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Keeping Yourself From Rage
Keeping Yourself From Rage
Keeping yourself from rage can be a massive challenge. When you finally reach the point of rage, it is likely that you are not listening to logic, thinking rationally or even open to hearing any voice of reason. When your anger turns to rage, you will likely find that your brain has been turned off and the only thing you are considering is your emotional state and looking for ways of unleashing it. It is not by accident that when you are faced with rage you may talk about ‘seeing red’. At that point, your mind becomes unresponsive to normal stimuli. It is like you are in another world, following another set of rules.
In my mind rage occurs when your anger which is a natural reaction is combined with pride, selfishness or malice. When anger combines with any one of these three emotions, it results in a destructive rage. Those emotions have a way of transforming the anger into a blind desire to lash out with the intention of hurting others. Since anger energizes you, when it is combined with pride, selfishness or malice, you now have the energy to act on these darker emotions. Pride, selfishness and malice will redirect the energy of your anger to the point of rage. When you are in a rage, you lash out. You may lash out blindly or toward a specific target. Whether you are raging blindly or in a targeted way, the object remains the same. You want to unleash and destroy. When enraged, you may even feel the heat of anger all over your body. Your heart rate increases, blood pressure goes up, digestion slows down and in some cases, your pupils dilate. You are literally not the same person you were before the anger. There are also the additions of chemical additives into your bloodstream like adrenaline. Those chemicals change the way you react and the way you think.
Rage wants to be satisfied. It seeks for a release. Like an inexperienced driver when in a rage, you only see your target in front of you. You are often oblivious to anyone else around or how your actions could effect anyone around you.
There can be many things that trigger the rage. The most intense are those incidents where you feel personally attacked or abused. In cases where your anger mobilizes to protect you from anger, it subsides when the anger is over. In the case of rage, the anger builds and you begin planning to attack your target. Long after you are out of the danger, rage continues seeking satisfaction. I mention this, since it is important to understand how rage begins in order to gain mastery over it.
First you will need to not take attacks or threats personally. When you take them personally, you will tend to want to lash back in a personal manner. In some cases, there may be a form of abuse or attack where you need to defend yourself. In those cases, you will need to allow the anger to subside once the threat is over. If you start planning for and seeking revenge, you are heading in the direction of rage.
A third way of keeping yourself from rage is to breathe. This means that you will need to breathe slowly and deeply. When you feel threatened, your breathing patterns change. Slowing down your breathing puts you in a position to regain some control. The increase in oxygen will also allow your brain to process what is going on rather than merely react. The more you can think, and think rationally, the less the likelihood that rage will take over.
In terms of your thinking, you will need to humanize the person you are mad at. Rage seeks de-humanizing your target. As humans, it is easy to attack and launch into a rage at those we consider non-human or animal. When you view a person as human and made in the image of God, the likelihood of rage is lessened.
You will also need to stop thinking about the hurt. When you focus on the hurt, there is a tendency to exaggerate the amount of hurt. That exaggeration either in terms of the personal aspect of it or the amount of hurt experienced can provide fertile ground in which hate can grow.
These are some ways of reducing the likelihood of rage. You may have to master one or all of them to effectively gain control. The longer you hold onto the hurt the harder it will be to control the rage. Rage often does not want to be controlled or managed.