Saturday, June 4, 2016

Anger Management isn't as difficult as you think, It is doable, Let us try.. 06-04

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Image credit : Shyam's Imagination Library 

Shyam's Insights : 

Shyam’s insight on this article : It was in mid-eighties, when I was training management professionals on Behavioral sciences, that, I used to take up the topic of anger management. 

People used to suggest to me to write a book on 'Anger Management'. I knew that, I didn't have in me to write a book on any topic, leave alone anger, and I used to tell people honestly about it. It is a fact, that , till today, I have not written a single book, except 'Training Manuals', this being in house publications, no bother of marketing was involved. 

The idea of writing an article on anger management came to me in 2008, and ever since, the process was ongoing, work in progress for eight years. These eight years, I always felt the insufficiency in content and thought process in me for writing an article that people could find useful.

On 1st June 2016, a strange determination took over me, I told myself, if I had quality values, people could benefit from, it better be distributed among people. There was no point in keeping the raw material with me infinitely. Having got the thought, I sifted through the content I had and started the work.

 I worked continuously worked for three days and completed article on 4th June 2016. Eight years effort culminating in an useful article. The article was well received, well read and well appreciated. The article deals with the behavioral, physiological, psychological, and other aspect of Anger. Hope you will  also like it the article.
Now the Article..

If Anger is a manger, then inappropriate expression of it makes you a dog in it.                          

Being a human being is a better option always and at all times.

Isn't it ???

Anger actually makes you a dog in the manger. While it is not of any benefit to you, it can prevent others from helping you and yourself being of help to others. Hence it can be very destructive to yourself and others. Not only can it harm you from outside, it can cause harm inside you as well. Anger is a feeling, or more of a destructive emotion that can, and will, take over without warning.

Anger is a natural expression of an emotion, generally considered a negative emotion. However inappropriate expression of anger is more dangerous and damaging than anger itself. If a person is not dependent on you for his existence or obliged to you in some way other, he will not be willing to put up with your insane behavior during anger for long. Few times people may put up with your anger due relations with you or your family members after that they will avoid interacting with you unless there is an unavoidable emergency.

A moment of anger sometimes makes you invest almost half of the day in damage control exercise.

What is anger and the misconceptions about the anger.

Anger is a strong emotion designed to send the clear message “something has got to change”. It is an urgent plea for justice and action. If we exercise enough self-control to overcome our immediate impulse to lash out and do harm, we can calm down, reflect, and analyze the causes of our anger. Careful analysis can identify what change is needed and can lead us toward constructive and lasting change that fulfills our needs. When cooler heads prevail anger's energy is channeled in a positive direction, and the anger motivates constructive changes. When we act on our impulses in the heat of passion, the results are too often destructive and tragic.

There are many myths and misconceptions about anger and how to cope with it. The most destructive misconception is that it is healthy or effective to display anger violently and “vent”. Contrary to this popular misunderstanding, the most healthy way to deal with anger is to stay in control, analyze the message it is sending, and harness the energy it provides for positive change. Another misconception is that revenge can lead to positive change. Unfortunately revenge usually leads only to a cycle of destructive escalation. Expressing anger with violence breeds more anger. I hope the information presented here helps channel anger into positive change.

The physiology of anger, what happens inside your body when you are angry??

Your body chemistry changes when you are angry.

Physiology of Anger:

 Anger is a powerful emotion like other emotions. Anger is experience in our bodies as well as in our mind. There is a complex series of physiological events that occurs as we become angry. The amygdala is the part of our brain responsible for identifying threats to our wellbeing, and after identification of threats it sends alarm which results in taking steps to protect ourselves. It is faster than the cortex (is a part of the brain responsible for thought & judgment) in warning about the threats which are coming. Anger affects our body in different ways. Neurotransmitter chemicals known as catecholamine are released from the brain causing us to experience a burst of energy lasting up to several minutes. This burst of energy is behind the common angry desire to take immediate protective action.

Physiological Changes Heart rate increases Blood pressure rises. Rate of breathing increases. Face may flush as increased blood flow occurs. Attraction become narrowed and becomes locked on to the target of anger. In quick succession additional brain neurotransmitters are activated and hormones such as adrenaline and noradrenalin are released, which trigger a lasting state of arousal. Person is now ready to fight. Simultaneous Catecholamine release causes a sugar deficiency, which makes an angry person “shake with anger”. Muscles that are needed to fight, become very tight, causing an uptight feeling.

