Dealing with Anger
Anger can be a most devastating emotion. When it gets out of control we can end up hurting others and hurting ourselves. When you feel angry enough to slam your fist against a wall, a door, a desk or a table it doesn't make the anger go away. Instead it causes pain to your hand and causes more feelings of anger and sorrow. Life just got worse, not better.
Sometimes the anger is directed at someone else. If we physically hurt someone else we feel even worse. Anger escalates the problem. After hurting someone else we may feel regret and wish we hadn't done it. Then we feel guilt and begin to dislike ourselves even more. Giving in to expressing anger actually increases the anger, and we feel angry more often. If we don't feel regret we may be getting to point of not caring whether we hurt someone else or not, and we are in danger of hurting other people more and more often.
Anger can cause real physical health problems. It can leave us feeling depressed and sad. Anger may be towards someone else, but it is often towards ourselves. Anger may be about something that cannot be changed. Sometimes we have to realize that feeling anger may not make any difference in the situation. Sometimes feeling anger only hurts ourselves.
But Anger is Natural
Anger is a common emotion and it may be a natural reaction to something that has hurt us. As children when we get hurt we feel angry and we want to hurt back. If a child hits another child even if it was accidental, the other child automatically strikes back. Of course this can escalate into a big fight as each child retaliates with hurt for hurt. As we mature we usually learn that hurting someone back doesn't help with the problem. If the hurt was not intended and was purely accidental, hurting the other person may make them want to intentionally hurt us. If the hurt was intentional and we hurt back, the other person may feel justified in first having hurt us and in giving more hurt in return for the hurt we've given them.
Just because something is natural doesn't mean it is good. Fire is natural, but uncontrolled it can damage and destroy. Controlled fire can give us heat and light and can be beautiful to look it. Water is natural and is essential to life. Uncontrolled water can destroy buildings and plants and can drown people. Controlled water can sustain life and allow people, animals and plants to live and to grow. Controlled water allows us to clean ourselves and our surroundings.
Anger can be a good emotion as it motivates us to make changes in our lives. Anger over someone being hurt or even killed in an accident caused by someone driving under the influence has caused laws to be changed to help eliminate such accidents from happening. Controlled anger may help us to continue trying to make effective changes that will reduce or eliminate the problem. Uncontrolled anger will probably just escalate the problem and not bring a solution to it.
Being human means sometimes feeling angry. Uncontrolled anger can really hurt others. Controlled anger can lead to change. Learning to control your anger is an important skill to learn. Anger does affect the physical body. Blood pressure goes up. The heart rate may speed up. We get into a fight or flight position. We either feel like fighting or like running away to avoid the conflict. Putting ourselves into someone else's shoes can make a difference in controlling our anger. Understanding also that anger is usually a stronger expression of a different emotion. Anger may be a stronger expression of sorrow or grief when someone we love dies. Anger may be stronger expression of embarrassment when we've made a mistake. Anger is a stronger expression of frustration. Anger is a strong expression of a lack of hope.
When we stop to think about what may have happened to this person that causes them to be angry, we may be able to stop the feelings of fighting back. Many people who physically abuse someone else were physically abused themselves. It may seem like the normal thing and maybe even the only thing to do. Responding in anger will often justify their anger, and they will inflict more abuse in retaliation. If we try to put ourselves in the other person's place, we can feel more sorrow than anger. We might even see that we have contributed in even a small way to the problem. We can find a way to say I'm sorry, and we can ask for forgiveness in anything we might have done to contribute to the problem. We can then seek to find forgiveness in our own hearts to extend to that person.
Soft answers when unjustly accused may diffuse the anger. Trying to understand another's point of view before expressing your own often helps diffuse anger too. Doing something good for someone even though they haven't treated you nicely may also diffuse their anger.
Sometimes it is hard to control the angry feelings. There are ways to lessen your angry feelings and help you get control. One way is called EFT or Emotional Freedom Techniques. This involves tapping on acupressure points and helps release intense emotions so they won't be expressed destructively. There are Twelve Step Programs that help with controlling anger. In these programs you learn how to seek the help of a higher power in your life. Talking with a counselor may help you change your perceptions and help you overcome your anger. Writing down your angry feelings on a piece of paper and then tearing up the paper is a way of symbolically destroying the anger. Expressing your anger even in ways that can't hurt someone else may actually escalate your anger. Instead trying to stop dwelling on the anger and start looking for the good in your life will help it go away faster. Focusing on the things you are grateful for and that bless your life is one of the best ways to overcome anger. There are always good things in our lives despite the bad things. It's hard to feel angry when you realize there is so much good in your life.
