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Anger management

Anger management | Great Eastern Malaysia

Anger is an emotion and a reaction. It is our brain's defence mechanism against a threat, caused by an action that is opposite to what we were expecting. It is controlled by the amygdala in our brain and because the reaction of that brain function is so instinctive and fast, we often become angry before we can control it.

Muscles become tense, breathing is accelerated and eyes get red and watery, caused by a sudden burst of energy that can last a few minutes. It's our body's way of self-defence, and we find it hard to control our words or actions. Our normal cognitive functions don't operate as well as they normally do. Attention becomes very narrow and intensely targeted at the source of our anger.

While it is a natural reaction to threats, there are many ill effects of being angry.

Short term effects of anger

• Adrenaline rush, faster breathin
• Eyes get red, hot and watery
• Suspension of immune system
• Digestion is decreased
• Increased blood pressure and perspiration
• Flushed face and skin
• Negativity
• Aggressive, ready to fight mentality
• Uncharacteristic behaviour
• Cognitive functions dulled
• Mind loses some control over body
• Fatigue after anger has expended

Long term effects of anger
If a person is often angry, they are likely to suffer from the following problems:

• Migraine and headaches
• Digestive disorders
• Diarrhoea
• Oral and stomach ulcers
• Gastritis
• High blood pressure
• Heart disease
• Hardening of arteries
• Diabetes
• Weakening of nerves
• Arthritis
• Weakness in muscles
• ...and more

Given the many negative effects of anger, it is crucial that we learn how to control it. Here are some quick tips you can use:

• Close your eyes when you start to become angry
• Counting from 1 to 10, slowly
• Concentrate on your breathing, and try to keep it steady
• Do not give any reaction immediately
• Slowly analyse the situation
• Find out the cause for the action
• Say 'OK' to the things that are happening
• Avoid places, persons and situations which are likely triggers
• Give yourself a reality check
• Tell yourself it is not worthwhile to pursue in anger
• Develop a forgiving mindset
• Where possible, discuss and find solutions rather than act on emotion
• Try to be in a happy-go-lucky environment
• Find healthy ways to manage and relieve the stress
• Avoid reliance on substances which may lead to addictions

Anger usually worsens the situation than resolving it. Evaluate the situation calmly and identify the cause, the triggers and find a long term solution to the problem. If you cannot improve the situation, try to avoid it entirely if you can, or resist putting too much emphasis on it if you can't. Most things just aren't worth it.

There are very few things more important than your health and well-being, and no one can take care of you better than you. We can't expect life to be smooth sailing, but we can control how we react to it. So stay happy, positive, and practice those anger-calming techniques.


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