No emotion is good in excess or deficit, and so is with a very common emotion called ‘Anger’, which if well-managed leads to productivity. When we say this, we are not trying to state anger as good or bad, rather we are trying to emphasize on situation-specific anger and its requisite intensity. Let’s begin by evaluating the pros and cons of anger-
- Prolonged anger releases a stress hormone called cortisol, whose prolonged release, in turn, decreases the immunity of your body leading to health conditions like headache, insomnia, BP, digestion problems, and sometimes stroke or a heart attack.
- Both unexpressed and repressed anger over a prolonged period may lead to poor mental health conditions like depression, anxiety or mood disorders. Research has also shown that hiding anger in intimate relationships can be detrimental to the people involved in the relationship.
- Emotions are contagious and so is the emotion anger. It never fails to affect those surrounding us. Sometimes anger can leave deep-rooted resentments or hurt in others you care or love, leading to unhealed or strained relationships.
- Anger acts as a motivational force. It can be used as a legitimate way to get what you want. Anger underlying our failures or unsuccessful attempts can push us to achievement and success.
- Anger helps maintain personal boundaries. Studies say that people have fewer demands from an angry person and angry people are made to larger concessions as compared to a less demanding person or content.
- Anger is designed for survival from an evolutionary perspective. Anger is embedded in our primitive need to live and protect ourselves against aggression, enemy, and danger. Anger drives people to be extremely vigilant about threats and sharpens our focus.
Funny thing is that if you express anger, you are considered rude and aggressive and if you repress, you are not necessarily better off. Then what is the truth? Is anger good or bad? The truth is, a sudden burst of anger or prolonged anger is unhelpful and not advisable. Hence anger management is the need of the hour.
6 effective mantras for anger management
Step 1: Own your anger: Just like the house or the car, which you feel you own, you should also know how to own your anger to the extent that you know it’s yours and take responsibility enough to ensure that others don’t suffer because of your anger.
Step 2: Time out: Switch off from the anger-provoking situation. Leaving the situation for a specific period prevents further escalation of anger.
Step 3: Deep breathing: Now that you have left the situation, sit at a place, take a few deep breaths and try to calm yourself.
Step 4: The 5 why technique: Now that you have calmed down, ask yourself the first and most important ‘why’ question, “why did I get angry?”. Then question ‘why’ to the answers you provide yourself for 4 more times, downwards, in a successive row. This way you will get clarity regarding the source of your anger and get a possible solution to deal with it.
Step 5: Visualization: Next step is to visualize the positive things about the situation or the person you were angry at. Everything has a positive side, you can see it if you choose to.
Step 6: Resolution: Lastly, get back to the anger-provoking situation or person with a more constructive and solution-oriented approach.
Some other ways to channel your anger
Maintain an anger diary: Jot down all the events that made you angry over a week in a diary. Write down the consequences of the situation and what measures you took to manage them. At the end of a week review them. This will give you immense clarity about how you are progressing and what measures you need to take to control your anger.
Talk to a specialist: If you think, your rage is going out of hands, consult a psychologist who will help you with your problem.
Learn the art of anger management: Have discretion enough to know when, where and how to express anger.
These anger management processes may seem tedious but keep in mind that nothing is more important than the peace of your mind!