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Thursday 28th Competition- Prize courtesy of Colm Henry studios in Dun Laoghaire in Dublin

posted Oct 28, 2010 11:27:50 by Hughes

The "Topic of the day competition" is on Anger Management.
Aristotle once said "Anyone can become angry-that is easy. But to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose, and in the right way- this is not easy......Aristotle, The Nicomachean Ethics
Q......How would you say you express your anger good or bad? And how could you improve 3 ways the way in which you deal with your anger?
[Last edited Oct 28, 2010 22:49:04]
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7 replies
SharonDaly said Oct 29, 2010 09:54:49
most of the time its ... take a deep breath and walk away if at all poss

occasionally its ..... scream, slam the door (at home obviously!)

once in a blue moon its ... i totally lose it and smack my daughters butt, which has the effect of shockin both of us into calming down

As my anger issues are generally to do with my eldest daughter (she fights every day with me and her brother, who has aspergers) who seems to know which buttons to push on everyone which causes alot of conflict for all of us as well as herself. She therefore does not have alot of friends and we have both taken counselling and anger management which has helped us both hugely.

So ... breathe, take a step back, put space between you and the person (if it is a person), write your angry feelings down if you can and if all that fails - go into an empty room and scream!! or better still get a punch bag - seriously it works!!

AnitaPotty said Oct 29, 2010 11:21:53
Anger is a natural human emotion, experienced by all of us. However, many people think of anger as a "bad" or "negative" emotion, which can prevent themselves or others from expressing it in a healthy and helpful way. This topic explores anger and how you can use anger as a positive influence in your life.

What is anger?
Anger is a natural human emotion, just like happiness, sadness and grief. Emotions are simply the feelings you get when something happens to you.
When you get angry, your brain releases a whole load of chemicals into your body and they change the way your body is working.

Who experiences anger?
Everybody, young and old, male and female, feels angry at some time or another. Many people think that men, especially young men, get angry more often than women. This is a myth. This belief may have come about because men and women tend to express their anger in different ways.
Men and boys are given messages that they should be 'tough' and that it is unmanly to express feelings such as fear, hurt, rejection and other 'painful' emotions. We've all heard males called certain names if they show an emotion other than anger? "Pansy", "girl", "wimp..."
Women and girls are generally taught that getting angry is 'unladylike' or unfeminine. What names have you heard females called if they show anger? "Tomboy", "out of control", "bitch..". This can mean that women are more likely to bottle up their anger or ignore it, while men lose their temper and let people know they feel angry.

How anger can be helpful
In spite of the way anger is often viewed, it can be a helpful emotion in our lives. Anger can help you by:
driving you to reach your goals, handle emergencies and solve problems
helping you express stress and tension
communicating to others what you are feeling
motivating change towards social justice.
In more primitive times anger was used as a survival tool. In more modern times, anger is also useful to:
notice you have been treated unfairly or been emotionally attacked by others
help you protect your emotional well-being
allow you to stand up for yourself and your rights
show disapproval when someone breaks social rules or 'norms'. Anger communicates a message that some behaviour is not OK, eg. you might get angry at Joe when he "beats up his girlfriend" because you see violence as illegal and not OK
lead to changes in the way our society runs. When a group of people get angry over the same things, they will often join together to change the situation, eg. marches against racism or protests against war.
Read Assertiveness to learn how to express yourself in helpful ways.
Note: Your anger can be useful, but only if you express it in a helpful way. It is important that you don't hurt yourself or other people or damage property.

