Dan Trathen DMin, PhD Clinical Psychologist & Certified Business & Life Coach

If You React to Another Person in Anger You Hurt Two People

Anger is the most common yet the most mysterious of emotions for us to manage and overcome.  You don’t have to go far before you either see someone displaying it or you see or experience the effects of anger in your everyday life. As work gets more stressful, and more families have several people working out of the home, there is less time to recoup and relax.  Many aspects of life are demanding more time, but our days or energy levels don’t increase. Everyone seems to be on the fast track and many have shorter and shorter fuses.  It makes sense that our frustration levels are higher, but what are we doing to understand, manage and control this energizing yet potentially dangerous emotion?

            First, let’s get a sense of what “Anger” is before we discuss how to manage it more effectively.  Not unlike other feelings, anger has physical components.  Have others told you when you were angry that your face was strained or red?  You may not have noticed that your blood pressure was increasing.   How about couples or parents who get mad at each other or their children and their voice either gets louder or very soft depending on their personality.  When people get mad they experience an increase in energy and usually in expression of their anger.  It has been drummed into our heads, “when you drink, don’t drive,” but what we also need to realize is that when we are angry, we also shouldn’t drive or seek to resolve disagreements.  Increased levels of anger can interfere with sound judgment and can contribute to the escalation of emotions or even physical violence.  This increased energy behind the wheel of a car or in disagreements is dangerous.  Contrary to what we may tell ourselves, we are not in control of our emotions when they are in control of us.

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