Anger Phases

Anger has – physiological preparation phase – and – wind down phase. When the target of anger is no longer accessible or there is no immediate threat, person starts to relax back, and gradually moves gradually towards resting state. However, it is difficult to relax from angry state. The adrenaline caused arousal that occurs during anger lasts a very long time (many hours, sometime days) and lowers anger threshold, making is easier to get angry again later on, though the person gets calm down, it takes a very long time for the person to return to resting state. During this slow cool down period person is more likely to get very angry in response to minor irritations that normally would not bother. High levels of arousal significantly decrease ability to concentrate.

Physiological consequences of Anger:

Angry hostile people face a higher risk of heart attack. uncontrollable anger may also cause a brain artery to burst resulting in a stroke. Anger can cause rise in stomach acid which can cause irritable bowel and diarrheas along with a susceptibility to stomach ulcers. Excessive anger can also result in a Hypoglycemic stroke (low sugar).

How to Manage Anger:

Understand the reasons for your anger and understand its causes:

Examine thoughts, as the memories of the causes and reasons for the anger to arise. Limit this examination to one source and cause at a time, and isolate it from the numerous other things that may make one angry.

Determine whether specific anger is legitimate, or from expectation

Deal with Legitimate Anger: It comes down to - one wants justice. Anger may be readily justified by difficult circumstances and people. One would expect not to get robbed and when one does one is entitled to get and be angry. However, the anger and bitterness only compounds the original injustice extending it into perpetuity. One allows the perpetrator the control of one's feelings endlessly, not only in the past but in the present as well.

Realize anger becomes an identity. 'I am angry person, hear me roar'. This entitles one to special privileges and compensations. It gives one power. Attempt to discover the entitlements one's anger has provided one, and that one becomes dependent. One may derive emotional energy and motivation from anger, to power trip and just to get one's own way. Perhaps a better way to channel this type of anger is to get mad at things that don't affect one exactly personally, like the news. Channel anger into creative motivation like art, writing, manual labor or sports.

Realize that depression, even that diagnosed by a professional, can at root be caused by anger, and the frustration arising when it cannot or is not rectified, and there is no justice. Because anger in most cases must be suppressed, so as to not cause harm to oneself and others, or its source has caused humiliation and shame, and because one seethes with it when not released, and one pushes it into the unconscious, its unresolved pestering can cause depression.

Understand that unresolved anger is often directed unfairly at others by stereotype, as either individual persons, groups or organizations. Unable or unwilling to confront the source of one's anger, one may create a general category resembling the character of the source and attack those of that type to get justice. It is unfair to guiltless parties.

Determine fault by an honest assessment, mostly to determine whether one has misplaced blame on oneself. Do not take blame for others misconduct. If one has some culpability take responsibility for it, wherein it helps to admit and cross check with others. Refuse to take any responsibility where one is not at fault. This means there is no guilt. However, if one has culpability one may have diverted the anger from the self to another party. One might find that they may have exaggerated the source incident out of proportion. Until one accepts responsibility there will be no resolution, but only endless recrimination.

Expectation Anger:  

It means one creates expectations of one's own choosing, or adopts them from family, friends or the culture in general. Anger may arise when actual experience or present thinking does not conform to expectation, and where that expectation is important and has consequence. Expectation is standards, rules, laws, tradition, custom, the way one expects others and reality and general to be. When reality does not meet expectations, one may get angry. This anger problem can be dealt with by changing one's expectations.

Do not expect others to share the same standards, values, and expectations as oneself. Maybe the most common expectation is expecting others to conform to one's own standards. Don't assume others who make one angry are doing it intentionally. They may simply have different standards. In some cities in the world everyone beeps their horn when the light changes to green. One may get angry because someone's faux pas is interpreted as willful disrespect, arrogance or animosity, when actually the true problem may be they are simply unaware of what one's standards are. Confront the perpetrator in some way to let them know that they are making one angry. Of course caution must be considered in the event of the possibility of violence.

