to terms with anger triggers and respond to these in more healthy ways.
     

The goal of anger management is to reduce both your emotional and physiological arousal that anger causes. You can't get rid of, or avoid, the things or the people that enrage you, nor can you change them, but you can learn to control your reactions.

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