Unclenching the Fist of Anger
What is anger? Anger is the outward expression of fear, hurt, or frustration. Mismanaged anger is a major contributor to relationship problems at home, at work and even on the road. It can lead to serious, oftendangerous consequences.
Take a moment to think back to a time when someone was really angry with you or you were angry with someone else. This could be a spouse, parent, friend, co-worker, or an authority figure. Do you remember what they or you were angry about?
Most of us only remember the anger – not what caused it. Anger is a completely natural response to life’s situations and problems. But how does the body react to anger?
Here’s a brief description of what happens: adrenaline and other chemicals pour into the bloodstream; the heart pumps faster; your blood pressure rises; breathing becomes more rapid; muscles tense; and the blood flow quickens. In other words, the body shifts into high gear, generating energy needed for action. This is called the “fight or flight response.”
A note of interest, the blood that is flowing is being pumped to the primitive brain to enable the body to respond to the danger it perceives. When this is happening, there is not enough blood in the frontal lobe or the part of the brain involved in reason, logic, and decision making.
If you can recognize the anger in the early stages and take a “timeout,” you will give yourself time to get the blood back into the region of the brain that allows you to think rationally. You can make better choices and respond accordingly.
If you don’t, you risk reacting to a situation in a primitive way with little or no reasoning skills.
Take 10, get some space, take a break from the person you are angry with. Once you are calm again, express your anger in a healthy, non-confrontational way. Then ask yourself “10-10-10?”
How is this going to affect my life 10 minutes from now? How is this going to affect my life 10 days from now? How is this going to affect my life 10 months or even 10 years from now?
Often times, we can look at the bigger picture and we can say to ourselves, this really isn’t going to matter in the overall scheme of things. Annual program on Oct. 13 at noon in the county building.