Anger Management

Authored by : Purnima Toolsidass, Calcutta

Anger is a problem common to many people, especially the teenagers. It is sad that so little has been done to help people understand and handle this problem.

Anger is a sign of frustration and helplessness. The hormonal changes affect the mind and the body. A youngster swings like a pendulum between wanting to be a confident adult and the lingering feelings of the uncertainty and insecurity of childhood. He (used for convenience, but the same applies to both genders) is confused, a bit frightened, a bit excited; and he wants to discover the world and find his way in it for himself. It is not surprising that the adults in his life fail to understand him, since he doesn't really understand himself, or what makes him behave so erratically. Nor do either know how to deal with it. So, the problem has to be taken at two levels. One is the cause, and the other is the solution.

Our interests and desires change as we grow, at every stage of life. The first thing is to accept that we are all changing continuously and almost all of us face confusions and problems of different kinds. The common mistake we all make is to think that our problems, our viewpoints and our needs are more urgent than anyone else's! And, that's where misunderstandings begin!

So, coming back to anger, anger is a sign of frustration and helplessness.

The first thing to do is to find out what causes my frustration. Frustration comes from thwarted desires, so 'I have to find out what are the desires I have that are thwarted'.

In general, every person, especially one on the threshold of adulthood wants to be loved, accepted and admired. We all want to establish our individuality and our independence. The fact that we are not really independent at any stage in life galls. The fact that we can't establish our individuality - because our individual character is not yet fully formed - also galls. And, we don't know who to blame, so we get angry with the whole world!

In trying to find ourselves, we have to face a large number of people who are also trying to find themselves, or trying to cope with their own problems. We get upset when they don't respond to us the way we expect them to. We find them callous and unreasonable, or uncaring and selfish; not realizing that they often feel the same about us!

There are many more desires in each of us - some understood and some vague - and it is up to each of us to find what matters more and what is comparatively unimportant. It also happens that something that seems vitally important today becomes quite unimportant the next day, or a week later.

So, one cause is our own confusion, another cause is not getting the expected response and the third cause is having desires that are thwarted. It may be that some are unrealistic, but they trouble us as much none-the-less.

When the object of our desire is beyond our reach, the only way to handle is to face the fact, and give up the desire. Nothing and nobody, is irreplaceable; it just seems so to us at the moment. To face this fact and to decide to give up the desire is extremely hard, but not impossible. And, the moment you decide to do it, you find yourself free of a great burden. It helps to accept the fact that the burden is self-imposed, because no one else puts the desires in our heart; it is our own weakness that we feel any object to be so important that it has the power to make us unhappy.

The second part of anger management is, how to control it. They say, 'Anger is never without a reason, but seldom with a good one!' It seems valid and justified when it rises, and it is natural to get carried on the wave of anger. It is equally natural to regret a hasty word or action, when the anger is over, and the very fact that our heart tells us we were wrong, makes the anger rise again; this time towards our own inability to control it and for the remorse it makes us feel.

The third point and perhaps the most important, is how badly do we want to control our anger? How much are we prepared to sacrifice and how hard are we prepared to work to control our anger.

Nothing worthwhile comes cheap, but at least this is a goal that is within reach of every sincere aspirant. The old adage, 'Count ten', does work. Another method is to keep a sweet in your pocket and have it when you feel the anger rise. Your brain will automatically connect the two, and you will feel like laughing at yourself and the anger will dissolve as you see the humour in having a sweet to counter anger. Another sound psychological trick is to fix a punishment for yourself whenever you succumb to anger. You can sacrifice your favourite food or drink for a day or a week. Or, you could decide not to see your favourite TV programme, or give a certain amount in charity, or go and give some voluntary service to any group that needs help.

If you are sincere with your efforts, then either of the above mentioned ways will work for you. You will soon find yourself thinking, 'I'm not going to miss the next cricket match just because some fool makes me lose my temper!'

So, find your own technique through trial and error method, and all the best to you!
© Arked Infotech 2016

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