Managing emotions is challenging! Especially negative ones that potentially can harm us like anger. Anger and its causes are complex.
The media bombards us with vivid-daily-real and imaginary examples of an angry world. Examples teach us. We are surrounded by examples everywhere we look.
James P. Steyer, founder of Common Sense Media, says: “A generation that’s been repeatedly exposed to intense, realistic violence grows up with more acceptance of aggression, less resistance to brutality, and less compassion.”
Anger and frustration and fear can cause us to act in ways that endanger ourselves and others. Let’s face it, not all of us have had the so-called “perfect” parental examples worthy of imitation. Dear Mom and Pop did try their best, however. We all try our best.
Psychologist Harry L. Mills explains: “From a very early age, people learn to express anger by copying the angry behavior they see modeled around them.”
Sometimes, anger is a product of despair. Sometimes, it’s a product of sickness. Don’t we all feel grumpy when we are sick?! Sometimes due to mood disorders and other illnesses, we have trouble effectively managing emotions including anger.
A 2010 joint report by the International Monetary Fund and the United Nations International Labor Organization (ILO) states: “Over 210 million people across the globe are estimated to be unemployed.”
Other forms of injustice besides unemployment such as prejudice or stigma against the mentally ill and others makes us mad!
How do we know if our anger is normal or we have a serious issue that needs addressing by a professional?
Here are some basic points to consider regarding your personal anger triggers based on information from MentalHelp.net:
- You frequently argue with co-workers and relatives
- It’s difficult for you to forgive those who offend you
- You lose control over you emotions frequently
- You have trouble sleeping at night due to brooding over what upset you during the day
- Your episodes of anger are following by feelings of shame and regret
We all face stressful situations at home and at work. Learning to minimize stress and maximize peace involves managing anger in healthy non-violent ways. If we are parents, we may want to examine how our anger affects our children? How do our anger expressions affect our co-workers? Are our interactions with our neighbors friendly and peaceful? Are we letting media and the entertainment industry shape our views of anger and aggression?
Please join me for part 2 as we explore this touchy topic of anger and tools we can learn to better manage this challenging emotion.