Anger Is Destructive – CHOOSE To Respond to It Calmly; and You’ll Get The Most Productive Results

Categories Emotions

There are times when each one of us has been angry. Yes, each one of us. Because anger is a universal problem and it is not limited to one age group, culture, race, economic level, social status, educational background, or any other classification.

There have been times when we have gone to bed sizzling and fuming out of anger. As soon as our heads hit the pillow, we start analyzing what someone did or didn’t do, or about what someone said or didn’t say. Tossing and turning this way and that way, unable to sleep. Feeling more and more infuriated, offended, insulted, irritated, or upset the more we think about the issue.

All this because we are angry.The “angry” that is defined as an instinctive and natural reaction which is designed to protect us from pain, hurt and harm. We have perceived a threat that we believe we can remove, neutralize, defeat, or eliminate by throwing enough energy at it.

We feel angry because we were threatened or attacked, because we felt frustrated or powerless, because that driver cut in front of us, because we were being treated unfairly which damaged our self-worth, and because we felt rejected by our partners, parents, friends and relatives.

We feel angry because of the unchangeable features of our life such as our physical appearance, our mental capabilities, our tribe, our race, our brothers, our sisters, and our parents too. We feel angry because we were falsely accused, because a promise was made to us but was not kept, and because we are envious of someone else’s successes.

And because we were angry, that is why we killed and maimed. Our brain went blank. We became absent-minded and released our anger through physical violence which we are now regretful about. Because we were angry, that is why we showed the middle finger. That is why we yelled at our partner, family, friends or coworkers.

We feel so angry that we do not care about the repercussions which include destruction of our marriage, the breakdown of our families, the weakening of social links, health problems, and lack of productivity in the workplace.

However, experts in Psychology tell us that we can manage our angry feelings. They tell us that how we decide to deal with our anger depends entirely on us. They tell us that we can decide to laugh the anger away, because laughter is our birthright, a natural part of our life that is innate and inborn. “Laughter is the best medicine”, they say. They say that a genuine belly laugh rejuvenates, it relieves stress, and it diminishes both physical and emotional pain. A hearty laugh eases anxiety and tension, it strengthens the immune system and it improves mood, thus giving us the ability to acknowledge mistakes without becoming angry or frustrated.

We can decide to humor our anger away, to look at the funny side, which may allow us to see a more realistic and less threatening perspective that anger made us miss. They say that a shared laugh, probably with a trusted friend, whose set of eyes may see things differently than we do, will allow us to release our inhibitions and stop holding back. They tell us that humor helps us to express our true, deeply felt emotions and feelings. They tell us that humor lightens our burdens, inspires hope, and keeps us grounded, focused, and alert. They tell us that humor helps us to release anger.

We can decide to practice to respond to anger calmly and productively. “If you are patient in one moment of anger, you will escape a hundred days of sorrow”, says a Chinese proverb. We can choose to respond to anger, and not to react to it. Where reacting to anger often leads to regret for having done something that we later wished we had avoided. Responding to our anger makes us to choose a course of action that is appropriate to the situation. They tell us that to respond to anger, there is need to first pause, cool down, be patient, and take a deep breath before we do anything, even when we feel like flying off the handle. That there is need to create space between our feelings and our response, need to sooth ourselves down from anger into a place of inner calm.

Experts say that past hurts do not just go away on their own. They tell us that we must decide not to bottle up our emotions. That we must make a deliberate effort to not embrace anger, to not nurse it, to not feed it. We must make a deliberate effort to reject anger and push it away when it shows up, to stop making anger our companion and partner. That we must address the past and resolve any emotional baggage we might have. And the reason they give for this is that if a resentment has simmered silently for some time, the tiniest prick can pop the balloon and cause an explosion of rage.

And finally, we can decide to forgive, we can decide not to act, and not to seek retribution. We can decide that we are not looking to get even, or regain a sense of power.

“Do not let the sun go down on your anger” – Paul the Apostle says in Ephesians 4:26

And I say, “Whatever you decide to do, don’t let tomorrow’s sun find you angry”.

Suggestions for further reading:

  1. What is the root cause of a spirit of anger
  2. 20 Things to Do When You’re Feeling Angry with Someone
I am an epic introvert, who quickly becomes an open book when I pen what’s in my significantly fertile mind; fertile as a result of bombardment by realities that are continuously captured by my inquisitive eyes, ears which are constantly rubbing the ground, through constant reading, and through dreaming too.

Writing provides an opportunity to ‘say’ what my unapologetic quiet mouth will not say; which not only soothes me, but also bequeaths to me a relief, a release, and a hope that the written words will change the world, even if only one person at a time.

And so should you seek, that’s where to find me; deeply tucked inside the blankets of reading, seeing, listening, dreaming, and then writing.

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