The first step in effective anger management is to understand why you get these feelings of anger. Simply looking for instructions on how to stop anger with a set of instructions does not work. Understanding what triggers your anger is the first building block in anger management with long term results.
You don’t get medication from a doctor without assessing your health — with anger management you also need to understand the causes of the problem. The self awareness and the understanding you have of your own mind are crucial for an effective and permanent anger management solution and anger control.
When you look at other people you may think that some of them have a perfect life. You may think that someone you know has everything they desire, but if you take a deep look their life is not all roses. They may have health problems, family disagreements, money stress and other kinds issues.
Almost everyone has the same type of problems and worries like you do. It can be related with healthy and family problems, issues at the work place, financial problems, etc… Even with these problems not everyone has uncontrollable anger!
Most of the time anger is an emotion that is triggered because of these circumstances:
- An attitude that “life isn’t fair” because of resentment of healthy, family or financial issues.
- Dealing with these issues repeatedly until you are exhausted and lose control.
- Built up stress due to various problems that are difficult to resolve and seem to be going into a downward spiral.
If you pay attention to what causes anger you will be surprised that it is not caused by the problems themselves, because anger has become the automatic reaction to these events. What causes anger is the interpretation and the way you feel about the issues that trigger the response of anger.
Anger is Just a Reaction
To understand this concept of anger being a reaction to the event instead of the problems that you have I will use an example. This will help you understand how your feelings make you respond in an emotional way.
If one of your friends is telling you about a trip to Las Vegas and tells you about all the fun he had… gambling, lots of girls, lots of fun and great clubs. Does that make you jealous?
Being jealous depends on you liking Las Vegas and city trips. If you don’t like busy cities or gambling, if you think clubs and concerts are annoying you could care less. If you don’t like that you will feel happy that you stayed at home watching TV instead of going through that torture.
Now imagine that your friend went to the Grand Canyon. He had a lot of fun doing outdoor activities like hiking, camping, exploring the Canyon while riding horses. The camping was great with beautiful sunsets and sunrises and a lot of fun near the campfire. Does that make you jealous?
If you like the outdoors and would like to visit the Grand Canyon then you will be jealous! You would have loved to be there in the nature, but someone that likes the city would think that was boring.
This is how feelings tied to events create emotions from what is inside of you. These feelings are not always controlled by outside events.
The important thing is to think about the way your views and opinions cause a reaction of anger. Instead of assuming that these people or bad situations are making you angry, understand that it is your reaction to these issues that makes you angry. It is the way you think and feel about these issues that makes you angry.
Have you noticed that other people react in a much calmer way to the same situation? Even when they are faced with the same problems and the same annoying people, they still manage to keep control. You can do that too.
In most situations anger is unwarranted. Remember that. Most of the time, when you have an explosion of anger it is an overreaction. The way you react to different situations is something you can change. It is not unchangeable like your eye color or your blood type. This means you can adapt your reactions and tone them down until you are in control of your anger. That is what anger management techniques are all about: an effortless way to change your reactions on a sub conscious level so you don’t have to think about it anymore.
You might be puzzled to read on a website about anger management techniques that in some situations you have the right to be angry.
People that work and pay taxes get angry at people who get unemployment or welfare money by cheating the system. Working with dedication for years and years and being the first to get laid off when the company has issues.
You can also be angry at other issues like bad health, a loved one that passed away or other unfair situations.
In these situations it is normal to be angry. Anger is another emotion like being happy, sad or being scared. Anger can be a catalyst for you to take positive actions and fix your problems.
Think about these things when you feel anger that is justifiable:
- You have a reason to be angry, but are your actions justifiable? Can you justify screaming at your children because someone else is living on welfare? Can you justify hitting your wife while you are drunk because you got fired?
- What will you reaction give you back? You won’t get your job back because of it! Anger will make everything more difficult for you and everyone around you. You may do things that you will regret.
- Remember that there are other people with the same problems and they don’t lose control because of it. You are not a special flower. You are not the only one. There are more people suffering with the same problems and there are people that are in worse situations — and they are handling it in a calm way!
There is a lot of injustice in the world and that says a lot about the world we live in. The way you react says a lot about you.
The people who lie, steal, cheat and fire people are bad… But that doesn’t mean it’s right to lose your temper!
While anger is justified it doesn’t mean that the intensity of your anger or your actions are justified. Anger management is all about learning to control the intensity of your anger and your actions when you are losing your temper.
I hope that you understood the difference between anger and the reaction to a situation. They are different things and conceptualizing this can help you stay calm and react better to bad situations.