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The Psychology of Willpower

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Controlling unhelpful anger

We should not live an agreeable life in which our anger is always denied of its expression. But when anger comes from a place that isn't angry about the thing we seem to be angry about, the anger is a liability, not an asset. 

We should not think that we have personally been made victim by the world. When we are angry, all of this sounds nonsensical or impossible, but it is then that these ideas matter so much.


352 reads


The good and bad of anger

The good and bad of anger

We live in a culture that likes idealism. We notice so much wrong with others, ourselves, the way things are. Little things such as the sound of a car horn or a lost set of keys remind us that idealism is impossible.

Often, anger makes a lot of sense. Certain types of ange...


719 reads

Practical use of the appraisal theory

When we are angered frequently or remain angered for long periods, there is an opportunity to switch our mental filter in favour of better, more productive experiences.

For the stoics, events in the world are objective and neutral. Our emotional experiences are the ...


383 reads

Becoming hardened is unhelpful

We can be wronged in unjust ways, such as being targeted,  and in these cases, anger can be used to motivate us to stand up and defend ourselves.

But, more often we are wronged in a way where anger will not help to correct or solve it. When we try to resis...


490 reads

Appraisal theory

Appraisal theory

Psychologist Magda Arnold developed the appraisal theory. It states that our emotional responses are mostly created by our conscious evaluations of events - how we view, interpret, and label stimuli.

For example, if we believe cats are sweet and harmless, holding a particul...


413 reads


Learning how to think really means learning how to exercise some control over how and what you think. It means being conscious and aware enough to choose what you pay attention to and to choose how you construct meaning from experience. Because if you cannot or will no...



378 reads




Star Wars fanatic. I have a persistent enthusiasm to create new things.

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Anger and Aggression

Anger and Aggression

  • Anger: An emotion felt when we believe we have been wronged.
  • Aggression: is an act of expression of the anger, by our words our actions. Aggression can be insults, sarcasm, shouting or physical forms like breaking things. It can also manifest itself ...

Changing destructive anger into healthy anger

This process requires us to pause and reflect on our internal experiences.

  • A meaningful component is to identify the negative feelings behind it and the conclusions we make. We should realize that our reaction in the moment may not only be about the current event but...

Anger ≠ aggression

Anger ≠ aggression

Anger is an emotion, while aggression is a behavior. They differ entirely in one central dimension - control.

  • You can't control your emotions directly. In the legal system, nobody gets sent to prison for how they felt...


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