Getting angry is a strong consequence of general human emotion. Feelings of anger arise due to how we interpret and react to certain situations. Everyone has their own triggers for what makes them angry, but some common ones to make us angry include situations in which we feel threatened or attacked, frustrated or powerless and the death of a loved one. But many of us may have questions in mind; whether we should restrain ourselves from the emotion to make us angry.
On the topic of what exactly getting angry is and if we should restrain ourselves from the emotion, researchers have already conducted various researches. According to Ambrose and Mayne’s research review … (1999), ‘‘Anger remains one of the most significant problems facing our society today. In a world growing more crowded, with the pace of life increasing exponentially, … there is growing potential for anger to play a destructive role on a frighteningly large scale’’. This statement is enough to show how destructive an anger may be for our lives.
How do we get angry?
We may feel angry when faced with such unwanted situations. But most commonly we express this emotion through anger rather than through sadness. Although we can be angry in many situations, there is not always an appropriate response to our anger. It’s because people may misunderstand it as an aggression or a hostility. Anger can quickly escalate into physical violence and the act of striking out at those around us. This is not just a problem for those struggling with mental health issues; it is also a common occurrence for children who do not have the option to let their emotions run free through verbal expression. Another avenue for frustration would be within the workplace and other social situations; the avenue where it’s often necessary to suppress your feelings.
The way that our body reacts to situations is also what affects our mental health. Studies have found that when we feel threatened, it changes the way our bodies work and how we perceive things. It also affects how we process information and creates a bias from which we can’t escape. The fight or flight response is a physical reaction to immediate threat. The heart rate increases and blood pressure increases to get us ready for action. These changes allow us to focus on things that are not as important as things that are of immediate importance; such as breathing, remembering where your socks are, etc.
Is origin of anger the outside world?
Mostly ‘Yes’. We dilate to take in more information from the outside world. The body prepares to protect itself by seeing the enemy and by getting ready to strike back if needed. For those with anxiety disorders, this response can create intense attacks of panic. The attacks may take place when the person feels stressed or socially exposed. Studies have also found that people who had anger management issues shared similar patterns with people who have anxiety disorders. Reports say, in both situations, their blood pressure increased dramatically when provoked. And their heart rate was abnormally fast as well as unstable throughout the experiment. This further shows how anger management can be affected through physical reactions that may not be consciously controlled; it’s just something we do whether we want to or not.
Although, many people believe one should restrain the emotion of anger and should not express it at any cost – as it can cause problems for the ones around them – I believe we should channel it towards productive purposes. If you are angry with something in the world and want to change it, what would be more appropriate than expressing that anger in a way that is positive?
Anger, freedom of expression and consequences
Although many people clamor that freedom of expression is important, I do not agree. Freedom of expression means a lot of things; such as religious freedom and freedom of speech. However, when we look at these two topics together in relation to our emotions, we can only see how they affect us individually instead of collectively as a society.
Freedom of expression means you are able to express your feelings and opinions as you see fit. With this freedom, we have the ability to be frustrated towards certain things or people; and express it in a way that we see fit. Many people believe that when one expresses their anger towards things such as the death of a loved one, or the killing of someone who has done them wrong, it is acceptable to lash out at those around you through violence.
Although there are many different ways for us to release our anger, expressing anger is not always right. For one thing, we must always consider how others will react to these expressions of anger. This can be seen as inappropriate, rude, and aggressive. When we do not restrain our angry emotion and express it without even thinking about how others may react to it, we also forget that we are throwing our anger towards something that consequently affects us all. For instance, if a doctor was injected with poison and was in critical condition, it may be necessary for the community to collectively express their anger towards whoever administered the poison for this person’s own good. If we were all to lash out at those responsible for poisoning this person, it would only do more harm than good.
This example shows how sometimes our anger can result in a greater amount of damage than what it would have been otherwise, regardless of its justification in the first place.
Should we restrain ourselves from expressing our anger?
This is why I believe we should not restrain ourselves from expressing our anger; but rather learn to channel it in a more productive way. Being angry allows us to positively change the way we see things and push ourselves towards goals that we wouldn’t otherwise have reached. By harnessing the power of our anger and putting it towards good use, we can have an overall positive effect on those around us and gain insight into how the world works. If you are about to express something that could be considered angry, take a moment to consider how you can relate this emotion to others as well as yourself.
