Do not Let Anger Control You!

BY: Neighbors’ Consejo|

Anger is a normal emotion among human beings and even animals, however, we have an advantage over the latter, we can control it. With out-of-control anger we often can offend others, damage moments and even hurt others or ourselves. So, how do we learn to control it?

The American Psychological Association [1]  defines it as “an emotion characterized by antagonism toward someone or something you feel has deliberately done you wrong”. The Portal Psychology Today [2]  considers that anger “is related to the “fight, flight, or freeze” response of the sympathetic nervous system”, additionally, “anger is one of the basic human emotions, as elemental as happiness, sadness, anxiety, or disgust”. In conclusion, if we could better define what anger is, we can read the author of Healthy Anger [3] , Bernard Gold [4] , who describes it as “an emotional and subjective experience. It is separate and distinct from the physical reactions that might result from it.”

So, how can you feel if you are angry? Some effects on your body are an increased and rapid heartbeat, a pounding head, a churning feeling in your stomach, dizziness, shaking or trembling, etc. In addition, anger causes some effects on your mind such as feeling tense, nervous or unable to relax, feeling guilty, feeling resentful towards other people or situations, you are easily irritated, “red mist” comes down on you, feeling humiliated, etc [5] .  

According to the study “Prevalence and Correlates of Anger in the Community: Results from a National Survey” of the National Library of Medicine [6] , “the overall prevalence of inappropriate, intense, or poorly controlled anger in the US population was 7.8%. Anger was especially common among men and younger adults, and was associated with decreased psychosocial functioning”.

Talking about figures, another source, The Washington Post affirms: “roughly 22 million Americans -8.9% of the adult population- have impulsive anger issues and easy access to guns [7] .

Now, how do we cope with anger? Mayo Clinic recommended 10 tips to tame your temper [8] : Think before you speak, once you are calm, express your concerns, get some exercise, take a timeout, identify possible solutions, stick with “I” statements, do not hold a grudge, use humor to release tension, practice relaxation skills and, know when to seek help.

The American Psychological Association recommends relaxing, and for this invites us to follow these  steps [9] :

  • Breathe deeply, from diaphragm.
  • Slowly repeat a calm word or phrase such as “relax” or “take it easy”.
  • Use imagery; visualize a relaxing experience, from either your memory or your imagination.
  • Nonstrenuous, slow yoga-like movements can relax your muscles and make you feel much calmer.

For this reason, we invite you to learn to control your anger; do not allow it to control you, so you can avoid bad times for yourself and those around you. Remember that if you cannot handle it, you have a “helping hand” in each of the professionals at Neighbors’ Consejo.











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