Most of us rarely get through a week without feeling angry. It’s part of being human. We can get wound up by the antics of others, by the things that get in our way, by the fact that life isn’t fair, or by people being disrespectful. The feeling of anger isn’t really a problem. It’s what we do with it that sometimes gets us into trouble.
Some people might even find anger quite an exciting emotion. It can physically rev up your body and when you speak from your anger you may think you are righting wrongs and really sorting things out. But of course, this is often an illusion of the moment. In fact, most of the time it only creates hurt and damage to others, and ultimately to yourself. In the words of Ambrose Pierce, “Speak when you’re angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret”.
A widely misunderstood notion is that it is good to get things off your chest, and that venting anger can be healthy. Sure enough, you can feel calm after an angry outburst. However, it is entirely possible to allow the anger to go away without acting on it and you would still feel calm. In fact, letting your anger out will only reinforce your anger in other situations. It won’t help resolve the problem that caused it.
Interestingly, newer psychological approaches using mindfulness offer a different approach to dealing with anger. These approaches enable you to gradually cultivate more patience and acceptance of the angry feelings. They allow you to have the angry feelings without being hijacked and getting carried away by them. It doesn’t come easy, but over time these approaches are starting to show a lot of promise.
To find out more about NHS funded mindfulness for stress or problem anger, phone (01208) 871905 or register online [HERE]