The way to overcome one's problems is not to give in to anger but to resolve issues with maturity and patience, values which everyone from politicians to taxi drivers could put to good use
Anger is a perfectly normal human emotion. Despite being an ordinary emotion, many find it difficult to manage anger in a healthy and productive manner.
Many factors in our life may contribute to the overwhelming emotion felt in response to an action with which we are displeased, ranging from traffic jams to office politics or an insult.
It is when this emotion spirals out of control and one becomes destructive and vindictive toward the perpetrator to the extent that it hinders the ability to make logical decisions, the emotion becomes concerning. At this point, anger imposes negative consequences on your relationships, state of mind and even your health and wellbeing.
Just as happiness and love alter the psychological and biological change in your body, so too does anger. Your heart rate and blood pressure increase along with the energy hormones adrenaline and noradrenaline.
WHAT DOES ANGER FEEL LIKE?
There are many symptoms and telltale signs to anger. These may include: knots in your stomach; clenching your hands or jaw; feeling clammy or flushed; breathing faster; headaches; pacing or needing to walk around; "seeing red;" having trouble concentrating; pounding heart; and tensing your shoulders.
WHAT KIND OF EFFECTS DOES IT HAVE ON YOUR WELLBEING?
When anger peaks, it feels like selfcontrol is lost but laws, social norms and common sense place limits on how far one may take this anger. If this frustration is not dealt with in a healthy manner, it then becomes redirected and festers in other aspects of your life. It may damage your relationship, impair your judgment, get in the way of your success, and give you a negative interpretation of unrelated issues.
Aside from the social implication, anger also leaves a negative effect on your body. Anger triggers the body's "fight or flight" response, flooding the body with the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol. The body deals with this chemical reaction by redirecting blood away from the gut and toward the muscle. The heart rate increases, along with blood pressure and the rate of breathing. This overwhelming response begins to have a negative effect on health.
Short and long-term health problems that have been linked to unmanaged anger include: headache; abdominal pain and digestion problems; insomnia; increased anxiety; depression; high blood pressure; skin irritation; and heart attack and stroke in extreme cases.
Chronic anger opens the door to numerous health concerns. It makes you more susceptible to heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol levels, a weakened immune system, insomnia, and high blood pressure.
In terms of mental health, anger consumes an enormous amount of mental energy, clouds one's ability to make rational decisions, and makes it harder to concentrate. Anger also prohibits your ability to enjoy yourself and be happy.
Anger may also damage your career. Constructive criticism, creative differences, and heated debates may be healthy and effective for a successful career.
However, taking it to the next level and lashing out at people may leave you with a bad reputation and make it more difficult to be relaxed and happy.
Anger also has a serious effect on relationships. Once uttered, words cannot be taken back. Constantly upsetting the people around you and especially the ones you love may leave you in a vulnerable position. Chronic and intense anger make it difficult for people to love and trust you as they are always apprehensive about an explosion of anger.
HOW CAN ANGER BE MANAGED?
While suppressing your anger is not the solution, neither is aggression which is disruptive to others. An aggressive verbal or physical reaction is not justified by anger.
You may not always be able to control the situation in which you find yourself, but you do have the power to control how you react.
Recognizing what triggers your anger is the first step in dealing with the problem before it reaches the damaging, uncontrollable stage. There are numerous techniques one can exercise to deal with anger.
TIPS FOR COOLING DOWN
Recognize the physical change in your body; take deep breaths and slow your breathing; exercise so that you defuse your anger and give yourself the time to reflect on the situation while exerting all that energy in a beneficial manner; use your senses and be aware of how your body is reacting to the situation you are in; and stretch and massage areas that are gathering tension.
While anger cannot be entirely avoided and is necessary in certain situations, being aware of how it affects you is important. Finding healthy ways to express emotions will ultimately lead to a happier and healthier life, not just for you, but also those around you.