Anger is a misunderstood emotion. Men and women alike have reported feelings of shame in response to their anger, though when managed properly, it is a normal and necessary emotion. Overall, men are more likely to externalize negative or vulnerable feelings, leading to higher incidences of substance abuse and antisocial behaviors, opposed to anxiety and depression. For this reason, it is important for men to have healthy ways of re purposing their anger and other negative emotions and address the causes behind them.
The Dangers of Anger
Like anxiety, fear, and excitement, anger activates the sympathetic nervous system, putting your body into a state of fight or flight. Your heart rate increases, blood pressure rises, muscles tense, breathing quickens, and you may perspire. Though these symptoms pass, anger can have negative short- and long-term effects on your health, making it an important thing to monitor. Common health conditions linked with anger include high blood pressure, digestive problems, skin problems, bronchitis, heart attack, and stroke. Luckily, how you deal with and express your anger has huge implications for how it will affect your wellbeing.
Because many people believe that anger is inherently bad, a common method of dealing with it is repression, but attempting to stifle anger without addressing the root cause of your feelings can lead to mood disorders like anxiety and depression and targeting that anger to undeserving people in your life. Explosive outbursts are another unhealthy method of dealing with anger that without monitoring can lead to abuse and violence.
Sometimes it is beneficial to take a step back, breathe, and assess your feelings; maybe you need to remove yourself from the situation in order to diffuse it. Different people have different ways of coping with anger, but the underlying goal should be to get to a calm enough state that you can express your anger without losing control or hurting someone. One helpful practice that works in many situations is to simply deepen your breathing. This helps reduce the other physical symptoms you may be feeling, and your emotional response will decrease as well. In addition to that, some people like to count, take a walk, or vent to a trusted friend or family member.
Remember that anger can be productive. It is born out of injustice and shows you what is important to you, but it is important to channel it into healthy outlets, such as writing, art, or exercise. Learn to use your anger to your advantage and then seek to problem solve after you have cooled off. Though anger can help you run a six-minute mile or write a pointedly honest poem, it will not solve the problems that caused it. Be careful, though; the things you may most want to do like punching a pillow or taking a fighting class is more likely to sustain your anger than help you calm down (Bushman, 2002).
When it comes time to address the issues that incited your anger, set rules for yourself beforehand. Take note of your urges when you get angry, so you can be better at self-control in the future. Common anger-induced behaviors include name-calling, insults, yelling, screaming, or hitting things or people, but none of these will help your situation. For this reason, if you feel yourself about to react in a way that is harmful, take a pause and gather your thoughts. Use empathy to understand the other person’s perspective, and remember not to cross the lines you have set for yourself. Further, reward yourself when you successfully express your emotions and manage your anger to reinforce those positive behaviors.
Moreover, in situations that do not include other people, like road rage, be aware of the things that you can and cannot change in your environment. Then, do your best to move towards solutions in the situations you have control over and recognize that there is no benefit in getting angry over things you do not, though this is not easy.
The most important takeaway is that anger is a necessary part of healthy emotional functioning. Your goal should be managing it in ways that still allow you to be human, but if you are worried that your anger may be out of control and want help with developing skills to deal with it, schedule a free consultation online now to get connected with Pittsburgh’s best therapists!
About Makin Wellness :
Founded in 2017 , Makin Wellness is Pittsburgh’s premier therapy and coaching centers located in Downtown , Pittsburgh and New Kensington, PA. The company’s mission is to help people heal and become happy again. Makin Wellness specializes in depression, anxiety, addiction and relationship counseling .