What is Anger?
Anger is a
basic human emotion that is experienced by all people. Typically triggered by
an emotional hurt, anger is usually experienced as an unpleasant feeling that
occurs when we think we have been injured, mistreated, opposed in our long-held
views, or when we are faced with obstacles that keep us from attaining personal
goals. Dealing with anger is an important skill to learn, but many never do.
of anger varies widely; how often anger occurs, how intensely it is felt, and
how long it lasts are different for each person. People also vary in how easily
they get angry (their anger threshold), as well as how comfortable they are
with feeling angry. Some people are always getting angry while others seldom
feel angry. Some people are very aware of their anger, while others fail to
recognize anger when it occurs. People also have very different methods of dealing with anger. Some hold it in, and some let it out in violent bursts. Neither of these methods of dealing with anger are healthy.
Some experts suggest that the average adult
gets angry about once a day and annoyed or peeved about three times a day.
Other anger management experts suggest that getting angry fifteen times a day
is more likely a realistic average. Regardless of how often we actually
experience anger, it is a common and unavoidable emotion.
Anger can be
constructive or destructive. When people are successful in dealing with anger, anger or annoyance has very few
detrimental health or interpersonal consequences. At its roots, anger is a
signal to you that something in your environment isn’t right. It captures your
attention and motivates you to take action to correct that wrong thing. How you
end up dealing with anger signals has very important consequences for your
overall health and welfare, however. When you express anger, your actions
trigger others to become defensive and angry too. Blood pressures raises and
stress hormones flow. Violence can ensue. You may develop a reputation as a
dangerous 'loose cannon' whom no one wants to be around.
Those who fail at dealing with anger properly alienate friends, co-workers and family members. It also has a clear
relationship with health problems and early mortality. Hostile, aggressive
anger not only increases your risk for an early death, but also your risk for
social isolation, which itself is a major risk factor for serious illness and
death. These are but two of many reasons why properly dealing with anger
is a good idea. Harry Mills, Ph.D. http://www.mentalhelp.net/poc/view_doc.php?type=doc&id=5803&cn=116