How to cope with feelings of anger
More and more people are easily angered. They are living a ‘volcanic’ life where their anger builds up and eventually erupts in violent outbursts. These outbursts may even lead to dangerous acts. Good examples of this are road rage and domestic rage, both leading to acts of violence. The question to ask is, why are people battling to cope with restraining their emotions?
When we look at the age in which we are living, we realize that we are being bombarded with so much stress every day. From the moment we wake up to the time we get into bed, we are expected to absorb, process and analyze information from different sources, whether it is personal or secular. At times it all becomes overwhelming.
As if this information overload isn’t enough to contribute to the accumulation of stress, we also have habits like smoking, drinking, following unhealthy diets and ignoring the importance of exercising to release built-up tension. We spend hours watching television. Televised acts of disrespect, destruction and violence are witnessed by young and old. Examples of this are scenes of children manipulating and showing disrespect to their parents or teachers; crime and corruption within systems, and horrific murders, to name but a few. Then there’s the internet. We sit for hours in front of the screen surfing, playing games or socializing on various networks. Within this passive world of comfort and security, very few of us can cope with the action and drama of the real world.
Whether we have an unhealthy lifestyle or not, stress leads to frustration. When frustrated, we become intolerant and impatient, and find ourselves swearing at people we do not know. Uncontrolled emotions have a critically damaging effect on the people around us. That is why it is so important that we learn to cope with our emotions, especially anger.
What do we need to do to cope with our anger?
1. We need to learn to plan and prepare ourselves for the day ahead. How many people wait until the last minute before they leave home to go to work or any other place? How many people wait until the deadline before they finish a task? So many people rush out into each new day without effective planning. When we plan ahead, we allow ourselves ample time to get to a destination or finish an activity. The knowledge that we won’t be late or that the assignment is done on time will make us feel less anxious and more confident. We will have more patience, which will make us more tolerant when there are unexpected disruptions or obstacles and things seemingly go wrong.
2. We need to look after our health. There are so many benefits in getting enough rest, exercising our muscles to enhance flexibility, having nutritious meals and drinking a good amount of water. Being healthy will make us feel comfortable. When we are healthy, and we have no aches and pains, we will be able to cope with problems without being side-tracked by physical symptoms such as nausea, heart-burn, headaches, stomach cramps, muscle cramps, etc.
3. We need to be informed and productive. There is nothing worse than being engaged in negative thinking all the time. We lose focus, and spend too much time worrying about our own problems and needs, which usually always results in a pity-party, and this in turn makes us look for loopholes and people to blame instead of solutions. When we are positive about the people, work or situations that surround us, we become observant to information that can help us through difficulties. Through concentrating on this information, we learn to be productive and discover what is really important.
4. We need to be realistic. Being in control of ourselves means we will be in control of our relationships and the situations in which we find ourselves. When we are in control, we learn to respect ourselves. When we respect ourselves, we learn to respect other people. Life is difficult and everyone around us has some kind of burden to carry. We should be the light in the world, not the dark stormy clouds. We should set the example. Even if no-one seems to notice or benefit from it, at least we will.
It’s really sad when our lives are jarred by anger-induced violence (whether it is at home, work or in public). Prevention is always better than cure. Preventing a situation is possible if we can calm an emotional person before he or she loses control. When it’s too late, the best thing to do when someone is in a rage, is to exercise patience in being mild, reasonable and compassionate.