Anger stands as one of the powerful emotions that encounter in our daily lives. Anger is one of the pervasive emotions among the six basic emotions: happiness, sadness, fear, disgust and surprise. Anger, however often confused with other emotions like hostility or aggression is a different emotion which does not hold truly negative if handled properly. However, hostility or aggression is a behaviour, often the direct result of anger that goes unchecked.
Many people feel that anger is a protective emotion for any external harm, and angry people are often people with strong will and self-esteem, who can easily shake others. But, we must confess this is a wrong assessment. Often, anger is a result of immense fear, frustration and some sort of stress that one goes through in their daily lives.
Anger is a natural emotion and mostly, people complain that they don’t have a control over it. But, when we dig into the deep roots of anger, anger is an emotion that bursts as a result of long term grudges towards others, when we lack self-skills and begin to focus on others skills when we feel low from inside and start believing that we no more have control on the current situation and our last expression is anger.
Anger also reflects when we love someone and get hatred in turn, when we sacrifice our needs for others and they don’t value it. Moreover, anger also results as a consequence of the need to show bossiness, take control over others, make others believe that you are powerful and also to scare people to make them powerless. Anger also shows off when someone needs to carry over and balance many things in life but ultimately is unable to keep it.
The expression of anger can be displayed through different means like facial expressions in the form of frowning of the face and glaring, body movements like a strong instance or turning away; the tone of voice typically yelling and shouting, physiological responses like sweating or turning red and aggressive behaviours like hitting, kicking or throwing objects.
However, many studies reveal a bunch of stereotypes in the expression of anger in terms of the gender divide. Although there is not much difference in the intensity of anger, men tend to show overt expressions of anger like a fist, a punch, loud voice, rage and big open eyes. On the contrary, women press their instant anger, hold it and display in the form of long term grudges, backbiting, revenge and resentments for a longer period of time to satisfy their internal hatreds. Socially, men displaying anger are often seen as powerful while women displaying anger are perceived as aggressive whether its work or home.
However, the expression and perception of anger are, the greatest challenge today is to manage your anger. Being angry can gratify your present situation like people giving ears to you, feeling of relief, feeling of control but in long term getting angry frequently leads to saying hurtful things to others without instinct, broken/ regret relationships, psychological disorders, high heart palpitations and high blood pressure which are high negative consequences to pay off for.
Thus, however, keeping anger at bay might not be totally possible but one can break the rule of anger and follow small steps to manage the anger within oneself. The steps may be a small 5 minutes bathroom break to remove yourself from the situation of anger and come back to your original state, a homework exercise to track and manage the intensity (high or low), frequency (how often) of anger and analyzing your triggering factors and staying away from them.
On the contrary, you may also use Exposure Therapy to expose yourself to situations that trigger anger in you and slowly learn adaptation, as external factors are beyond one’s control. Anger can be kept in control if you are able to analyze your own thoughts, feelings and behaviours and keep them at check. Besides, leaving “should” attitude i.e. everyone should listen to me, obey me and others and rather focusing on enhancement of social skills like listening to others might be of great help.
Anger is a state where a person is basically out of control and unable to think for an ample of the second, but, at that particular moment, the most effort you forcefully need to make is just realizing the presence of your anger before it turns to rage. Realizing your anger automatically optimizes your nerves and generates a feeling that you are experiencing anger and gives you some time to act on it, probably to get rid of it. Moreover, learning to love people who trigger you, thinking that you have the ability and reason to forgive and realizing that anger does not have any long-term benefits can also be helpful.
Imagery Techniques like giving suggestions on imaginary situations where a person displays anger and analyzing the situation might also lead to self-realization. Other remedies can be feeling complete and focusing on developing skills of self, engagement in recreational activities that you prefer the most which rejuvenate your nerves, also lead to better results. Besides, practising meditation, deep breathing exercises, intake of a balanced diet, and progressive muscle relaxation techniques might also be of great help.
Today, because of many engagements and responsibilities, people can’t get off their anger between times even if they want to. Majority of the population know that anger is a sensitive issue that needs to be handled with great care. But, despite this, there are different external factors that look out of control leading to anger. In women, work-life balance has been a delicate issue that needs to be looked upon. Internal Management is boundless however; society and support circle of any angry person should be really poking their nose into this issue.
However, internal management of self is possible, family systems should be giving a supporting hand, taking initiation to understand people with anger, displaying immense love and care, giving a helping hand which minimizes their responsibilities towards the family, supporting in skills enhancement by taking accountabilities are of great relief. The proper collaboration of these is the ultimate step towards a happy and prosperous life. Thus, it’s a boon to use anger effectively and not being controlled by it.
(Lecturer Psychology, Entrepreneur, Winner Mrs Beauty Queen Nepal 2018)