Cast your mind back to the times when you have made a silly mistake, acted foolishly or embarrassed yourself and I'll be very surprised if the emotion that you were experiencing at the time wasn't anger.
Anger is by far the most destructive of our emotions and every one of us can recall with regret things that we did in anger. But why do we get angry? Anger is an emotion that arises when we don't get what we want, when events don't meet our expectations, when our hopes are dashed and our plans disrupted. In essence it's when we don't get our own way.
We see anger on the sports fields, on the roads, especially on our roads, in business and in our homes. Most of us realise that getting angry seldom solves the problems that caused the anger in the first place yet anger remains the dominant emotion in our society. Why, if we know how destructive anger is, do we not control it?
This is an extremely complex enigma. As we also all know, anger can, under certain circumstances and if properly directed, help certain circumstances. Also, to many people, expressing anger intimidates others and results in them doing the angry person's bidding but this can be more easily achieved without anger.
We are also told that anger can relieve stress but the results of this type of stress relief appear to be even more destructive. We only have to look at the mass killings of innocent people across the world to see this. Obviously there is a place for anger otherwise we wouldn't have such an emotion and the answer to the problem is that, to avoid exacerbating the problem, anger needs to be correctly directed. When the lawnmower won't start, when the gate remote won't operate and when the television goes on the blink we aim our frustration and anger at the device as if it was a living thing, berating it, striking it and even breaking it. And does this behaviour solve the problem? Of course not. Most times it aggravates the problem.
There's a well known saying that "he who angers you, controls you" so give this some thought. By getting angry at the lawnmower what you are actually doing is letting this inanimate object control you. Isn't that just a little embarrassing? And what we also know is that anger tends to overpower the function of the brain and so that when we are angry we do and say things that we later deeply regret. So what can we do to change the situation?
Unfortunately there is no "quick-fix" for anger. For most of us getting angry has been with us all our lives and is now a hard and fast habit and breaking a lifelong habit isn't easy. As I mentioned earlier anger also seems to close down the brain and this makes it almost impossible to think logically and be aware of our behaviour when we are angry. If we can be train ourselves to be aware of what me are doing when angry we can redirect our anger and control it but this is easier said than done.
So what do we do now? If every person made an effort to control their anger we would have a wonderful world but reality tells us that there is no such thing. The world is becoming more and more complex and this in turn is creating more and more anxiety, frustration and failure, the very causes of anger. And the anger thus caused is making the world a more difficult place to live in. It's a vicious circle.
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