Understanding Anger – Causes, Problems, Management and Control Techniques

Anger

Anger is amongst the strongest emotions that every being on this earth experiences. Usually it is a reaction to some kind of discontentment or displeasure. In this aspect it is considered to be a secondary emotion. Anger is generally a reactive means from which even the animals are not left aside. We get angry when the things do not work out the way we want them to. When a parson is affronted, rejected, maltreated or causes discontentment to the person due to some reasons then the person retaliates back to this opposing situation by getting angry for what happened since he takes the situation to be conflicting. It is psychosomatic means of the mind to satisfy the ego of the person.

Categorization of anger:

Anger can be both mild as well harsh. A mild anger is one which lasts as long as a line traced on water does. This is a very normal reaction of a person to circumstances that are not favorable to him and it acts as a means to retaliate to the situation. It is often directed to the person concerned only rather than at scapegoats. To an extent such anger is healthy because it is very dangerous to keep the anger within and let it simmer over the time. If we attempt to do that we realize that it only grows along with time only to reach up to the extent of rivalry and hatred because unknowingly we keep on feeding this anger with the negativity of our thoughts.

A harsh anger is one that is long lasting and is generally developed because of suppression. Suppression and expression are two sides of the same coin. The more we suppress the more we express, especially in the case of anger. Anger is full of negativity and is brimming with energy and this energy, if suppressed, takes the form of a demon with passing time. Such anger can never be fruitful and at times is even directed at scapegoats. We don’t like a person because he is in association of a person whom we are angry at. This is natural tendency of people but don’t realize the fact that by doing so are not expressing our anger rather we have transformed into anger. Anger has not dissolved into us rather we have dissolved into the anger.

Anger is our life and relationships:

Life is too short to spend in anger. Sadly often we fail to understand it. If we look at society in which we live, there are signs of anger all around. The cases of child abuse, spousal abuse, domestic violence, sports wrath, spam wrath are just too common to hear in our daily lives. These all reflect the ever increasing anger in the society. Our life has become miserable only because we do not know where to express and where to accept. Anger has become an addiction rather than a reaction. We get angry only because we think we are right not because we are right. We study we should not suppress our anger but today it just become a means to express our discontentment towards people and life and to nourish our ego. We think we have the rights to do anything because we are angry. For some people it is an addiction and for some others it is a matter of proud. They say we cannot resist our anger even if a small thing is not at place, they say we like perfection in action. However actions can never be perfect only words and thoughts can be. But rather than correcting our thoughts we try to correct the actions and that too of others and this where the problem lies. We find mistakes in others we think and take others to be wrong even if the other person is right. Because we fail to accept since it is against our egos. Ego is the biggest problem and the mother of all negativity there cannot be contentment as long as there is ego and this ego poisons our relationships and lives.

I remember narrating a small story of a small boy. This boy used to get angry very frequent. One day his father gave him a hammer and few nails and asked him to drive a nail into the fencing of the garden whenever he felt anger. The boy worked upon his father’s advice the first day, he hammered as many as thirty nails into the fence. But this count went on decreasing as the days passed and finally the day arrived when he did not drive any nail into the fence. That day he went to his father and told him the same. His father was very happy and took him to the garden and removed all the nails that he hammered into the fence. He then turned towards his son and said, “My son, it’s good that you have learnt to control your anger but look at the damage these nails caused to the fence. It can never be repaired”. The son understood what his father intended to teach him.

Similar is the case with our relationships the damage caused to our relationships can never be repaired because we unknowingly hurt our near ones in our anger and that those wounds are difficult to heal.

Anger v/s aggression:

In its purest form, anger and aggression are two entirely different things. While anger is healthy reaction of one’s discontentment over the circumstances aggression on the other hand is an unhealthy reaction usually intended to hurt someone. Anger is a means to retaliate to unpleasant situation and it comes automatically rather than being planned. Aggression is a mere mechanism usually deployed to protect oneself while blaming the other person. Anger is healthy for a person since it removes all stress and discontentment within and the person can move back to normal. It is a psychosomatic emotional intellectual state of mind that is different from the behavior caused due to it. Aggression is a mechanism deployed in complete senses and our behavior is completely under the control of our thoughts while in aggression, unlike in anger.

However, anger transforms into aggression when suppressed and fed by the negativity of our thoughts and suppositions. This is in fact not the anger in its purest form. Unfortunately in today’s world the anger has lost its purest form and so there is no doubt that its meaning is also misunderstood with aggression. In fact it has only transformed into aggression. There is a fine line between anger and aggression which most people do not understand. They think its anger while its aggression and they do not want to come out of this misunderstanding as long as it satisfies their ego.

