10 Steps: How to Manage My Anger

Benjamin Franklin said, “anger is never without a reason, but seldom a good one.”

During rage attacks those parts of the brain that are central to feeling and expressing anger, such as the amygdala and the hypothalamus, commandeer the rest of the brain. In this wholesale takeover, the cerebral cortex is overwhelmed and restraint and reasoning are impossible. In most situations this type of unrestrained anger destroys much more than it accomplishes.

The Value of Anger

Emotional-newsOur anger does have a value. Under normal circumstances, anger has an important communication function. It lets others know that they have encroached upon you or your territory, and it warns them to back off… or else. A mother whose infant is threatened will become angry, and as we all know, it is to get between a mother bear and her cub.

Like all emotions, anger provides important emotional news. When there is not enough to go around, anger lets us know that we had better seize whatever resources we can. Anger can also regulate how we are doing in relation to our goals. In the course of everyday life, we develop expectations of ourselves. Then, if we do not reach them, our frustration-a form of anger-spurs us on.

In stable primate societies, including human ones, communications of anger take place everyday, usually without overt aggression. Sometimes, however, when an individual senses that a threatening gesture is too weak, he attacks. People who suffer from rage attacks have too low a threshold for such outbursts, as well as inadequate mechanisms for controlling the attacks once under way.

Knowing when to attack is a critical life skill for both humans and other animals. It is so important; in fact, that we can assume evolution has programmed such judgment calls into the nervous system.

Anger is a momentary madness, so

control your passion or it will control you.

–       Horace

Monitor-observe10 Steps to Help You Manage Your Anger

1)    Recognize That Your Anger is a Problem

2)    Monitor Your Anger Level

3)    Look for a Pattern

a)     Be aware of different triggers i.e. bad traffic, slow waiters etc.

4)    Take a Time-Out

5)    Challenge Perceptions and Thoughts That Fuel Your Anger

a)     Seeing hostility where it does not exist

b)    The highway does not belong to you

c)     Black or white thinking

d)    Not having a tantrum doesn’t mean you are giving someone permission to abuse you

e)     Even if your anger is justified, it can still cost you

6)    Dig Deeper to Understand the Roots of Your Anger

a)     Once you recognize a pattern in the types of events that tend to trigger your anger, ask yourself when in your past you have experienced similar reactions.

7)    Change the Message You Give Yourself When You Are Angry

8)     Use Exposure and Relaxation

a)     Upon exposure use relaxation techniques including:

i)               Slow, deep abdominal breathing

Use-Humor-Happyii)             Contracting and relaxing various muscle groups

iii)            Different meditative techniques

9)    Use Humor

10) Listen to Your Emotional News – And Act Appropriately

a)     Once your anger has calmed down, you will find it possible to think more clearly. Now ask yourself, what is the message from my anger, and what do I want to do about it?

If you would like me to write more on this topic please let me know in the comments section below.

Light and Transcendence,

Norman

This material is taken form The Emotional Revolution: harnessing the Power of Your Emotions for a More Positive Life, Chapter 9.

 Additional Resources:

  1. Transcendental Meditation: A Promising Remedy for Workplace Stress
  2. Seven Tell-Tale Signs of Depression in a Friend or Loved One
  3. Manage Anger, Overcome Aggression

 


 

7 Replies to “10 Steps: How to Manage My Anger”

  1. Princess says:

    I love your website!

  2. Princess says:

    Very helpful. Thanks for sharing your insights for anger management.

  3. Joyce Smith says:

    You have a new book but I cant find it on the market yet or online/ about stress,addicition depression(?) cant remember the title for sure. Just caught a glimpse on one of your recent tapes of conference in Florida
    Please what is the name and where can I get it???

  4. Bluehorizoncounselling says:

    It is a great article. You provide a useful description of practical steps to follow, in order to deal with anger effectively. Well done

  5. C.Rajeev says:

    According to me, slow and steady wins the race.

    Be still and know that I am God.

    God said, Let there be Light, and there was Light.

    All the above words indicate how patience fetches its rewards.

    I know many people who have reputable academic degrees to their credit, but, they have never controlled their anger.

    Many people have never given importance to character building.

    Morality is equally important like wealth and education.

    I am really happy to note that Dr Norman Rosenthal is taking deep interest in explaining the finer aspects of life.

    I wish success in all his endeavours.

  6. C.Rajeev says:

    Let me narrate my personal experience..

    I have seen many people who occupy great positions in society, vested with influence and power.

    Even though they have the ability to help others, they always show a sense of ego dominant in their mind.

    They seek more respect from others for rendering even small assistance. They expect everyone to be slaves to them.

    Such people want to gratify their ego, by issuing orders to others.

    They never understand the sufferings of others and they give more importance to the accomplishment of their own tasks.

    Ego is an aspect which the Yogis or meditators should never have.

    Spirit or Aatma or Transcendental Self is Egoless.

    God has no ego. God has no color, caste, creed or religion.

    The very purpose of any Yoga or Meditation is to get rid of the individual ego and reach a state of omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent Self.

    I am That I am.

    Tat vam Asi.

    Regards.

  7. C.Rajeev says:

    In ancient Vedic texts, an illustration is given to explain the Individual Self and the Cosmic Self.

    Just take the example of a pot, covered with a lid.

    The space inside the pot is the Individual Self or Jivatma.

    The open space outside the pot is the Cosmic Self or Paramatma.

    When the ignorance ( identification of the body and the mind) is removed through systematic and regular meditation, the Blissful Consciousness alone prevails. This means, in other words, when the lid is removed, the space inside the pot merges with the space outside.

    That is, the Merging of the Individual Self and the Cosmic Self is Samadhi or Transcendence or Turiya.

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