Anger had turned into an epidemic these days. Few realize that anger is a choice we make and that it is fairly easy to take another road. This article explores the reasons why we choose anger, the consequences that choice has, and offers specific guidance on how to make a different choice.
By Brenda Shoshanna
Anger has turned into an epidemic in our world today. It is crucial to take a step back and realize the enormity of the danger we are facing, not only from external expressions of anger, but from the anger we each carry within. The time has come to face the truth about anger, learn what it truly is, where it comes from, why it arises, and how to stop it on the spot.
Anger Is A Choice We Make
Believe it or not, anger is a choice we make. But what are some of the reasons that we would hold onto this poison, and refuse to let it go? For starters, many become addicted to anger. Anger gives a false sense of power and strength. This is a lie it tells. When a person is addicted to anger, they are really becoming addicted to the temporary sense of power, and strength they receive.
When very angry, a person often feels that they are definitely right and everyone else is wrong. A false sense of decisiveness is created. It becomes easier to take action (though the action is almost always off base). However, the rush an individual gets from anger is counterfeit, a substitute for real strength. After the anger passes, and the consequences of the anger set in, the person usually feels weak and depleted. Often there is considerable regret for words spoken or action taken rashly.
When we realize the truth of the situation, it is easier to let go of anger and proceed constructively. For example, we grow to understand that real strength comes from the power to see the entire situation for what it really is and respond with clarity and compassion.
Who Would I Be Without My Anger
Anger not only tells us lies – it often becomes a person’s identity. “Who would I be without my anger?” people say. When one is addicted to anger, it becomes the person’s identity. They feel that without their anger they would become a doormat and out of control. Anyone could do what they wanted to them. Actually, the opposite is true. Without anger we can live from the highest and best of who we are.
The Fuels For Anger
Even when we want to let go of anger, there may be many fuels that keep it going. It is important to become aware of what these fuels are, so we can put them out. A basic fuel of anger is the feeling that we must fight for what we need and want and that we must also fight not to allow others to win or deceive us. This is built upon the basic idea that others are our opponents, (or enemies), that what they want and need conflicts with our needs. We believe that both cannot be winners, one must lose and the other gain, we must struggle for what is our due, there is not enough to go around for all. We divide the world into two camps, those who are with us and those who are not. This idea is a great fuel for anger, because we feel it is fine to attack those who are are not on our side.
We do not stop to realize that those who seem to be our enemies one day, may become our dearest friends the next. Friends turn to enemies and the other way around all the time. When we are ready to let this lie go, it becomes easy to see that the good of one is always the good of all. Our basic well being lies in the ability to give and receive love and support, to share our lives, struggles and joy with others. The more we do this, the more fulfilling and healthy our lives become.
Learn to give up one form of anger a day, and replace it with a healthy substitute in award winning book The Anger Diet, (30 Days To Stress Free Living) http://www.theangerdiet.com . Acclaimed psychologist, speaker, family and divorce mediator has helped thousands resolve conflicts fairly and constructively. Contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org, 212-288-0028, http://www.brendashoshanna.com .
Anger Management Classes available 7 days a week in Houston, Texas.
Gregory A. Kyles, M.A., LPC, CEAP, CAMF
Director, Anger Management Institute of Texas
Diplomate, President of Texas Chapter
American Association of Anger Management Providers