We all get angry from time to time. However, there is a time and place for outward emotional displays. While anger is a healthy emotion, it is also is a strong emotion, and it must be managed carefully.
“Anger is part of the survival mechanism of human beings. When faced with a threat — not unlike other animals — humans either run away or attack. Anger is the fuel behind that attack. But anger can also have the opposite effect and lead to our untimely demise…too much anger can cause heart attacks, precipitate debilitating work injuries, and facilitate risky sexual behavior. Anger is truly a double-edged sword,” said clinical psychologist and anger-management expert W. Doyle Gentry in Anger Management For Dummies.
One important part of staying healthy is keeping anger under control. Research has shown that frequent anger can significantly increase your chance of developing coronary heart disease and also worsen existing heart problems. So if you want to live longer, you’ll need to find ways to calm down. Here are four ways to keep your anger in check.
1. Identify the source of your anger
Why are you angry? Sometimes the source of your anger isn’t what you think it is. You might believe that you’re angry at your friend because he borrowed an item of yours without asking, but the origin of your anger could be something else. Maybe you saw your friend flirting with your spouse and you’ve been burning with rage for days. Once you’ve gotten to the bottom of things, make every effort to address the real problem. Don’t go on pretending everything is fine. Something will eventually cause you to erupt, and the result may not be pretty. Do yourself — and those who spend time with you — a favor and deal with your issue before things get out of control.
“There is always something more that feeds the anger than what is observed on the surface. Angry people may appear strong, willful, or certain, but be assured that beneath the veneer are fear and loneliness and insecurity and pain. Especially, there is pain. Whether they admit it or not, angry people are hurt people, and they have somehow come to believe that they can resolve their own pain by inflicting pain on others. Their reasoning is usually subconscious; nonetheless, each time anger is misapplied, it is a reflection of a deep wound that longs to be healed,” said Dr. Les Carter in The Anger Trap.