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Yes, Anger Has Value: A Psychologist On The Benefits Of Healthy Anger

Anger Is Impactful

People listen to an angry person, making it a salient powerful emotion for interpersonal connections.

Entire movies are made of characters taking revenge as they are angry and resentful due to a reason that the audience loves to hear about.

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Yes, Anger Has Value: A Psychologist On The Benefits Of Healthy Anger

Yes, Anger Has Value: A Psychologist On The Benefits Of Healthy Anger

https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/benefits-of-anger-according-to-psychologist

mindbodygreen.com

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Key Ideas

Anger Is Pleasurable

Anger and the accompanying feelings of revenge are associated with dopamine and norepinephrine secretion in the brain, which feel exhilarating to us.

The neurological chemical systems in the brain reward our anger and make it feel good, which is not the case with the other emotions like shame and sadness.

Anger Is Mobilizing

Anger is an emotion that can be harnessed, with collective anger being able to spearhead entire movements and disruptions.

Anger has a strangely energizing effect and helps people deal with trauma and grief. Anger is the one emotion that encourages action.

Anger Is Impactful

People listen to an angry person, making it a salient powerful emotion for interpersonal connections.

Entire movies are made of characters taking revenge as they are angry and resentful due to a reason that the audience loves to hear about.

Too Much Anger Is Destructive

Letting anger ‘marinate’ in us makes us destructive and can lead to an implosion. Anger is designed to be quick and mobilizing, where we can disengage shortly.

It causes much harm to the person who has stored it within himself and has allowed it to simmer.

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Dealing with your anger

Anger leads us to poor decisions, regrettable behavior, or hurt feelings. However, some anger leads to more significant consequences, like strained relationships or legal trouble.

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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, regardless of how angry they were. They get punished for what they do.
  • You can influence your emotions indirectly by how you think and behave. For example, when you focus on how terrible all the drivers in your town are, your anger will likely increase. But, if you listen to music and think about how grateful you are, your anger will probably subside.
Expressing anger

While you can't control your emotions of anger directly, you have control over your aggression, which is a decision to express your anger.

Aggression does not only involve acts of violence. Being overly-critical or judgmental of someone in your mind is an act of aggression, as is replying sarcastically or rolling your eyes at someone.

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Dealing with Anger According to Context

Sometimes suppression is the only thing you can do to avoid an escalation. And sometimes reappraisal can cause you to tolerate bad situations.

But that said, telli...

The Power of Forgiveness

Forgive. Research indicates that forgiveness makes you less angry and more healthy.

The Harms Of Holding Anger

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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, sarcas...
Validation and Boundaries
  • We can try and validate the anger felt by an individual by making them know that their anger is maybe justified while putting firm but respectful boundaries on their aggression.
  • We then need to be clear about what type of aggression we are willing to tolerate, setting boundaries on the unacceptable.
  • We may have to put our foot down and be ready to leave the conversation or escalate the issue, without falling into the trap of guilt and emotion.
  • If possible, we need to restart the conversation when things have cooled down, and diffuse the issue in a calm way.
Avoiding Speculative Self-Talk

Unchecked self-talk can easily turn into self-delusion. The stories we create almost always make you look like the good guy and cannot be termed as objective.

  • The way to get out of this speculative self-delusion is to avoid any speculation about other people's anger, at least initially.
  • Make sure to note down the facts of the situation. This can make the story less according to your gut instinct, and more towards the objective reality.

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Chuck Swindoll

"The longer I live, the more convinced I become that life is 10 percent what happens to us and 90 percent how we r..."

Chuck Swindoll
Anger is one powerful human emotion
It is also a very normal human emotion that needs to be expressed in a healthy way.  That takes emotional intelligence.

When anger comes knocking, and it will, we have to know how to deal with it appropriately. If mismanaged, it can take down company morale and sabotage your ability to lead and collaborate well.

