We all experience anger from time to time. It is a normal and sometimes even healthy emotion, which exists to protect us. A person experiencing anger has reached his or her limits. Our anger gives us valuable information about what we cannot handle and that we want to stop.
Anger is probably the most challenging and energy zapping emotion we experience; both for ourselves and also for those that are in our presence, especially if our anger is directed towards others and particularly when anger escalates into rage. Anger is often destructive due to that we do not know how to deal with anger constructively. Aristotle wisely explained why; “anybody can become angry – that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way – that is not within everybody’s power and is not easy.”
When we get angry our heart rate, blood pressure and level of breathing increase, as well as our energy hormones, adrenaline and noradrenaline. Physiologically we are getting ready to fight.
There are a multitude of things that can cause us to feel stressed, overwhelmed and angry. The way we relate to stress and overwhelm can be a learned behavior, for example from our parents, but it can also be influenced by our genetic makeup. If our brain doesn’t react normally to serotonin; this can also have an impact.
Our anger is often related to our values and expectations. If you for example value high quality work and you invest all your time and effort into creating and delivering the best quality, and you work with someone who do not have the same standards and share the same value of quality as you do, it can frustrate and anger you when they are not meeting your expectations and hopes.
Anger says much more about the person who is angry, than about the people they are angry with. As stated here,”I think stupid people was put on this planet to test my anger management skills.”“I do not need anger management. I need people to stop pissing me off.” I wouldn’t have to manage my anger, if people could learn to manage their stupidity.”
Anger is for most people an energy draining emotion. It is therefore key to our health, energy and wellbeing that we become curious and learn about the roots and triggers of our anger, alternative ways to manage it, as well as developing our ability to set limits and communicate what is critical to us to avoid unnecessary stress and anger.
If we have difficulty managing out emotions, we need to seek help, as unmanaged anger is harmful for our relationships, can lead to anxiety, depression, increase risk of stroke, memory loss and chronic sleep disorders.
It is no only important to address overwhelmed and self-inflicted anger, even passive aggressiveness can be damaging. If we have a tendency to be sarcastic and mean, or if we react to authority with apathy, stubbornness and even procrastination, we are according to psychology showing signs of passive aggressiveness.
Various forms for Behavioral Therapy are proven to be helpful and even some professional coaches with expertise in the field of “Anger Management” can be effective.
And some final advice from Confucius, “when anger rises, think of the consequences.”