Have you been told that your angry reactions frighten others?
“I feel like I’m losing control” is one of the explanations given when you have anger problems. Blows, shouts and insults are presented as reactions to the frustrations that life brings, affecting the main areas of daily life: the sentimental, the social, the family area, without forgetting the work area.
Anger is an emotion; when it happens, the blame comesbut in most cases, guilt and willpower are not sufficient motivations to change the situation that hurts us emotionally.
Impulsivity is the path that leads from the feeling of anger to the reaction of aggression. This does not leave us time to have more data before interpreting the moment: we are victims of the need to relieve emotional and physical discomfort.
On the one hand, our interpretation of the facts is negative, leading us to uncomfortable emotions. There is physical activation with impaired breathing, increased palpitations, immediate blood segregation to our limbs, and hence heat and sweating. These emotional and bodily discomforts are regulated by anger. Impulsivity is therefore necessary for immediate reactions to anger.
The importance of paying attention to emotions
But as for uncomfortable emotions… What is the emotion that we really feel? Identifying personal emotions is a path that involves training. Being aware of our emotions is not common in our culture, on the contrary, we know and practice more emotional avoidance than being aware of them, and even more those that are uncomfortable such as sadness, fear…
However, the reality is that we feel a variety of emotions and on some special occasions they all arise at once and we fail to decipher them. Then we hear the typical question: how do you feel? With the typical response: “I don’t know, very angry.”
Learn to learn from anger
Emotions are physical and psychological reactions to specific stimuli and function to identify each situation to allow us to adapt and survive and face a dangerous moment. What could be better than reacting to the emotion that best corresponds to the moment, the one that gives the most results, the most accepted and approved by the environment? Yes, anger! It is the emotion par excellence used to obtain immediate results.
Who does not run at the voice of a cry, who does not act when he sees someone angry? In most cases, the reaction of the receiver is immediate, usually instant responses are obtained. But is ours the best way to behave? We see how many adults are turning to anger management therapies and learning assertive communication. interpersonal problems are quick to arise (and sometimes with irreparable consequences).
Often we show up with the wrong emotion, the quintessential emotion that has worked for us to solve problems, to be heard, to be cared for, to get people to stop acting or acting the way we want them to. However, this situation can lead to confusion, interpersonal problems and often anxiety, because there would be no consistency between how we feel and how we react.
Knowing whether what you really feel (“sadness and not anger, pain and not anger, fear and anger…”) is learned by training in personal introspection to reach emotional awareness.
Learn to manage your anger
Today, various techniques are used to achieve a good identification of emotions; these include mindfulness and emotional validation. The latter must be used from childhood to allow us to cry, be sad or be afraid from an early age and not have difficulty with emotions later.
Modeling is the best way to learn. Just as our father figures reacted, this is usually how we react emotionally to stimuli of frustration. We were taught that anger makes us strong and courageous, that men do not cry or fear, that children should fear their parents to be obedient and steadfast.
We tend to repeat these behaviors; however, we are rational beings and can choose to be different from our upbringing.
By means of a psychological treatment we can learn not to need immediate reinforcements, but rather to obtain a good result in the medium and long term to take advantage of a healthier family, sentimental, professional and social dynamic.