Simpler ways to anger management
Think about what kind of message you are sending out onto the world, which will likely affect others in some way or form. By taking the time to reflect, we are able to not only appreciate our own emotional states and mental health, but also the effect we have on those around us. Letting your emotions run free can be destructive, but if you take control of them by being aware of your capabilities as well as your surroundings, it can have a very positive effect on yourself and those around you; instead of a negative one.
Depression, Anxiety and Stigma
So far we’ve learned about the three main emotional disorders, depression, anxiety and anger. We can describe all these three as emotions that we often misunderstand and misunderstood as behavioral disorders. We have also briefly touched upon emotional scars in the context of Therapy for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and their relationship with depression. In this chapter, I will go deeper into those areas.
Firstly, I will talk about how we greatly misunderstand and stigmatize depression. This has a very negative effect on sufferers because it can form self-fulfilling prophecies for them: People also believe incorrectly that if you have depression or anxiety, you are “just like” them – depressed or having panic attacks. This has a very negative effect on people with depression, because instead of feeling understood, they tend to feel like their suffering is just another burden for them to be “cured” of. This reinforces their depression and makes it even harder to deal with. The second thing I will cover on this subject is the idea that there are three types of depression, namely: clinical depression, social anxiety and primary care panic disorder. These three are very often confused with each other, and people who suffer from one type may have symptoms similar to the others.
I have found that the most important thing when looking at the symptoms of these disorders is recognizing the symptoms’ similarities between them. These three forms of depression are very different from each other, but often have symptoms that overlap with the others. For instance, people with social anxiety may also suffer from depression. I have also found that many people with anxiety will tend to be more sensitive towards stressful events. They become more sensitive in family arguments, or even trivial things like small inconveniences for themselves.
Additionally, I would like to cover stigma one last time. And, I’d like to talk about why being afraid of something is very different than being ashamed of it. It’s a common misconception that those who suffer from mental illness are not able to help themselves; and those who do not believe they can help themselves get better then just resorting to medication. This is not true. Not only are people with mental illness often more intelligent than your average person, but because of their suffering, they are also more likely to want to improve their lives.
Those with depression and anxiety, who want to change, can benefit greatly from anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medication. It’s because they enable them to focus on improving their lives without being distracted by the symptoms of their illnesses. However, please do not resort to medication if you do not genuinely need it; but if you feel like your life may be at stake without it, I would definitely recommend going down this route.
The reason why I am against the use of medication is because people often view it as a sort of crutch; and will give up too easily. This is wrong because depression and anxiety are mental illnesses. These illnesses affect people every day in every aspect of their lives. To be able to come to terms with them and begin to alleviate the symptoms completely, it takes time, willpower and support from others. If you truly want to get better, medication should be a last resort; not a shortcut or an excuse for not trying hard enough.
Here’s what I saw when I reflected on myself
I covered quite a lot of information about mental states above, but it was not complete. To me, this is the hardest part about being depressed or anxious; it takes time to get better. I will now talk about my own personal experience in terms of areas where I feel I still have a long way to go in order to help myself get better.
My first problem lies with my self-esteem and self-worth. To put it bluntly: I used to feel like people were completely out of my league when speaking to them; while at the same time feeling extremely insecure around them due to what I perceived as their high status. This was something that I had a hard time handling; so instead of dealing with it, I avoided talking to people altogether. This resulted in me having more and more problems with social media and video games; which in turn led to my developing an addictive personality.
In terms of my video game addiction, I feel like it is responsible for three problems in my life. Firstly, because of the need to be constantly validated by the game devoured my life, it made me emotionally unstable. Second of all, because I was unable to stop thinking about the game after playing it for so long, this led to a lot of procrastination and homework procrastination. Third of all, because its hard to focus on anything but the game, I never had any time to improve myself; or to do my everyday chores.
Currently, I am trying to work on this by taking control of my life. I’m also improving myself in every way possible. First of all, I am trying to get over my video game addiction. I’m doing this by actively (and somewhat consciously) choosing what games I play and when. Secondly, I am working on increasing the amount of homework that I do every day.
From what we discussed above, we can come to the conclusion that getting angry is a disastrous emotion. And, the emotion should not be restrained. Instead, we have to express it in a systematic and constructive way without causing any harm to anybody. We are the masters of ourselves. Therefore, such masters should essentially be efficient managers of their own mental as well as physical states and emotions. If our need is peaceful and meaningful life, we can do that; I’m sure to the most extent,