Anger is a strong emotion. A balanced approach to effectively handling anger allows you to have emotional integrity and stay healthy.
Did you know that the stress response associated with extreme anger increases your risk for heart attack and stroke? And this increased risk persists for 2-3 hours after an anger outbursts and persists for up to 12 hours!
Anger like heat and can be measured in degrees–from mild irritation to extreme rage and fury. Anger can be good. Don’t immediately feel guilty about the feeling. Instead, understand what the meaning of anger means for you in a particular situation. Anger is a signal that something is wrong. It’s like the warning light on the dashboard of your car. The light is a signal to stop, analyze what’s wrong and take the appropriate action. Your signal or warning light is unique to you.
Here are some signals; tense muscles, increased perspiration, do you shut down verbally, loud rapid speech, clinched fists, upset or churning stomach, heart racing, dry mouth, or language that’s inappropriate or harsh. The point is know your signal.
Hostility and unforgiving heart, resentment, or even deep-seated bitterness can result from unanalyzed anger. This can lead to negative health consequences of chronic stress. Relationship issues are a top cause of these problems. The most common sources of anger in relationships are; hurt, the feeling of injustice, fear or frustration. And then there is repressed anger due to fear of even facing or dealing with negative emotions. This is a good time of year to dig deep, uncover and honestly confront and resolve angry feelings.
Here is a simple balanced way to dealing with anger. There are 4P’s to this approach.
Pause: When your unique signal appears you must pause. Do not react. Take a deep breath. Be aware and mindful of the feeling. Admit and acknowledge that you are angry. If you are feeling extreme anger, just say ‘Can you give me a minute?’ Politely & quickly excuse yourself physically from the situation. Help yourself to a walk around the block, plug in your earphones and listen to a special calming playlist.
Ponder: Analyze. Ask yourself what is the source or trigger of your anger? Do you feel hurt? Do you perceived and injustice has occurred against you or others especially those you love? Are you fearful? Perhaps fearful of change that may threaten your future? Are you frustrated over unmet expectations of your own or of others? This may include examining your core beliefs and motivation in a particular situation. Admit your needs.
Proceed: Address your anger. You are now in control and can act rather than react. Determine if your anger is really justified. Decide on an appropriate response. Know what you must accomplish in the situation. In the workplace, my clients often experience anger because of increasing demands with decreasing resources. Sometimes you need to reach out and ask for support. If you have the time anticipate possible reactions from the other person and think through how you might respond to these reactions. Decide if you’re willing to live with any negative repercussions.
Positivity: Transform anger into positivity. If you have addressed the first 3 P’s you can expect a positive response from the individual or situation. Express your desire for positive mutually beneficial results. You may have to agree to disagree. This will free your heart and mind and reduce your health risk. It’s worth the conversation. Generate positive emotions daily. Just allow yourself to feel joy and happiness.
– Carol Scott