Physical signs of anger
Your body may show some or all of these signs when you are getting angry:
your heart beats faster
your breathing becomes shorter and faster
your body heats up and you sweat
you start shaking or trembling
you clench your jaw.
Your thought patterns can also change. You may start to think 'angry' or in negative ways.
These changes are your body's way of preparing you for 'fight or flight'. They give you extra strength and alertness so you can protect yourself by either running away, or standing up to fight for your rights or personal safety.
Anger is closely related to other emotions like fear and hurt or disappointment or frustration, but is sometimes the only emotion you choose to show (sometimes you don't even realise you have the others).
To illustrate this, imagine an iceberg. Above the water there is one small part of the iceberg that shows, which could be seen as anger. Most of the iceberg is actually under the water, and this hidden part represents the other emotions linked to anger, like fear, hurt, embarrassment, sadness etc.
Next time you are angry, stop and ask yourself why you are really angry.
Is it because you fear something?
Do you feel you have been treated unfairly?
Did someone say or do something that embarrassed you?
Did something hurt your feelings?
Did you feel a lack of respect for you and your needs?
Does it remind you of another experience where you were hurt?

Releasing anger
Things happen every day that make us feel angry. You can't avoid feeling angry but you can make choices about how you are going to express your anger. Remember that abuse toward yourself or others is never an OK way of dealing with anger. Healthy choices are those that help you resolve a problem, or let you deal with your anger. What you do with your anger is your choice only - it is never anyone else's fault.
Here are three steps that may help you deal with anger in a healthy way.
1. Stop.
Be aware of how you are feeling. If you are getting angry in a situation just say to yourself – STOP. Take a minute to recognise how you are feeling.
Recognise that it is a normal emotion you are feeling because you believe you have been treated unfairly or that you are being threatened in some way.
2. Work out the actual cause of the anger.
Who, why or what happened to make you feel angry? Identify when you first became angry. Was it because you were scared of something, or your feelings were hurt? Find the underlying emotions to your anger and name them.
Are you feeling angry partly because of something that happened a long time ago (eg. in your childhood)?
Anger is often a sign that you feel someone is acting inappropriately. It is good to notice this, but remember: you cannot have much effect on how others act. You can only control how you act.
Sometimes you may feel that some of your beliefs have been violated. It is important to take time to work out if your beliefs are appropriate in each situation, or if there could be another way to look at it.
Taking time to consider all the possibilities will give you another perspective and also time to let the physical symptoms of anger reduce.
3. Consider ways to deal with the cause of the anger.
How could you try to explain or express why you are angry or upset?
What sort of compromise could be made (recognising your own and other's rights)?
Would it help to look at the situation from another person's point of view?
Make a list of your choices, and try to imagine what might happen if you tried them.
Choose the one you think will be most beneficial for everyone involved.
If you are angry because of something that happened a long time ago, or you can't really work out why you are angry, you may find it useful to talk to a counsellor.
Using assertive language is very helpful in these situations. When you have finished reading this topic, check out the topics Assertiveness and Conflict resolution.

Letting go
Try exercise - let anger out by doing something physical. You will burn up the adrenaline and get a boost of positive energy. Check out our topic Exercise to get some ideas.
Have a good cry or scream in your car, or at the waves on the beach - let your anger out all at once. This can help express feelings of fear, hurt or grief. If this sort of 'letting go' makes you feel more worked up, then it's best to try some of the other suggestions.
Write a letter. List the things you're angry about. Destroy it if you want! If you want to send the letter, it can be a good idea to put it away for a few days before you put it in the mail.
Letting go can also mean letting some feelings go. If your beliefs lead you to feel you are constantly being mistreated or threatened, then it may be a good idea to talk to a counsellor to see if some of your beliefs need to be changed or let go of all together.
Research shows a connection between stress and anger. If you are stressed out, you are likely to get angry more easily. If you are angry most of the time, you are more likely to feel stressed and anxious. Things you find relaxing can lower levels of stress and anger.

Chilling out
Control your breathing. When your body is experiencing the signs of anger, the best way to control them is by slow steady breathing. Keep an eye on your body and try to notice when you are showing the signs of anger, then slow your breathing down and try to think about calm thoughts.
Count to ten - we've all heard this old favourite! It gives you time to get back in control of your feelings before you do or say something you regret.
Use relaxation techniques like meditation and visualisation - our topic Stress and relaxation has heaps of ideas!
Go for a walk or bike ride. Wander around and enjoy your surroundings.
Take a warm relaxing bath - bubble bath bonanza!
Listen to music you enjoy and find relaxing.

