I recently participated an Overcoming Anger training by @innerspacemanchester (Twitter), where we discussed in depth not only what anger is and its consequences on our health, but also how we can use it to our advantage to promote joy and growth in our life.
What is anger?
Just like any other feeling, we express anger in many different ways as we are all unique, but there are general features that are commonly seen and experienced.
Words of wisdom from our presenter Jane:
"Anger is a reaction to situations, circumstances or people which disturbs our peace of mind and can have harmful consequences for yourself and others."
“Anger can also bring us gifts.”
“Anger can be an indicator that we need further work regarding communication and relationships”
Anger is accompanied by a wide range of physical and mental manifestations and many have long-term consequences such as:
- Sleep-related issues
- High blood pressure
- Depression and digestive problems
Anger as personal development
We can look at managing anger as a chance to learn and develop into an even better version of ourselves.
Anger can stimulate change and action taking, by equipping us with insight into ourselves. Anger steps in when something or someone disturbs our inner peace.
There are two steps for using anger as personal development:
Step 1: Learning more about our anger is identifying the particular feature which upsets us.
Step 2: Understanding why certain features affect us the way they do. By understanding the process and the whys, we get to know ourselves on a deeper level.
By going through these processes, we not only have the chance to tackle our anger but also to harden changes in our personality, restore and boost self- respect and self-confidence.
How can we tackle anger?
Meditation and relaxation - Online you can find 1 minute videos or recordings if you are in a hurry or pick a 20 minute one if you feel you would benefit from a longer session
Tense and release techniques - these are more focused on physical aspects (tense feeling) of anger
Breathing exercises - observing our breathing pattern and trying to calm ourselves by consciously controlling this pattern, for example, breathing in for a count of 5, holding for a count of 5 and slowly releasing for a count of 5
I recommend trying out different techniques to see which one suits you the best.
Many times, we get angry because we feel misunderstood, lonely, helpless or even hopeless. This can be improved by trying to strengthen our existing relationships for example, by spending quality time together. Research shows that positive relationships can improve our physical as well as mental health by a large proportion (Repetti, Shelley, Taylor & Seeman, 2002)!
All in all, anger is a powerful emotion that we should not ignore, especially when it can promote our personal development!
If you feel that you, your close relatives, or even children have difficulties managing anger, do not hesitate to reach out to someone. HSR Psychology can provide a wide range of suitable services to get that anger under control!