Managing Emotions is difficult for all of us, never mind if you suffer from a mood disorder or a mental illness. Don’t we all feel slightly grumpy when we’re sick?
When we are tired, stressed, over-worked or sick, it’s harder to stay calm and keep our cool.
(For related context please see: Managing Emotions Effectively Part 1.)
Anger is an emotion that can potentially bring us much harm and hurt. All of us want less harm and less hurt in life, right? Usually, we all want more happiness and less pain. Learning to navigate beyond fleeting impulses to act on our anger or to out negatively because of our anger is essential to wellness.
Uncontrolled anger is damaging to the body. Check out these warnings: helpful to both genders.
“Acting on anger leads to even more aggression,” The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). According to research, men who manifest anger “are more likely to be dead by age 50 than those who do not.”
We all need motivation for change. Do you like change? Change can be tough. Change is necessary for growth and progress and recovery from illness. Yet, how do we identify areas of necessary change that will bring us closer to wellness and recovery?
Self-examining questions can help:
Why am I angry?
What makes me angry?
How do I personally choose to manage my anger without hurting myself and/or anyone else?
Here are some helpful suggestions and information (I’ve read)…that may broaden your understanding about this touchy topic of anger and what to do about it:
Dr. Redford B. Williams states in JAMA: “The simplistic advice, ‘when angry, let it out,’ is unlikely . . . to be of much help. Far more important is to learn how to evaluate your anger and then to manage it.” He suggests asking yourself: “(1) Is this situation important to me? (2) Are my thoughts and feelings appropriate to the objective facts? (3) Is this situation modifiable, so that I don’t have to have this anger?”
Frank Donovan, in his book Dealing With Anger—Self-Help Solutions for Men, recommends: “Escaping anger—or, more specifically, escaping the scene and other people in your angry episode—is a strategy which has special importance and value at the higher levels of anger.”
Bertram Rothschild, writing in journal The Humanist, states: “Anger . . . is primarily one’s personal responsibility. The reasons to become angry exist in our heads. . . . The few times anger worked for you pale in comparison to the multitude of times it made things worse. It is far better not to produce the anger than to experience it.”
Boiling Point—Problem Anger and What We Can Do About It describes “problem anger” as “any dysfunctional way of relating to and managing anger that persistently causes significant difficulties in a person’s life including their thinking, feeling, behaviour and relationships.”
Ronald Potter-Efron: “The two are quite different in several ways. First, anger is goal directed. By that I mean that an angry person wants something specific. Rage is threat-directed. The individual believes he or she is threatened and is trying to relieve the threat. Second, rage is a Dr. Jekyll-and-Mr. Hyde experience. The person having it feels like the rage is happening without his or her consent. There’s a sense of disbelief, a what-is-happening-here-to-me event. Third, people struggling with rage sometimes lose conscious awareness of their activity. They have rage blackouts that last from seconds to hours. This doesn’t happen with anger. Fourth, ragers often lose control of themselves in amazing ways.” Interview excerpt of Ronald Potter-Efron, Anger Expert and Author of Rage
Pavel G. Somov, Phd: “I see anger as essentially a form of fear. And I see anger management as essentially a form of fear management. There are true tigers and there are paper tigers, true threats and symbolic/conditioned threats. Nobody needs to be taught how to fear a real tiger: that’s hard-wired and taken care of. Yet many of us—particularly those struggling with anger—do require help with learning how not to fear paper tigers (symbolic/conditioned threats). And all of us need to learn how not to fear fear itself, in which case, anger management goes beyond fear management and becomes tantamount to mind management.” ~Pavel G. Somov, Phd Author of Anger Management Jumpstart