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Anger Management 101

Updated on November 1, 2012

Sure, seems there are a lot of things to get angry about lately; food prices, politics, world unrest, crummy fall TV season. But before you go there – you know, that edgy, chest tightening, skin tingling feeling of anger, take a second and consider if you really want to waste more “life” being angry.

Now I am not trying to insult anyone, but anger, like worry, is a very selfish and useless emotion. It never solves anything, in fact, it is usually responsible for the further disintegration of things, and it makes us feel bad! Furthermore, anger is an emotion that has repercussions like, making you have to eat crow later on, grovel apologies for bad behavior, guilt, shame, or just more anger! So, why do we mess around with it? Is it totally outside of our control?

Of course not. It is absolutely within your control. They key to getting a grip on your anger is cutting through to the core reason for you anger, which is, by the way, never the “issue” you are currently angry about. Anger is an emotion that is developed because a person feels pinned in, has lost control or does not see a way out of certain conditions or feelings. The anger is a by-product of a perception of some type of restriction or severe limitation in your life. Like a person encased a strait jacket, an angry person is fighting to get out of the situation, and this internal fight, mostly unconscious, manifests itself into anger over just about anything. Of course you may be truly angry about the immediate situation, but it is likely that because you are holding on to some other type of pain, chances are that more and more things will tend to set you off.

Because our anger is rarely about the specific situation that we get angry about, it is tough for us to identify why we got so angry and the penalty we sometimes have to pay for an angry outburst is so harsh, that it exasperates the anger condition. Anger causes people to lose jobs, relationships, health, and a host of valuable things. These losses add to the already cloying issue that is probably the root cause of the anger in the first place.

I am not a fan of using aggression (like pillow fights, extreme fitness, or going outside to scream) as a “fix” for long term anger management. These activities may release some of the immediate tension caused by anger, but do little to resolve the underlying issue. Here are a few productive and healing ideas to try instead. The most important component to successfully tackling any type of self- improvement is the desire to do so. This desire for change must be motivated from the inner self, meaning the risk of change begins to seem much less than the pain of continuing on with issue of anger. As a metaphysician, my approach to anger management includes ideas or methods that address the inner self and contain a spiritual element to them.

Self-Reflection – Outside of the fog of anger, spend some time reflecting on the parts of your life that you feel bound to. Are you unhappy at a job you can’t quit? Are you in a relationship that is unfulfilling? Do you have debt problems or time management problems? Take a deep look at the issues that make you feel powerless or helpless. Once the true “thorn” is identified, then pursue new strategies for addressing that issue. All problems have a spiritual solution, if you are open to them.

Tranquil and Comforting Practices – Introduce some new practices into your daily routine that emphasize calming and rejuvenating thoughts about yourself, your situation, and your very being. Meditation is exceptional for this type of practice, but some other practices might include prayer, journaling, massage therapy, yoga, tai chi, qigong, walking or spending time in nature.

Triggers – User a trigger to help raise a sense of awareness to your anger, like a wristband or necklace, or saying a specific word, like “stop” or “peace”. When you begin to feel anger rising, look at your wristband. Resolve to “not speak” during a fit of anger. Place items around the house or office that remind you to see your anger as a “reaction” not reality. Use your triggers to help you make a different choice.

Cultivate your capacity for love, peace, and joy – Each of us has a core value and quality of peace and love. We were born with it and it never leaves us, although we sometimes turn away from these qualities. Read books, meditate, practice random acts of kindness and compassion. A heart (and mind) full of love and peace has no room for discord. Fill your thoughts, actions and intention with love, peace, happiness, and forgiveness. If you have a grudge or a hatchet to bury, let it go – it does not serve you. Be kind to yourself.

Please note an important caveat to this article: If you have suffered for a long period of time with anger, or you find yourself feeling out of control, able to hurt someone or yourself, or get very angry more than 2 or 3 times a week, I urge you to reach out and get some support from friends, family, or a professional. Anger can be managed, no matter how severe, and if you know it is an issue with you, please do not ever feel that you must tackle this issue alone. There is always help available. Below are a few crisis hotline numbers in case of emergency, but do not hesitate to contact your local doctor or spiritual advisor for direction and support.

· Child & Family Support Center 24 Hr Crisis Hotline: 1-(877) 900-CFSC

· Help Finding a Therapist: 1-800-THERAPIST (1-800-843-7274)

· National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (1-800-799-7233)

· 24 - Hour Crisis Line: 1.866.4CRISIS (866.427.4747)

· Self Harm: 1-800-DONT-CUT

So nice to meet you!

Joleen (Bridges) Halloran is the author of Finding Home - Breaking Free from Limits. This book represents over 10 years of research and inspiration in the topics of personal and spiritual empowerment and provides readers with a pathway to overcome limits and discover authentic divine qualities in their lives and to live a life of unlimited freedom. .

Beyond Joleen's professional life, she is an avid reader and researcher of books related to her special passion, which is metaphysical and spirituality topics. You can find out more about Joleen's book at her books website,www.breakingfreefromlimits.com. Additional articles of a spiritual and inspirational nature can be found at the book's website as well.

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    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Voted up and interesting. I try to feel the anger a little more than you suggest. I agree completely that the "causes" are deeper than a superficial empirical event. By owning it a bit more I can at least try to see that root cause more clearly and get the hell rid of it!

    • joleenbridges profile image
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      Joleen 4 years ago from Lee's Summit

      Erickierker - Thank you so much for your comment. Good luck on being anger free! Blessings - Joleen

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