In case you missed Part 1. we discussed: Angry Emotions and behaviours.
Here is Part 2 on How to Deal with Anger
Tempers Flare When the Stakes are High
All of us get angry – some more than others. We all likely know one or more people who seem to live in a constant state of anger. Their language is often colourful and filled with exclamation marks.
A lot of things tick us off, irk, grate, bother, and have us wanting to either make someone “pay” or break something or maybe punch some idiot. Most of the time, these feelings subside and pass. Sometimes, though, the urge to strike, scream, or start revenging consumes us and drives us to greater aggressive behavior. Too much of this, or carrying out actions that could harm yourself, other people, or objects, and you might have an anger problem that needs to be addressed.
Humans have a wide range of emotions, and anger is a perfectly acceptable and common one. We all feel the need to address our frustrations, and to take quick action to alleviate our anger. But when do you know that anger is beyond your control and that you might have a real problem with anger? Find out the warning signs, and what you can do about it. Also, if you’re a parent, learn how to discern between clumsy and aggressive behavior in your child, and how you can deal with your child’s temper tantrums.
Left alone, an anger issue can grow into a more serious problem causing tremendous pain. By keeping your anger in check, you can help yourself become a more productive, relaxed, and healthier person.
Many people find that they get angrier with their partner than any other person. This doesn’t happen because of a cruel twist of fate that has you paired with the one person that makes you the angriest, but rather because intimate relationships have so much more emotion invested in them than virtually any other kind of relationship.
When a marriage breaks up, the repercussions are felt in virtually every aspect of both partners’ lives, from finances to personal happiness.
Anger is a normal emotion and should not be suppressed. Emotions have a way of being released even when they’re bottled up. An explosion of anger because you’ve been bottling it up is the last thing you want. Because anger within an intimate relationship is inevitable, learning to express and use this emotion is very important. The constructive use of anger requires some self-control. When you exert self-control and remember that you will likely resolve and overcome the conflict, this can help you see the light at the end of the tunnel. Use that advanced neo-cortex to resist the chimp-like urge to scream and throw things at your partner and communicate your feelings instead. Admit your angry feelings and use them as a doorway to communication rather than as an excuse to put the other person down.
Your angry feelings toward your partner can be a warning sign of something deeper that may be troubling you. Search your feelings to discover if your anger is a manifestation of hurt, fear, frustration, or feelings of inadequacy. Discovering and exploring these deeper feelings together with your partner can go a long way toward building intimacy.
People can’t be happy all the time. Sadness is a natural response to life’s problems and misfortunes. Who hasn’t experienced a time when the only thing in the world that will make things better is some time alone and a good cry? Fortunately, these feelings usually go away after a short period, but in some cases, the self-blame, worthlessness, and emptiness linger for several weeks at a time, and sometimes even longer.
Depression can become a serious illness. Learn more about depression and what causes it. If you believe that you might be depressed, discover signs to watch out for and the treatment methods available. If you suspect that someone is depressed, find out what you can do to help. It’s not a simple matter of feeling blue. It’s a very personal concern that needs your compassion and awareness.
It’s normal to feel some anxiety. We all worry about certain events, places, and objects. However, these sensations differ from the symptoms and definition of anxiety disorders. This group of disorders can subject people to intense and prolonged feelings of fright, panic, and discomfort for no apparent reason. Left untreated, anxiety disorders can negatively affect your relationships and career, and can reduce your sense of control over your life.
The Types of Anxiety Disorders
All anxiety disorders affect behavior, thoughts, emotions, and physical health. It’s common for a person to suffer from more than one disorder at the same time, or to also experience depression, eating disorders, and drugs and alcohol abuse along with the anxiety disorder. Anxious? You’re not the only one. Find others to learn and share with.
10 Practical Coping Strategies:
- Don’t worry about things that are out of your control (e.g., the weather.)
