Anger Management and Health

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Anger Management and Health

Everybody feels anger from time to time. People have been documented

feeling anger since biblical times when God was considered angry. Babies even

exhibit signs that are interpreted as anger, such as crying or screaming. Anger

is not in any way unique to people. Animals also have the ability to feel and

express anger.

In our personal lives we get angry over at least one thing on almost a

daily basis, whether it be on the job, with a spouse or loved one, or perhaps

with a figure of authority. Many psychologists have written about anger,

discussing the relationship between anger and fear. Each of the individuals

that comprise humanity possesses at least one phobia, in the same way that each

is capable of possessing anger. The negativity that is associated with phobias

often spills over into our feelings about anger. We begin to think negatively

about anger since we associate it with fear.

Plato was the first to suggest that anger was a disbalance. According to

Dr. Willard Gaylin, a prominent psychologist, anger is still seen as a

disbalance by many of today's psychologists. Since Plato, anger has suffered a

bad reputation. We only have to imagine a domestic abuse scene to immediately

condemn anger in all of its manifestations.

There is a reason why anger is viewed in a negative light. Nobody likes it

when someone is angry with them. We tend to avoid the wrath of those around us.

This is one reason we see anger as negative. Another reason may lie closer to

Plato's concept of imbalance. The negative perception of anger is evident in

the American Heritage Dictionary's definitions of the word anger (1): 1. A

feeling of extreme displeasure, hostility, indignation, or someone or something;

rage; wrath; ire. 2. (Obsolete) Trouble; pain; affliction.

To say, "I'm getting angry", is to invoke fear in another, usually, that fear

originates from a perception that the utterer of the phrase is about to take

some sort of dramatic action. Dr. Gaylin speaks for these emotions, rage is a

response to a perceived assault that effects the body in interesting ways.

Skeletal muscles are tensed; the autonomic system moves to increase the supply

of adrenaline and redistribute the blood flow of the body; certain muscles are

contracted and opposing ones relaxed. (2)

Apparently, anger is viewed negatively for a reas...

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...s easy. But to be angry at the right person, to

the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose, and in the right way

- that is not so easy.” (4)

Chronic anger does lead to health problems. Not everyone suffers from

anger, but for those that do, it means a multitude of emotional related

illnesses. Anger is often accompanied by an imbalance of hormones, as Plato

recognized, and no imbalance is healthy in the long run. With consciousness and

relaxation, people may be able to achieve dominance over anger, rather than

allowing it to have dominance over them.

Works Cited:

1 American Heritage Dictionary Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, MA 1985

2 Gaylin, Willard, M.D. The Anger Within: Anger in Modern Life. Simon and

Schuster, New York, NY 1984

3 Internet Research: Coping with Anger, 1996

4 McKay, Rogers When Anger Hurts: Quieting the Storm Within. New Harbinger,

Oakland, CA 1989

5 Bernstein and Rozen Dinosaur Brains: Dealing with all Those Impossible

People at Work. John Wiley and Sons, New York, NY 1989

6 Weisinger, Hendrie, M.D. Anger at Work: Learning the Art of Anger Management

on the Job. William Morrow and Comapny, New York, NY 1995
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