Anger Management

Understanding and Managing Your Anger

“You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger.” -Buddha

An angry man standing over a woman meditating

Anger: A Positive and Negative Emotion

We experience various emotions throughout our day to day life. Some emotions we experience are positive while others are negative. Sometimes, emotions can be both positive and negative, although they may not feel that way at the time we are experiencing them (and although they may be predominately more one way than the other). One such emotion that we experience at any given time in our life is that of anger. 

Most of the time people consider anger to be a dirty, nasty, negative emotion. However, this is not always the case. Sometimes, anger can have positive qualities to it, albeit that these positive qualities often stand in the shadows of the negative qualities of anger. 

What is Anger?

Anger is an emotion that we experience that involves getting upset, or mad. It can be defined as a reaction to things that bother us, and it can also be used as a response to a threat. For example, if you are driving and someone cuts you off in traffic you may get angry. The fact that someone disrespected you by cutting you off and not considering your position on the road may bother you, which may lead to anger. Furthermore, if someone cuts you off and you feel as though you were in danger because of it – say you had to slam on your breaks to avoid a wreck – you may become angry because of the threat of physical danger that was presented to you by that individual. 

The same is true for emotional threats as well. For example, if you take a test and fail the test, you may become angry. This anger does not stem from a physical threat to your well-being, but instead imposes a threat to your psychological and mental well-being. You may feel inferior or like a failure, and this may threaten your ego and self-confidence, which in turn, may lead to experiencing anger. Anger is often experienced with another emotion, such as sadness and is not often experienced alone.

Managing Anger

If anger is not necessarily bad, then can it be harnessed for good? If anger is something that everyone experiences why is it that not everyone shows it? You may be wondering these questions and more after reading this about anger. These are very valid questions and may come with surprising answers for some. Anger can absolutely be controlled. This is outstanding news. That means that humans have power over their anger, just like they do with other emotions.  There are several ways to harness and control this anger that you may experience in a safe and healthy manner.

Do Not Hold Your Anger In

Arguably, the most important aspect to note when talking about ways to manage and control anger is to ensure that you do not bury it deep down within. When anger is buried and not expressed it can come out in times that are very unfortunate and inconvenient. The anger inside can build up and burst out when you are not prepared to deal with it. 

A man standing up in an office meeting pointing and yelling at coworkers

Furthermore, and possibly even more problematic, letting anger build up inside you can be extremely hard on your body. Long term anger can be bad for your organs, such as your heart. Experiencing this buildup of anger can raise blood pressure and contribute to illness. Instead, letting out your anger in a controlled, and a healthy manner is the best approach to dealing with anger.

How to Release Anger in a Healthy Manner

If we know that holding in anger is bad and can be dangerous, then we might wonder how to release anger in a healthy, proper manner because we all have probably seen cases where people release their anger in an unhealthy way and do not want to do the same. For example, letting go of anger by exploding on another person, becoming violent, and hitting things is not a good way to release one’s anger. Instead, there are ways one can release anger that are safe and will not lead to embarrassment later… 

One such way to release anger is by exercising. Lifting weights, running, swimming, and biking are just some of the ways that one can release anger and tension in a productive and healthy manner. 

Another way that one can release anger is by screaming into a pillow or into one’s bed. This can be cathartic and allow the tension to leave the body without disturbing others and without the embarrassment of yelling at a person. 

Finally, you can release anger by taking deep breaths. Deep breathing calms the body and puts one in a relaxed state. It may take many deep breaths to breathe out the anger one is experiencing, but it is possible with time and patience.

Managing Your Emotions is Key

A man with many stressors around him

Even though anger has a negative connotation, it is not always a bad thing to be angry. The important thing when experiencing anger is to stay in control and to express it in a healthy, reasonable manner. A few different healthy ways to release anger have been provided. Some of these ways of releasing anger may or may not work for you, but practicing different ways to manage and release anger is important for one’s physical and mental health.

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