Understanding and Managing Anger: Strategies and Tips from Experts
Emma sat in the living room reading a book while her sister Lily was engrossed in her phone. “Lily, can I please use your phone for a bit?” Emma asked.
Lily rolled her eyes. “No, I’m using it,” she replied.
Emma sighed. “Come on, Lily; I need it for a few minutes. I promise I’ll give it back.”
Lily shook her head. “No way, Emma. You always hog it.”
“That’s not true,” Emma protested. “Besides, I’m bored and just want to check my messages.”
Lily glared at her. “Fine, take it,” she said, reluctantly handing over the phone.
Emma smiled, grateful for her sister’s cooperation. She scrolled through her messages for a few minutes before returning the phone to Lily.
But as soon as Lily got the phone back, she ran outside with it. Emma chased after her, but Lily was faster and managed to lock herself inside the cabin.
“Give me the phone, Lily!” Emma yelled, pounding on the door.
“No way, Emma! It’s my phone!” Lily screamed back.
Emma felt her temper rising. She picked up an axe and started hacking at the door. “You can’t keep it all to yourself!” she shouted.
Lily was terrified, but Emma didn’t stop until she had made deep gashes in the door. Afterward, Emma realized how out of control she had become and apologized to Lily.
“I’m sorry, Lily,” Emma said. “I shouldn’t have done that. I don’t know what came over me.”
Lily sniffled. “It’s okay, Emma,” she said, wiping her tears. “I forgive you.”
Emma hugged her sister tightly, grateful for her forgiveness. From then on, they promised never to let their emotions get the best of them.
Emma’s outburst towards Lily over the phone may seem minor, but it reveals a more profound problem affecting many people today: difficulty controlling one’s emotions.
Emma’s inability to control her temper caused her to act impulsively, leading to a destructive outcome.
Emma’s apology to Lily is a sign of emotional maturity. She acknowledged her mistake and took responsibility for her actions.
Her willingness to apologize and seek forgiveness shows that she values her relationship with her sister and understands the importance of managing her emotions.
Anger is an emotion that is often seen as negative and unproductive. People tend to hide their anger because they fear it might be perceived as a sign of evil or danger. However, anger is as valid as any other emotion and is a way of showing what we feel. To manage anger, it is first necessary to understand its origin and causal factors. Anger is mainly derived from sadness when something or someone frustrates us. Therefore, it is essential to accept anger as a natural and legitimate emotion, find strategies to manage our expectations, and recognize the sadness at its origin.
Let us hear from the experts:
“Socially, there seem to be more accepted emotions than others; Anger, despite being just one of the Universal emotions, is one of those that seems to be less accepted, so we tend to hide it from others because we think it can even be a sign that we are dangerous or evil people;
However, anger is as valid an emotion as the others, it is just a way of showing what we feel, and all feelings are valid, acceptable, and have the same importance when we want to understand what is important to us.
To manage any emotion, it is first necessary to understand its origin and what are its causal factors (conscious or unconscious); Anger is mainly derived from the sadness we feel when something or someone frustrates us; that is when our expectations are not met;
So, to manage Anger, we first have to accept it as natural and legitimate and recognize it within us;
Then we have to find strategies that allow us to manage the expectations we have about ourselves, others, or something in which we are involved (such as the profession); The management of expectations can be done by adjusting our goals, gathering as much information about people and contexts as possible, or reducing the demands we place on ourselves, accepting that it is natural to fail and that this will happen several times along the way;
Another essential ingredient in Anger management is the recognition of the sadness that may be at its source. Recognizing the source of sadness has a transforming power. Sadness is not always conscious and cannot always be verbalized; hence, it is essential to talk to a counselor to understand the sadness.
We can transform the sadness by accepting it within us and thus using it to transform and grow; otherwise, in some cases, it will turn into Rage, which is like a revolt against the World, which almost always affects us more than others.”
“We look at anger management differently. The term itself is the problem. Why develop anger and then try to manage it? Anger results from how we think or arrange our thoughts, which are under our control. we take in info from the outside and arrange that as thoughts in an inbuilt pattern, producing our understanding, our " map of the world.” We give it meaning, producing emotions and feelings and slowly losing control, resulting in our behavior and language.
So when we become aware of how we arrange our thoughts, we can realize that we can change these thoughts, and when we change even one thought, the whole arrangement changes, and so the map changes, and so the emotions, feelings, and behavior. So up to the understanding, the map is neutral and not associated with emotions and feelings and so changeable, and the moment emotions come in, it goes out of control and where we fail. So the big difference or defect in anger management is at the end and the most challenging stage, not the thoughts under our control. So rather than anger management, it should be thought management!"
“Anger is a very protective, highly readily available emotion because we have seen it all throughout our lives. Therefore, we must tame it before it affects our conversations, relationships, etc. How do we do that? Here are small actionable steps to help you tame your anger.
Identify the actual trigger - More often than not, when we look at our anger spurts later, we realize that it could’ve been handled better by us. Why? Because that moment was just a momentary trigger that triggered the real one. We need to evaluate that trigger and the reason behind the anger. For example, Was it the person who said something that triggered us to get angry or the statement? Both are two very different things.
Practise relaxation techniques more often.
Don’t argue when the conversation is heated, and you realize you’re losing your temper. Instead, take a cooling-off period and return to the conversation later.
Don’t focus on scoring over the other individual; instead, focus more on the reasonings in the conversation. We often intend to prove the other person wrong, leading to heated arguments.”
“You must first know/ have the emotional maturity to sit with the anger for a minute or two.
When you get so fired up and angry,
Remove yourself from the situation or place for a minute,
Take three really deep breaths
Then, ask yourself why you are so angry.
Is it from someone disrespecting you? Or Is it from someone crossing your boundaries? Or Is it something even more profound?
Once you can recognize where the anger is coming from and why you must learn from it and either fix it or move on.
But don’t live in the anger.”
“There is no simple answer to this question. Anger can be the result of external, internal, or biological factors. You need to resolve this before looking at the opportunities to resolve the overlaying issues. There are different approaches to resolving each factor, from medical to behavioral; however, the root cause must be discovered.”
“There are three simple yet effective steps to anger management:
Step 1: Switch the situation: Moving to another place other than the place where you are getting angry or where the person causing anger is present reduces anger by 50%.
Step 2: Breath: once you switch the situation, take ten deep breaths and calm down. This brings down the anger by 30%.
Step 3: Reflect: once you are calm, think about the positive qualities of the person causing you anger or the good in the anger-provoking situation. Try to identify the source of your anger. Try to identify your role in the anger-provoking situation. You will understand that some things will be under your control and some things wouldn’t. Take responsibility for the things under your control and make changes. This would reduce anger by 20%.”
Different counselors have shared their perspectives on anger management, and one suggested that it should be thought management rather than anger management. According to this perspective, anger results from how we think or arrange our thoughts. We can change these thoughts by becoming aware of how we arrange them. Small actionable that can help us tame our anger include identifying the trigger, practicing relaxation techniques, not arguing during a heated conversation, and focusing on reasoning rather than scoring over the other individual. Anger can result from external, internal, or biological factors, and it is essential to resolve the root cause before any form of treatment can be started.
That’s all in this edition.
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