Trying different ways to deal with anger can bring relief from anger. A calm peaceful life is a great blessing. Keep trying different ways to deal with anger until you find something that frees you from anger.
From Anger to Peace and Contentment
A Short Story About Anger
- Which wolf will win the fight in your heart?
Which wolf will win the fight in your heart? by Matt on January 19, 2011 Here's a short story about how your choices determine who you are: The two wolves A Native American grandfather was talking to his grandson about how he felt. He said, “I feel
A Mudra for Anger
My daughter introduced me to mudras which are finger positions that can promote healing. This video shows how to do a mudra to eliminate anger. It is a simple positioning of the fingers that we often use to signal that everything is okay. It is putting the tips of the index finger and the thumb together forming a circle and leaving the other three fingers straight up. I wondered why this was the symbol for okay thinking maybe because the circle looked like an o and three fingers represented the back of the k, but it makes more sense that this mudra became the sign for okay because it eliminates anger. If you are struggling with angry feelings, why not try this mudra. Holding this position for a while can help to get rid of any angry feelings. Anger can create health problems for ourselves as well as cause us to do things we might regret later. Finding a way to deal with anger can be a great blessing to ourselves and to all those around us.
Using EFT for Anger Videos
Emotional Freedom Techniques can really help release angry feelings. Here are several videos that may be of help when you are feeling angry. Next time you feel angry try doing what is recommended in these videos.
More Help for Anger and Depression
- What Happens When You Get Angry
Anger does cause changes in our lives, not only emotionally but also physically. There is helpful information about what anger really does to us.
- The Lion Tamer
Looking deeper at anger and turning it to compassion is the theme of this article.
- Excercise is the Best Drug for Depression
Exercise -- the free and an unorthodox treatment for anxiety, depression and mood disorders.
- 10 Phrases that Prevent Arguments
This article has ten things to say that will help improve communication and prevent arguments. When you feel angry sometimes it helps to have some phrases you can use that will prevent your anger from flaring up towards someone.
Free Downloads For Dealing with Stress
Following are a couple of links to free downloads that can help you deal effectively with stress in your life. We can't totally eliminate stress from our lives, but we can learn how to deal with it. Dealing with stress will help to eliminate much of the anger that we feel in our lives.
- De-Stress Kit for the Changing Times
Do you need help with stress in these challenging times. Download this kit for help in dealing with stress. This kit is complimentary and offered by the Institute of HeartMath to anyone who wants help with stress in his or her life.
- The State of Ease
Doc Childre, founder of HeartMath, a leading stress research institute, has written a free booklet, the State of Ease. This booklet can help you deal with stress in your life.
The Golden Rule
The Golden Rule, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you," is a very effective way to eliminate anger. If you stop to think about what someone else would want before you act, you can save a lot of problems. Of course doing something for someone else doesn't mean to do what you would want; it means to do what they would want. When my children were younger, I would buy a variety pack of luncheon meat to make sandwiches with. One of my daughters really liked the pastrami. She thought it was the best kind in the package. Because she cared about everyone else she would leave the pastrami and take a different kind of the luncheon meat. She was sure everyone liked the pastrami as much as she did, and she was being kind and considerate in leaving the best meat for them. But pastrami wasn't the favorite of anyone else in the family. Often it was the last kind left in the package and sometimes it had even gone bad before anyone tried to eat it. If only she had known that no one else preferred the pastrami, she could have eaten and enjoyed it herself and still have lived by the Golden Rule.
When we think about others and try to understand them, we can do things that will bless them. I think we may have become too self-centered in the world. Many of us have become concerned about our own happiness without really thinking about other people. A thief is only thinking about his own happiness when he steals from someone else. He does not think about how much he is hurting the one he is stealing from. A person who has too much to drink and then gets in his car to drive has only been thinking of himself. He doesn't think of who he may hurt if he drives when he isn't fully competent. I think the world would be much better if we all thought about how what we do affects others. Just imagine how much less anger there would be in the world if everyone lived by the Golden Rule.
Meditation and Breathing Help Reduce Anger
Being at peace helps to reduce anger. Sometimes we need to stop and be still. Using meditation or breathing exercises can help. Yoga can be helpful too. When we take time for ourselves it can help relieve the feelings of anger.
Have ever noticed that when you feel especially stressed with a lot of things you are trying to do that that is when you often become sick. Your body seems to be saying you need to slow down and take some time for yourself. If you are sick you may be forced to do that.
Perhaps if we take time to meditate or do other things for ourselves, we may find more peace in our lives, Anger will not be as frequent in our lives. Positive emotions may be more frequent in our lives.