Here’s what your anger is telling you — and how you can talk back - Deepstash

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The role of anger

The role of anger

Anger is not actually bad for us - it alerts us to the fact that we've been wronged. The racing heart and hot face is your body preparing for a fight or flight response, energizing you to confront injustice.

Anger only becomes a problem if we are unable to manage it, and it manages us instead.

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Managing your anger

Managing your anger is all about managing your thoughts. Your thoughts will determine how you respond.

Strategies like cognitive behavioral therapy can teach people healthier thought patterns.

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The Angry Cognitions Scale (ACS)

It helps a user read a set of blood-boiling scenarios and rates how likely they are to have each of six possible reactions. It enables you to recognize unhelpful thoughts that cause a knee-jerk reaction. For example: When you are driving through a residential area, and someone backs their car out of a driveway and nearly hits you. There are six possible reactions:

  • "They did that just so I'd have to stop." This is a fallacy known as misattributing causation - you don't know the other person's intentions.
  • "They almost totaled my car." It catastrophizes a scary situation into utter destruction.
  • "Nobody knows how to drive anymore" overgeneralizes a specific situation into a universal truth.
  • "I was here first. They shouldn't have gotten in my way." Here you make an unreasonable demand that somehow other people should know where you're going.
  • "That dumb jerk!" is inflammatory labeling that dehumanizes and insults the other person.
  • "He must not have seen me" is adaptive and more likely to calm you down.

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Angry thoughts make us angrier

People who are more likely to think maladaptive thoughts tend to be angrier overall. They express their anger in unhealthy ways and experience more days with negative emotions, aggression, and risky driving.

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Labeling people is toxic

Inflammatory labeling is incredibly toxic as it degrades a human into an object and minimizes any or all of their other qualities.

The antidote to inflammatory labeling is empathy. When you start to think of other people from a different perspective, you will do the opposite of labeling.

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How to deal with anger

Instead of escalating your anger with insults or vengeful thoughts, start by focusing on the facts. Rational thinking can reduce your anger.

Changing your angry thoughts takes time. But if you can recognize your thoughts, you can learn to stop yourself and refocus your attention.

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CURATED BY

corys_clair

Coder. Husband. Father of 2. Believer in Christ!

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