Friday, October 22, 2010

Control that rage!

Control that rage!

Experts tell Lisa Antao about furious outbursts and how to manage them

Do you often get angry at people and feel like yelling at them Do you lose your temper while stuck in a traffic jam Are you so angry at times that you feel the urge to break something or hit someone Do you easily lose your cool in stressful situations If yes,then you are suffering from extreme anger.Anjali Chhabria,psychiatrist and psychotherapist,says,Anger is an emotional state that varies in intensity from mild irritation to intense fury and rage.It is accompanied by physiological and biological changes,for e.g.when you get angry,your heart rate and blood pressure goes up,as do the levels of your energy hormones,adrenaline,and noradrenaline (a hormone that raises blood pressure,glucose levels in the blood,heart beat rate).
Anger is a completely normal,usually healthy,human emotion.But when it gets out of control and turns destructive,it can lead to problems issues at work,in your personal relationships,and in the overall quality of your life.And it can make you feel as though youre at the mercy of an unpredictable and powerful emotion,elaborates Chhabria.


Dr Yatri Thacker,homeopathic physician and stress counsellor,says that in order to deal with anger,people use a variety of conscious and unconscious processes.The three main approaches are expressing,suppressing,and calming.Expressing your angry feelings in an assertive way (but not in an aggressive manner ) is the healthiest way to express anger.For this,one has to learn to make clear what their needs are,and how to met them without hurting others.Being assertive doesnt mean being pushy or demanding instead it means being respectful of yourself and of others.
Unexpressed anger can lead to pathological expressions of anger,such as passive-aggressive behaviour (for e.g.getting back at people indirectly without telling them why,rather than confronting them head-on ) or a personality that seems constantly cynical and hostile.People who are constantly putting others down,criticising everything,and making cynical comments havent learned how to constructively express their anger.As a result,they arent likely to have m a ny


Chhabria opines that anger stems from irrational demands that one places on oneself or others.Expectations from others are probably the root cause of anger.My husband must be gentle and caring,or my girl-friend cannot keep me hanging. Every individual has a different coping capacity.In different situations one often says I cannot handle this,I cant take it anymore.Facing barriers in life reduces ones coping capacity and increases the level of frustration.Anger is a sign indicative of the fact that ones capacity for tolerance has lessened.
Taking things personally,for e.g.if someone doesnt speak to you in a manner such that you feel that the person dislikes you,when in fact it may be that he or she is just shy or worried.Ignoring the positive,for e.g.people who get angry tend to focus their thinking on negative or bad events and ignore positive or good events.Perfectionism,for e.g.people who become angry often expect too much from themselves or those around them.


Dr Vimal Pahuja,consultant physician (internal medicine ),mentions the negative effects of extreme anger on physical health such as high blood p re s - s u re,wh i ch can lead to an increased risk of strokes and heart diseases,decreased concentration and attention span.The digestive system gets affected,appetite goes down,theres an increased acid formation in the stomach that can lead to gastritis and ulcers.Also most people who suffer from anger issues take up drinking and smoking too.Extreme anger can cause stress hormones to increase blood sugar levels,which is harmful for diabetics.Effects on mental health include low self-esteem,disturbed inter personal relationships and constant fighting and arguments with others.In women,extreme anger can affect menstrual cycles and menstrual cramps in women.


Taking deep breaths helps lowers the anger from within and has a calming effect.Make use of visual imagery.Imagine youre on a beautiful secluded beach or in a garden surrounded by beautiful,colourful and aromatic flowers.Use your imagination for whatever suits you.Keep a stress-buster toy in your bag or at your desk.Whenever you feel your temper rising,repeatedly press and release the toy in your palm.Repeat phrases like take it easy,relax,'keep it cool Sip cold water and if possible wash your face with cool water.Keep pictures of happy moments shred with family and friends.Watch these pictures to cheer up Go for a walk for a few minutes to clear your mind.


Since inability to control ones anger can have severe repercussions,it should be immediately dealt with.Chhabria shares the follow ways to deal with anger: Talk out your feelings.Timeout: Leave the situation temporarily that is causing the escalation of anger or stopping the discussion that is provoking it.Practice relaxation techniques like listening to music,watching TV or reading a book.Make a list of all the other things you can do instead of behaving angrily.Excuse yourself and leave the situation for a minute,Ill be back in a minute,and return when you are calm.Reframe activity: Ask the other person why they have said something,try and understand them.Ask why do you want me to let you know when Ill be in,why do you say our section is doing less Understand and accept that the events themselves do not produce the feeling of anger,but it is ones interpretations of beliefs about the events.Stop negative thinking: Tell yourself a series of commands to stop thinking the thoughts that are getting you angry I need to stop thinking these thoughts Identify a support mechanism e.g.children,friends,pet,etc.Substitute anger with humour as it helps you see the lighter side of things in life.

Make a list of all the other things you can do instead of behaving angrily

Extreme anger can affect menstrual cycles in women

WATCH YOUR TEMPER: Screaming and losing control is not advisable

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