Anger is a powerful emotion. If it isn’t handled appropriately, it may have destructive results for both you and your loved ones. Uncontrolled anger can lead to arguments, physical fights, physical abuse, assault and self-harm.
The physical effects
Anger triggers the body’s ‘fight or flight’ response. The adrenal glands flood the body with stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol. The brain shunts blood away from the gut and towards the muscles, in preparation for physical exertion. Heart rate, blood pressure and respiration increase, the body temperature rises and the skin perspires. The constant flood of stress chemicals and associated metabolic changes that accompany recurrent unmanaged anger can eventually cause harm to many different systems of the body. Some of the short and long term health problems that have been linked to unmanaged anger include:
• Digestion problems, such as abdominal pain
• Increased anxiety
• High blood pressure
• Skin problems, such as eczema
• Heart attack
Unhelpful ways to deal with anger
Many people express their anger in inappropriate and harmful ways, including:
Anger explosions - some people have very little control over their anger and tend to explode in rages. Raging anger may lead to physical abuse or violence. A person who doesn’t control their hot temper can isolate themselves from family and friends. Some people who fly into rages have low self- esteem, and use their anger as a way to manipulate others and feel powerful.
Anger repression - some people consider that anger is an inappropriate or ‘bad’ emotion, and choose to suppress it. However, bottled anger often turns into depression and anxiety. Some people vent their bottled anger at innocent parties, such as children or pets.
According to a study from Ohio State University, those who had less control over their anger tended to heal more slowly from wounds. Researchers gave blisters to 98 participants and found that, after 8 days, those who had less control over their anger also tended to be slower healers.
In Boiling Point report published by the Mental Health Foundation, Dr. Andrew McCulloch, Chief Executive, defined anger as a major social problem. The study suggests that people in 5 ending relationships with people because of how they behaved when they are angry.
Anger is a significant part of clinical practice, occurring in as many as one third of all adult psychotherapy cases, overlapping with as many as nineteen different psychiatric conditions, and concomitant with drug and alcohol misuse, interpersonal crime, anti- social behaviour, and physical health problems. Add to this the widespread acceptance of the effect that dysfunctional anger has on limiting an individuals personal opportunities, as well as the negative impact it has on the wider society; on education, health and the economy - all indicators of social exclusion, in itself a complex determinant of dysfunctional anger. This means that dysfunctional or unhealthy anger can impact on every aspect of our life in exactly the same ways: fatigue, sleep disturbance, withdrawal, lowered tolerance threshold, increased alcohol, tobacco or drug dependency and weight issues (elevated cortisol levels cause a slower metabolism and weight gain).
In the workplace, unmanaged anger disrupts productivity through low morale, interpersonal conflict and the individuals reduced ability to problem solve or retain information. Together with the associated costs of staff absences and increased staff turnover, unmanaged anger proves to be an expensive business.
Life goes at some speed. Most recently, social anxieties: the credit crunch, immigration and global issues, only add to the lowering of people's tolerance threshold. Among the frustrations of contemporary culture: the trend of instant gratification through consumerism, fast food and instant credit, and the pressures of modern working practices: hot- desking, long working hours and multi-tasking it seems that problems as anger and stress are almost impossible to avoid.
Can we control anger?
The idea to control people’s anger through anger management has become very popular in the recent years. There are some suggestions for self-help-
• Try breathing deeply.
• Repeat a word such as "relax" or "calm" as you breathe.
• Try and think logically about the cause of your anger.
• Make lifestyle changes.
• Regular exercise can help to prevent the accumulation of tension and can also give you regular time away from everyday stress.
Assertiveness training teaches people how to express their feelings and needs in a calm, considered way that is respectful to the other person.
Counselling can help you to look at the thinking and behaviours associated with your anger. The above suggestions may or may not provide all the answers and relief. If you feel that you really want to manage anger, you can manage it and even get rid of it. All you need is a positive attitude towards others and life. For that you have to build 3 factories in your lifetime-
1. Ice factory in your brain- Always remain cool whether your life is in up state or on down space.
2. Sugar factory in tongue- Always speak sweetly.
3. Love factory in heart- leave no space for hatred towards anybody.
Do you know by building these factories, which factory will be set up in your life? Well, then your life will become SATIS+FACTORY.
If we want to build this satis-factory in our life, first and foremost thing is we have to control our thoughts, because directly or indirectly they influence our body. Our body cells are influenced by the way we think and feel. In addition, all our thoughts, emotions and feelings get stored up in the form of vibration codes in our cells. Thought is like a seed. As a seed needs nutrition to grow, so do thought- good or bad. As a garden has flowers & weeds we have our positive and negative thoughts both can grow if nurtured. The idea is to cut down bad.
Every action is propelled by the respective type of thoughts originating in mind. For instance, if we have to build some enterprise, the first requirement to actualize it, to bring it into reality, is to think. Mind must first act in all cases. Human mind is like double edged sword. Where its potentiality mishandled, can so much havoc in the form of disease, in the same time, the effective utilization of its potentialities can help in eliminating anxiety, panic attacks, stress and anger etc. It is the creating power machine, which can create anything ranging from the worst to the best. Even researchers have proven that the people, who have healthy and positive mental attitude, meaning those who incorporate positive thinking, live better lives.
The act of suppressing them cannot help in getting rid of them. The only way to get rid of them is through the process of transmutation, that is, the act of transforming our negative thoughts into the positive ones. Here question arises as to how we do this? For that, first we have to control our negative thoughts. And these negative thoughts can be only controlled by bridling mind. That's why even UNO constitution claims: "Since wars begin in the mind of men, it is in the minds of men that the defences of peace must be constructed". For this we need proper meditation technique because this mind is too fickle and inconsistent so we need the object which is imperishable, everlasting and ever new to meditate upon and such object is nothing but our true self, our pure consciousness by specific strategy called true knowledge or Brahm gyan. This true self is our real friend and this true friend not only guide us to distinguish between right or wrong, but also give us confidence to stay firm on the right path.