What causes anger:

There can be several reasons behind our anger but the root cause of all the anger is our perception and expectations, our perception about things and about people and our expectations from them. When we expect and our expectation is left unfulfilled we feel anger towards that person. But in reality this anger is not for the person rather the situation that has transformed obstructive for us and this hurts our ego because we feel abandoned and refuted which is against our expectation. Take for example when we expect the support of our friend the most and he leaves us we get angry without realizing that he might have not supported us because we are wrong. But do not think that way because our mind deceives us, it does not let our ego be hurt by positioning us as the culprit. However these are primal causes of anger. There are secondary causes as well and the most important among them is dissatisfaction. We often feel dissatisfied when we fail to achieve what we wished for and this dissatisfaction comes out into the form of anger. We generally take our near and dear ones for granted and they become the victims of this false anger. We think we have complete right on our close ones and if they won’t understand then who would understand us? But in our selfish interests we fail to understand that no one in this world can be occupied by anyone to serve their selfish interests.

When we feel anger and direct it towards someone we are actually throwing thorns at that person and it is foolishness to expect roses in exchange of thorns. We do not realize that if we feel anger for our discontentment so do the others. There is a chain reaction for this anger since your anger will make the other person angry too and he too will direct his anger at you and the process can never be brought to an end.

Merits/ Demerits of anger:

However anger is not bad, in fact in its purest form it is very good. The anger of a knowledgeable person is far better and constructive than the love of a foolish person. If we look back in the history of India there were few saints famous for their anger but their anger never harmed anyone, in fact it only brought happiness. On the other hand if we take an illiterate mother she would not send her children to school if they do not wish to, in her foolishness. Her intension is not wrong but her love can only spoil the lives of her children.

Take the example of the Father of our Nation, Mahatma Gandhi; he too was furious about what foreign rulers had done to our country. But he used his anger to serve his country and in a peaceful and constructive manner. He arranged various rallies, meetings and strikes against them but his sole purpose was to free his nation without harming anyone. His principles are followed and worshiped even today.

The problem arises when we takes anger to be a means to harm someone. Such anger is not channeled properly and purposefully and brings distress and discontentment to the life of people. Anger stops obstructs our rational thinking and we only find means to retaliate in order to nourish our ego. This is the most general case. When in anger we only think of ways to remove our anger and that is where the problem arises. We are only concerned with the superficial thoughts and deny delving into the cosmos. Such anger not only causes emotional harm to us but also physical harm. When we keep anger within us we can never be happy and contented and we suffer from problems like high BP and some cardio diseases as well. Apart from that anger slowly and slowly eats up our rational thinking transforming us into a blunt person.

Dealing with anger:

Suppressing anger is the worst thing you can do o yourself. Anger is such a strong emotion that it cannot be suppressed. The more you suppress the more it will express itself. This is because we keep on thinking about it and the more we think the more we nourish it. Either you stop thinking about it but we cannot do so because mind plays games with us. Therefore the best way to deal with your anger is to express or to play game with you mind. Here playing game with your mind means to indulge yourself into some other work especially the work that is you interest such as some of hobbies or anything else. This will help you radiate your energy into some other work. Anger is energy and the more you radiate it more it will diffuse. Another way to deal with it is to express it but it should be expressed constructively and in a way that is beneficial for all.

However the above suggested methods are temporary fixtures. The best method is to remove this from your life. Meditation is the most effective mechanism for this purpose. Whenever you feel anger, face it and observe it, delve into your anger and reach the origin of anger. And then you will find yourself to be the cause of your anger. But this can only be observed with complete rational thinking and in solitude. Worldly affections ad materialism deviate us from doing so hence detachment should be observed. The most simple and effective meditation technique for controlling anger is breathing exercise. Breathing exercise brings in joy, contentment with the breath that we take in and removes the traces of all negativity with every breath that we take out. But it is only effective when observed in solitude and in relaxed state of mind and body.

Conclusion:

Anger is a natural reaction of every individual. We cannot deny its presence or being but understanding the nature of the anger and to acknowledge in the best possible is the most desired method to deal with it. Often people find it difficult to do that but it can be accomplished with practice.

References:

http://www.psychology4all.com/Anger.htm

http://www.rasas.info/anger_irritation_raudra_rasa.htm

http://www.osho.com/Topics/TopicsEng/Anger.htm

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