Have You Ever Been SO Angry You Lost Your Mind!?
Learn the 4 steps for managing your ‘Inner Hulk’, so that anger doesn’t take over your life.
What To Do With Your Anger!?
Anger is an emotion that is a natural response to when you feel you are being treated disrespectfully, or someone is being unreasonable. It leads you to feeling personally under attack. The situation in which you are angry is often where you are left feeling stupid, inferior, or perhaps worst of all a ‘nobody’.
Anger can arise when you feel someone is ignoring you, looking at you in a specific way, or asking you to do something you don’t want to. It may erupt if somebody is putting you (or someone close to you) down. This fires a switch inside you, and in an instant you change from being a perfectly reasonable human being into The Incredible Hulk.
You might even experience literally losing yourself, like you’ve lost consciousness. Indeed, this is what can actually happen … literally a shift in consciousness. Prominent American psychiatrist Daniel Stern (1934-2012) describes this as moving into ‘phenomenal consciousness’, where one is aware only of experiences as they are happening. ‘Losing one’s mind’ then is an understandable explanation for many in the experience of anger.
Feeling angry to a greater or lesser degree is experienced by us all. But for those who get so angry that they end up being destructive, it can be a real source of stress and unhappiness. However, research shows that constantly trying to control and manage your anger is not good for your physical or mental health.
So, what do you do? Unleash your ‘Inner Hulk’ as and when provoked, and let the hurricane happen? Or try and count to ten, and walk away when you feel like a volcano, about to erupt?
Neither feel like a great option.
Giving people strategies to activate when their blood is boiling, isn’t really viable in the heat of the moment. Maybe we should be helping people understand themselves and others better. This could help them feel anger in proportion to the situation, and express it in a way that is beneficial.
Feeling angry is a natural, essential and purposeful emotion. It helps us identify problems, and prevents people or things hurting us. It can motivate us to change. Anger can also help us to defend ourselves in dangerous situations.
However, what isn't helpful is getting angry to the degree where you lose control, see red, or black out. What also causes major problems is where you later have little recollection of what just happened, even though you see the destruction left behind.
So What Can Help With Anger?
The key to becoming in control of anger is intrapersonal awareness. Gaining deeper understanding of the following four areas will really help.
1. Know your physical and emotional self: Anger is an incredibly physical experience. Being aware of how you are feeling physically, and emotionally, can give you time to adjust the ‘temperature’ as you go along in your day.
This can stop you suddenly exploding out of the blue at somebody or something. For example, are you holding your anger at bay whilst your boss demands things of you, not saying anything? Then when you get home you find yourself shouting at your children because they don’t hear your requests to get ready for bed?
2. Improving your relationship with empathy: Here there is a need to be more adept at understanding what other people may be feeling. For example, if someone appears to be putting you down, might they be exhausted from a long day at the office? Have they been dealing with numerous complaints? Are they actually putting you down?
3. Gaining alignment: This is about deepening an understanding that you are not always reading the same page as others. We see and interpret things from our own viewpoint. However, this may not match someone else’s.
Neither is necessarily more ‘right’ than the other, they are just different. Misunderstandings can, and do happen.
4. Heightening your self-awareness: It helps to look beyond the other person. What is your biggest personal fear? Is it not being good enough? How about being made to look or feel stupid, or irrelevant? Finding out the answer to this will show you what you will be constantly on the lookout for in your life, in order that you can to protect yourself from the experience which you fear most.
A whiff of someone insinuating you made a mistake, or did something foolish, triggers your ‘I need to defend myself’ alarm. In fact, you will likely be going about your day with the expectation that this is going to happen anyway, so why not stay ‘on-guard’!
Anger has just as much a place in your life as any of your other emotions. In becoming more self-aware, and tuned into yourself, you’ll be able to use it as a positive force, for your benefit.