Thursday, 25 July 2013

Understanding The Anger Process

We all see and experience anger in different ways- and we all have individual methods of dealing with this powerful emotion when it occurs. Some are able to control it better than others, and some have no sense of when they are on the brink of a bad situation- about to turn worse. Anger is a two-step process which consist of two parts: Pain and Trigger Thoughts.

The first part- pain- is most commonly known to be emotional such as a feeling of loneliness, loss or rejection. It may also be physical, such as a headache or stomach pain. The feelings of pain are what fuel the emotion of anger- like a can of gasoline. The latter part of anger is the trigger- which is the match that ignites the flame. With both of these combined, we reach the actual emotion of anger which is made up of physical reactions, emotional reactions and behaviour. The physical reactions might include deep breathing, speedy heart beats or dilated pupils. Our emotional reactions may include the tears, sadness, pain or loneliness. These two part of anger lead to the last component- which is the actual behaviour, which are the actions that express the emotion such as yelling or screaming.

Now, how does anger affect our thinking? Even though it seems to be the most common response, is it the most effective? We find ourselves responding to particular events with anger, and we begin to think it is the event itself which makes us angry, although the event is not the culprit! It is the interpretation of the event that causes anger. Memory, creativity, and concentration weaken which affect our thinking, which also leads to irrationality.

The art of anger management (the ability to transform anger from a negative experience in to a position one) is  learning how to use your thoughts and feelings and behaviours so they work for you- not against you.