Mental Habits to Mange Anger
  • Put boundaries on people who make you angry. 
  • Get to the bottom of why you're really angry.
  • Respond, don't react. Assess the situation and think about it rationally to arrive at sane conclusions and decisions.
  • Take a six-second pause during a heated exchange to quickly assess the costs and benefits of that action.
  • Be the first to reach out after an argument. Swallow your pride and make up with the person.
  • Shift to the positive. Think of the things you are thankful for. Understand why the person made an action that made you angry.
Gain Control Over Your Mood
  • Label Your Emotions: There are times that you might feel different emotions. Pay attention to what's really going on inside you to help you take a lot of sting out of that em...
Mood Control = Positive Outlook

Emotions are powerful and managing it is tough at times. But by gaining control over them makes you mentally stronger.

You'll gain confidence in your ability to handle discomfort while also knowing that you can make healthy choices that shift your mood.

Thich Nhat Hanh

“Letting go gives us freedom, and freedom is the only condition for happiness. If, in our heart, we still cling t..."

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Accept and deal with your anger

Learning to accept and deal with one's anger is an important step to happiness.

Once you have accepted and come to release all the anger within, you will most certainly feel a huge amount of relief while actually avoiding possible internal illnesses.

5 efficient ways to express your anger
  • Practice meditation
  • Keep a journal
  • Do exercises
  • Prepare your favorite food yourself
  • Take steps towards accepting yourself and your emotions.
Anger And The Trauma String
Anger And The Trauma String

Any event that triggers our anger can be only seen by us completely, as it lights up various ‘bulb’s inside our minds, triggering many sleeping emotions, which are invisible to others and that make...

Vicarious Trauma

It happens when other people's bad experience is reimagined by you, sparking memories of your own similar experience, triggering strong reactions.

Deeply buried events that were supposedly forgotten are resurfaced, leading to traumatic feelings that can be hard to understand by others, like grief, frustration, helplessness and agitation.

Anger Is Good

Anger, surprisingly, can be constructive, an active ingredient to energize and motivate a person. It can be useful and powerful if channelled in the right way. The adrenalin that flows during a fit of anger can blind a person if not handled appropriately.

If left unchecked, anger can lead to nightmares, chronic anxiety, and panic attacks.

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Anger is caused by impulsive udgment
Anger is caused by impulsive udgment

Getting angry is about facing some form of perceived threat. It also involves a knee-jerk reaction to negative feelings such as shame, guilt, anxiety, powerlessness, reject...

The “It’s happening again!” trigger for anger

Thinking, "I'm getting angry again" is a strong trigger for overly intense anger.

When this happens, the negative feelings that we associate with this thought make our emotional reactions worse. Common feelings include shame, guilt, feelings of inadequacy. If we know we have not made peace with our past hurts, we are more likely to experience this emotional reaction.

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 also about previous hurts.
  • Meeting this challenge requires attention beyond only controlling anger. It takes self-observation about the moments when anger arise. This way, we can immediately recognize that our reaction to a situation incorporates reactions coming from previous hurts.
The most desired changes
The most desired changes

The so-called 'I can't wait!' change refers to the situation when you are excited about taking on a new job, getting married and all these big changes that you decide to undergo thr...

The necessary changes

The "I know I have to" beginnings are a bit more challenging to handle than the desired ones. This is mainly because we do the changes as we need to instead of actually wanting them.

These situations require courage, determination as well as building up a plan in steps about how to accomplish the change that needs to finally happen.

The forced change

This is the " Please don't make me do this" type of change.

Change can come both from inside and outside oneself. However, when somebody or something forces a change upon us, we tend to perceive the experience as being painful. Moreover, if we are prone to depression, it can actually put our health at risk. The best two ways to cope with this kind of situation is by either seeking professional help or starting to plan our recovery.

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Sadness as a Person

A study found that people feel less sad if the feeling of sadness is personified, as it leads to a certain distance between the person and the emotion.

Detached from Sadness

By imagining that Sadness is a person, the sad person becomes detached from his/her sadness.

They can picture the sadness to have human traits or mannerisms, leading to an internal regulation of that particular emotion.

Not for the other Emotions

While this approach of humanizing the emotion appears to work for sadness, it can make a happy person less happy, if that feeling is humanized.

Other complex emotions like guilt and embarrassment may have any kind of effect and are yet to be studied.