- Brace yourself for events you know will be stressful. Recognizing that stress is coming will increase your threshold and will give you time to take a different perspective on the situation.
- Work to resolve conflicts with other people. Once you resolve conflicts with friends and coworkers you’ll be able to communicate better, work more efficiently, and feel less anxious when you need their help.
- Ask for help from friends, family, and coworkers. Often these people want to help, are required to help, or are just being lazy by not offering help. Don’t be a pushover and get suckered into doing everything yourself. Even if your son complains, chances are he doesn’t really mind unloading those groceries for you.
- Set goals and make them realistic.
- Make time to do things that you enjoy, get away from your daily stresses. Social events, group sports, and hobbies are just a few ideas.
- Don’t spread yourself too thin. Say NO if you don’t have the time or energy to do something. Taking on another task when you’re already maxed-out will not only cause you distress, but will also cause the quality of your work and play to suffer.
- View change as positive, not as a threat. As humans, we are designed to be highly adaptable, able to adjust to all kinds of environments. Change is a healthy aspect of life from an evolutionary as well as a psychological perspective. Embrace change and look to discover new opportunities for personal growth and fulfillment.
- Find out what works for you. Many self-help books and workshops have been written and created by reputable professionals. Take a look at some of these to learn specific strategies that will work for you.
- Get professional help if you have to. A few sessions with a professional counselor may help you if your situation persists. Persistent problems in dealing with stress may indicate a deeper problem.
The Mental and Physiological Effects of Stress:
The Stress Response can be Good and Bad for You
The stress response is your body’s reaction to a situation you find stressful. Surprisingly, the body reacts similarly to good and bad events. Stress responses are necessary for us to cope with situations that excite or disturb us-they can be very useful.
Your body’s first response is to release adrenaline. This hormone increases your heart and breathing rates and gives you a jolt of energy to take on an immediate challenge. Your mind will also become preoccupied with the stressful situation in this first stage.
This stage is great if your problem requires immediate action. In fact, many people do their best work under pressure. If your problem can’t be dealt with right away and your burst of adrenaline doesn’t help you identify a solution, this response is just exciting you for nothing. Hmm . . . sounds like dating in high school.
Assuming your situation persists, your body will begin to consume stored energy resources. At this point you will likely feel driven, pressured, preoccupied, and possibly tired. Often, this is when individuals engage in maladaptive coping responses; increased drinking, smoking, and unhealthy eating are common, as is anti-social behavior and reduced exercise. This is odd as all of these things actually reduce peoples’ social and biological abilities to cope with stress.
At this point in the stress cycle the mere thought of the stressful situation elicits anxiety, feelings of helplessness and/or hopelessness. Irritability, anger, memory loss and depressed immune functioning may make you more susceptible to illnesses at this point.
After a long period of continuous stress, your body’s need for energy outstrips available resources, and chronic stress results; this is bad. Insomnia, errors in judgment, excessive anxiety, depression, panic attacks, and personality changes often occur at this point. As well, serious illness may result as a consequence of depressed immune system functioning and prolonged excitatory responses. This is your body’s way of forcing you to relax, even if it means that you do so in the hospital.
Sorting out some behaviours like suicide
You cut yourself or hurt yourself in some way. If this is happening, there are two things you need to know:
- You need to know the clinical reason.
- You need to know the emotional reason.
There is usually both a clinical reason and an emotional reason. You have to figure them both out.
The clinical reason is often that you are depressed.
The emotional reason has to do with the meaning behind what you are doing. The way you harm yourself may be very personal; it may include a number of meaningful emotions camouflaged into one destructive behavior.
- if you have lost hope, generate hope
- if you are punishing yourself, work on self esteem
- if you are guilty, find out what you have done wrong learn to communicate your feelings
- get your needs met in more direct ways
- work out your conflicts
- find out what you want from people
- find out what the self destructive behavior really means. If you find it out, the pressure towards self harm will diffuse.