Getting help to sort things out
If you are angry because of harassment/bullying or discrimination, there are laws and policies at work, school, college or university to deal with this. Make an appointment with a counsellor or equal rights representative and find out the steps you can take.
If you're angry because you are the victim of a violent crime, ring your local police station or legal advice service to gain further information.
If anger has become a problem in your life, you may want to visit a counsellor. They can help you explore personal issues that help you to stay angry most of the time. Sometimes life experiences can hold you back from moving on with your life. Many people get help when they feel the things they're trying on their own aren't working!

Expressing anger in hurtful ways
When people are not aware of how they are feeling, they can sometimes let anger cause an unhealthy outburst. Anger then becomes negative, destructive and can harm you or other important people and things in your life.
If you frequently lose your temper, you may find it can:
be hard to keep friends, partners, family or employment
end up making both yourself and other people miserable
hurt yourself or others (often loved ones)
lead to loneliness and unhappiness
lead to violence - this is illegal, you may be charged with assault, or other crimes.
Anger can take over your life!
If you feel low or have little control in your life, you can sometimes use anger to manipulate or make others afraid of you. This can give you a sense of strength, power and control over the people around you. Using anger this way can hurt other people and yourself. It makes it difficult to keep friends or other relationships and can lead to feelings of guilt or shame. These feelings can lead to low self-esteem, and increased anger and loneliness. It becomes a vicious cycle! It is never OK to use anger to hurt people in any way!
On the other hand, when people ignore their anger, it has nowhere else to go, and can often turn upon its owner.
When you bottle up your anger, you may:
find this method only works for a short period of time
have depression, low self-esteem or anxiety
use drugs and alcohol to "cover it up"
feel ugly, horrible and hate yourself
hurt or punish yourself
explode - often over little things that wouldn't normally worry you
aim it at people who had nothing to do with the original cause of the anger
let anger take over your life!
Bottling it up means anger continues to lurk like an emotional monster, waiting for opportunities to hurt you or someone else.

Physical health problems
When you stay angry for a long time, the chemical changes in your body keep going, placing strain on your body, and can cause a range of health problems.
Short-term problems may be:
stomach aches
insomnia (trouble getting to sleep, or waking up many times during the night)
increased stress levels and feelings of anxiety
injury caused by fighting or doing things like punching walls or windows, etc.
Long-term health problems may be:
heart attack
depression, even possibly leading to suicide attempts
using alcohol and smoking to 'get you through' and all the health problems they cause.
Some of these conditions could kill you, but any of them would affect your ability to have a happy, healthy lifestyle.

Violence is a learned behaviour
The way you express your anger is often learned from the people around you. If children are raised in a home where they see or experience violence, it is not surprising that they might grow up to think violence is the way to express anger.
The more you are around violence, the more likely you are to think it's OK. If your friends are violent, you might become used to it and think it's all right. If you see lots of violence on things like TV or video games, you might see it as a way to let out your anger.
The good news is that any 'learned' behaviour can be 'unlearned'. If you want new ways of managing your angry feelings, practise them regularly and the new behaviours will soon become habits.

