Is anger built up in a harmful way
How do I properly deal with anger? Is anger normal?
Anger comes up again and again in our lives. In this blog article I will explain to you how anger develops, what is behind it and how you can deal with it well.
Types of aggression
Anger is only part of the emotions associated with aggression. Anger is directed against others, primarily because you want to make something clear to someone else and (do not want to) be understood over a long period of time.
Aggressive emotions also include anger and hatred.
Anger is always directed against yourself, you are dissatisfied with yourself and do not want to accept yourself. In the worst case, this leads to self-harm because any other communication with yourself no longer works.
It is not for nothing that hatred is often viewed as the final stage of aggression. Rather, it describes an absence of emotion, an absolute coldness towards the source that has long made you angry.
What there is to know about types of aggression can be found for yourself watch in my video on reducing aggression:
What does it take to learn to control anger?
Since anger is always directed against someone else, there are several benefits in learning how to control your anger. On the one hand, you help yourself because anger is a very stressful emotion for the body, on the other hand, you are also protecting your counterpart, against whom the anger is directed. Learning how to use your anger in a targeted manner will help you be better understood and use it as a powerful fuel as well.
The important thing is to keep in mind that anger is a healthy and necessary emotion. It helps us to “let off steam” and release tension. Suppressing them is not a good idea.
But don't forget that it doesn't matter how you act out your anger. Uncontrolled (even if that will sometimes happen to a certain extent; no one is always perfectly under control) it can, in the best case, end in an argument, in the worst case in emotional and physical violence.
The body does not tolerate pent-up anger well either. Heart problems (especially high blood pressure and palpitations), weight problems (from binge eating to “swallow” the anger) and gastrointestinal complaints are common with constant, suppressed anger.
This is actually how anger is built
The most important first step in getting anger under control is understanding it and knowing why you are / are getting angry. Anger is a much more complex emotion than most people think.
Anger is one of the so-called secondary emotions. That is, it is just a downstream emotion for another emotion that is just too much for the mind right now, regardless of whether it is too intense or too painful.
Often overlaid emotions are:
- Hurt and vulnerability
- the feeling of not being taken seriously, betrayed or devalued
Instead of having to experience these same emotions, the mind takes refuge in the anger, which is much easier to implement.
So try to understand that anger always wants to tell you something, that the anger that overlays everything is not the real problem, but something else. This step also inevitably gets you to think about your emotions and automatically cools the anger down a bit. Perhaps it will help you to write down your thoughts in the moment of anger so that you can understand why you are angry.
You are canceled at the last moment by a friend. They are angry but actually feel hurt, disappointed, and disrespected.
Your partner accuses you of always crumbling while you eat and not noticing it, even though you try very hard to keep the apartment clean. You are angry but actually hurt and feel wrongly treated and misunderstood.
It is also often the case that whoever makes you angry is subconsciously reminding you of a childhood person, like a constantly nagging parent or an unfairly strict teacher.
We learn in childhood from our caregivers how it is okay to express anger (e.g. throwing things around, slamming doors, screaming, etc.). Many of us also carry injuries with us that have never been processed and that come up again when certain triggers cause misunderstood anger.
Unfortunately, as children we often did not learn how to deal with anger or were not allowed to express it. Therefore, remember with your own children: let them romp around so you can get to know the emotion, but also comfort them afterwards to show you that it is a normal and healthy emotion.
The warning signs of anger
Outbursts of anger never come without warning signs. Learning to recognize these can help prevent an uncontrolled outbreak. Listening to the body and recognizing the signs, concentrating on it, can help calm down by trying to calm down the physical signals.
Typical signs of the body are:
- Tension in shoulders, fists, and jaw
- Urge to move
- Racing heart
- a headache
- Shallow breathing
- Hot or tight feeling in the abdominal area
Methods for cooling off anger
The easiest step to cool down is to make time for yourself. Anger is often an emotion and reaction that occurs quickly and disappears just as quickly. By giving yourself a little time and stepping back, often the fiercest onslaught of emotion dissipates.
You can definitely make this time by thinking about the source of the anger and focusing on your body. However, I have a few more tips for you:
- Take a deep breath. You do this by taking a deep breath in through your nose and exhaling it through your mouth. Make sure you fill the abdomen with air and the diaphragm stretches.
- Count down slowly from any number to buy yourself time.
- Give in to the urge to move. For example, walk around the block.
- Ask yourself what you are happy about right now, what is going well for you or what you are looking forward to.
- Try to relax. Consciously loosen the tense areas, open your fists, listen to relaxing music, etc.
- Understanding how the other is doing is also always helpful. Perhaps you have overlooked something or not expressed yourself as clearly as you might think?
- Pick up angry thoughts and think them through chant or in a ridiculous voice. That can steal the teeth of anger.
Let the anger out healthy
Also, if you are in good control of yourself in anger situations, it sometimes becomes necessary to let the anger out as well. Ideally, you do this when you cannot harm anyone with it (and of course yourself). Here are a few tips:
- Shouting the anger out of your body is often very helpful and pleasant.
- To do this, go to a place where you are undisturbed, such as the forest, your apartment or just a pillow.
- Use anger as a fuel. Make something creative out of it. Write something that expresses your anger or draw a picture.
- To get back to the urge to move: do sport. Exercise releases endorphins that relax you while also helping your body better deal with the signs of anger.
- Make sure that you bring up things that make you angry with the person it affects. Allow yourself to explore what is causing your anger, then talk quietly to the person about it. If you take too long to do this, the reason may be lost and the situation reappeared.
- A constructive world of thoughts also often helps to "bring the anger to the man". Formulate your thoughts accordingly.
- Do not think “It cannot be that he / she…”, “The other has to…”.
- Rather formulate the following: "I wish that he / she ...", "I would be right / better if he / she ...".
- This takes the anger out of the statement and also guides you on a constructive path.
If it is very difficult or impossible for you to tread this path on your own, professional support is of course always a good way to control your own anger.
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