High expectations for other people when unrealized, may tend to cause anger. Anger may be created by imposing expectations and by having them imposed on one. Attempt to understand the motivations for one's high expectations. One may discover they have more to do with one's own flaws of character. Recognize that imposing one's own standards on others is fascist. Let them have their own life. When there is conflict: discuss it, argue it out, compromise or separate. One may not like it when others do it to one, but to then do it to others, can only be for the reason of some higher authority. One may have to learn to avoid these kind of people.

When something makes one angry express and let it out immediately in some calm and intelligent way and do not suppress it. Make understandings with others concerning one's annoyances. One should expect that compromise might be necessary. In relationships, expectations should be known and agreed upon by all parties. Expectations for children or anyone for that matter should be relative to their capacities and equally explained.

You can change your expectations: Anger can be dealt with by changing one's expectations. One may change, as raise or lower one's expectations for circumstances and other people. It is useless to expect a dog to adopt religion, and the failure can only cause disappointment and anger. People who are wedded to strict, standards and absolutes are subject to anger when others do not conform. Apply standards to oneself and not necessarily others. Separate the responsibility for one's own standards from others.

Always discuss with others, what it is they do, that causes one's anger and attempt a resolution or compromise. Relationships may have to be ended if no resolution can be reached, when the anger is destructive to all members involved. The break may be a better option than the continuous friction and perhaps violence and humiliation of all.


Anger at circumstance can be difficult to solve since it is often difficult to change, like children who don't like their family for instance. Learn to accept reality as it naturally is. Avoid circumstance that causes anger whenever possible, like avoiding certain people, situations and relationships. Learn one's own capacities and do not get angry at one's inability to live up to things that are not realistic for one's own abilities. Many times these things may become possible as one gets older, or they may simply be impossible.

If the above fails, seek therapy or anger management groups. Or with the net one can go on line, and find dozens, hundreds, perhaps thousands with a same or similar problem. One can join chat groups.

If at any time you are thinking about doing something that would hurt yourself or other people, get help immediately.

If you feel anger taking over, remove yourself from the situation before things become too heated.

Recognize that sometimes anger is justified, and may need to come out. However, realize that there are productive ways to do it instead of lashing out at others.

Ask yourself if the future recipient of your furor deserves to be blown up at, or if you are just using them as a punching bag to release steam about another person/issue that bothers you.

Sometimes, instead of talking to someone directly, it is more appropriate to write a letter.

Taking yoga can be a long-term solution to anger problems, allowing you to focus on your feelings and release your stress.

If at all possible, remove yourself from the situation. It's amazing the difference 8-hours of sleep or a 5-minute walk can make. Time gives you distance from the issue, allowing you to put things into perspective.

Find a creative outlet, such as writing, drawing etc. where you can expend your energy. Hobbies help elevate your mood and allow you to channel energy that you'd usually have spent dwelling on issues that you aren't able to resolve. Imagine what you could do with the energy you expend in anger if you channeled it into something else.

There is a difference between controlling anger and holding it in until later. If you are unable to avoid feelings of anger, try to release your bottled up feelings later in positive forms like art, exercise, or some other hobby.

Try thinking of stuff that you are thankful for. The more specific, the better. You can't be truly angry and thankful at the same time.

Meditation is a useful way to release stress and/or anxiety, which are often prerequisites to anger. Do not meditate when you are angry, as this could have a negative effect on your anger. Instead, meditate when you have calmed down and are in complete control of your thoughts and emotions.


Remember, we are all human and tend to get angry at someone or something. Don’t think, a person writing an article on anger has conquered anger and cannot get angry. A person who gets angry and has lost precious relationships and other things of value writes such articles based on his experience for public good.  

As for me, people think that I am cool and never get angry or irritated. People who have worked with me for years have been amazed at my balanced temperament and my capability to deal with and manage angry people. However, it not an acquired attribute. I cannot claim to have worked hard to get it. It is a natural trait; I have from my birth. It is in the pedigree and perhaps genealogy too.

I know, not all are lucky enough to get it in their genes and chromosomes, but everyone, absolutely everyone can with effort, acquire this attribute.

No article on anger can be conclusive. There is always scope for addition, modification and improvement. I request people to value add to this article.

Let us all work towards an anger free world.

Best wishes,



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