Dealing with other people's anger
If you are with people who are angry and you think they may become violent, it is important to make sure that you are safe before the violence begins.
This can mean leaving the situation or telling someone you trust and who can help you.
You can't change the way someone else uses his or her anger. Your safety is most important.
Some people may blame others for their anger.
They might call you names or say things like "you make me so angry" or "you know I get angry when you do that".
You are not to blame for the other person's anger.
It is up to everyone to take responsibility for the way they choose to deal with their anger, and change the way they act. You can't change a relationship by hoping to change the other person.
It may be helpful to listen to what the angry person is saying and, where reasonable, agree that she has a right to feel angry about whatever it was that upset her. This strategy can establish some 'common ground' and, as long as you are safe, you can help the person who is angry to calm down and talk calmly about the problem.
If you are living with a violent partner, it is a good idea to have a 'safety plan' worked out.
This might include having some money hidden away, some clothing packed in a suitcase (so you can leave quickly), or organising somewhere to stay in an emergency situation.
There are many crisis and domestic violence services that can give you advice and assistance. Have a look at the topic Relationship violence.
If you are living in a situation of child abuse, it is important to tell someone you trust and who might be able to help. Remember you are not the cause of violence - it is not your fault.
There will be times when angry strangers confront you, possibly at work or even driving your car.
If an angry person confronts you, it is important to stay calm. If you lose your temper as well, this can make things worse and anger can escalate.
You may like to use some of the skills outlined in Conflict resolution.
If you are ever concerned about your safety, contact your local police.
abbey.smith said Oct 29, 2010 11:35:18
I express my anger in various ways, depending on the situation which I am angry about. I usually express my anger by being sarcastic, punching walls or blaming myself, or sometimes a combination of these. Occasionally I will find that I am able to walk away and calm down, normally with the help of a cigarette, and then return and deal with the situation constructively.

I think to have any chance of changing or improving the ways in which I deal with and express my anger I need to base the changes on how I currently manage it. For instance, rather than being sarcastic I could try to explain to the person why I am angry and then try to resolve it; also instead of punching walls, I could try to punch something soft like a cushion, which won't cause physical damage to me; and as an alternative to blaming myself I could write down what I am angry about, why I feel I may be angry (as it's not always as obvious at it seems and there is sometimes other feelings deeper down), and what I could do in the future to try to prevent the situations in which I get angry, as if you understand something it is sometimes easier to deal with it and manage it.
DeniseOneill said Oct 29, 2010 11:40:17
my anger is all to with my past and what i had to go through and why i had to go through it it gets really bad sometimes but i keep it in before i snap and then everything just falls apart i dont lash out at anybody i just find some thing to use as a punch bag

anger can be felt for alot of reasons and i feel of all my emotions to handle i also feel my anger is directed at the people who caused me alot of pain and that pain can turn my anger on

three steps i take to control it are

1 go for a nice long walk as i walk fast it helps to release some of it for me

2 if im in company and feel myself getting angry i just walk away to another room and just breath nice and slowly till i feel calm again

3 talk to someone about how i feel not easy to do all the time but if i can i just tell someone im feeling really angry talking about how ou feel is the best way to cope i think

its good known that i can come here and say exactly how i feel and not have to hide away in the darkest corner of my mind anymore
NiamhO'Brien said Oct 29, 2010 15:32:03
Rant, rant, and more rant. A problem shared is a problem halved. I normally just blabber all that is wrong with the world and end up purple with rage. I feel the powerlessness that befalls me when looking on in circumstances can be too much. I want to scream at people for being idiots, fools, selfish asses. But, then i go to my serene place. I think of my beautiful lush green foliage in a rain forest, with me sitting in a natural hot spring looking out the beautiful valley beneath me.... Does the trick.

A huge factor in dealing with anger is seeing where it is coming from, why does it make you so angry, and also, why would a person say such, or do such. The one thing that i have come to realize is that EVERYONE HAS THEIR STORY. Reflect on that when someone agitates you, and your compassion will take over your anger.

(Either that or poke em in the eyes and run LOL)
AnitaPotty said Oct 29, 2010 23:37:55
Im not really an angry person but i do have my limits. if im in a huge argument with somebody then i snap and things (mainly my phone) would get broken. i suppose it is a build up of rage as i tend to be walked all over most of the time, and it would take alot for me to snap. the last time i had a bout of anger, my fist went through a pane off glass....and now im left with a scar.

The ways now for me to deal with my anger is normally to perhaps take a walk, or spend time with my niece( i love her to bits and she calms me down).
EddieMHughes said Nov 02, 2010 14:45:27
All great and honest answers guys.

Nobody got any marks for the first part of the question.

Q......How would you say you express your anger good or bad? Ans GOOD or BAD
Q......And how could you improve 3 ways the way in which you deal with your anger?

And so our winner is after a close run contest is Denise O Neill
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