Emotions. What are they? Emotions are basically moods, controlled by certain chemicals in the brain. Now, there is no “hate” chemical or no “love” chemical. There are four main chemicals that control emotions, namely serotonin, dopamine, glutamate, and norepinephrine.
Our feelings and emotions, however, are more to us than just chemicals. They have the potential to build or break relationships, motivate people to do revolutionary tasks or even make them end their own life. Dangerous, pesky little things, aren’t they? Out of all the emotions, a certain one has more potential than any other for destruction. You guessed it, our good old friend, anger.
What is Anger?
Anger is a fundamental emotion that we living beings experience from time to time. It’s also an emotion with immense power. Give it a chance to engulf you, and you are done for. It can have both short term, and long term effects. Short term effects include sudden outbursts, getting rude, and possible violence. Sometimes it can get even uglier. Anger in the long term, when unresolved and bottled, it accumulates within a person. Too much of it, and it starts eating the person alive. Give it time, and it will make you forget the someone you used to be.
Sometimes even the smallest things, take slow internet, for instance, are enough to set us off and spoil our mood. It happens to all of us. However, there is more to anger than that. As mentioned before, it can make you do things you are bound to regret.
Naturally, it becomes an emotion that must be avoided at all times. There are a HUGE number of factors that can lead you to it; such as desperation, frustration, irritation, obsession, even depression, and sorrow. Yet remember, it always does more harm than good. Sure, it can be an agent of motivation sometimes, which is no doubt useful and convenient when you lose hope, but a decision with this emotion? Trust me, it won’t end well.
How does it work?
Well, imagine a situation that angers you. When you experience it, the part of your brain which is responsible for responses to external stimuli, namely the amygdala, triggers the release of a type of neurotransmitter named ‘catecholamine’. They encourage fatty deposits to accumulate in the heart, giving you a boost in energy, and almost encouraging you to prepare for a physical battle. Blood rushes to your face, turning it red. Even your blood pressure increases. Sounds quite fancy, doesn’t it? It doesn’t even take much to set this off, making this emotion even more dangerous.
How to manage your anger?
Anger comes under basic animal nature. It’s natural and healthy, but it needs to be managed. Here are some ways you can use to refrain from punching that stupid guy in the face.
Understand the importance of anger management
Understand anger. Before managing it, you need to realize, anger can be bad for you. until the realization settles in, these tips will be like teaching geometry to blindfolded apes. Anger is good, if and only if it is directed correctly in a constructive way. Ask yourself, what is it bad? What all can I do under its influence? Answer these questions.
Take a break
Now that you know anger is bad for you, you are ready to be able to manage it. However, once again you feel it. What do you do? Take a break. Seriously, whenever you feel you’re in a situation that’s likely or is already pissing you off, just take a timeout. Think about it, calm yourself down before it further aggravates you; because hey, prevention is always better than cure, isn’t it? Taking a break will not only decrease the tension of the situation but also let you assess and process. Go back to it with a clear head.
Express your anger once you’re calm
So you went and blew off the steam. Now that you’re calm, let the other one know your point. Assert your frustration but in a calm way. Talking while you’re angry makes situations bad but you gotta say your points.
Don’t use any pronouns in the second person
You’re in an argument, and things are starting to get heated up. First of all, try to avoid talking while you’re frustrated. However, if that isn’t an option and you gotta face it, don’t blame or criticize. Blaming will only worsen the situation, you know? Accept your faults before you tell them theirs.
Get some exercise
Go for a brisk walk, or jog. Get some exercise when you feel the emotion rising. It will not only be a distraction but also reduce stress and make you feel better. Not to mention the extra calories that you burn with it. Win-win!
Feel it rise, and let it fall
Anger management is not about killing the emotion, but about staying calm through it. You are bound to get angry sometimes, and however hard you try you cannot avoid that (unless you’re a saint living in isolation and meditating for 20 hours a day). However, what you can do is learn to stay calm even when angry. Be aware of yourself. Be conscious of what you are saying, and don’t say anything you wouldn’t when calm. Feel the anger and ignore it. Tell it, you’re the one that controls it, not the other way around.
Take care of yourself
Your current state greatly influences the chances of you losing your calm, as well as the intensity of the episode. Stress, hunger, fatigue, sleep-deprivation etc are strong factors that have the potential and tendency to magnify your anger several times. Cut out on alcohol, sleep well, eat healthily, and relax. Give time to yourself.
Once you learn to manage it, anger isn’t that much of an issue, but until then, well it is quite something. All the best!