(BeWellBuzz) It may surprise you that our mind has its own coping mechanism to relieve from grief and pain. When a distressful situation is too much to bear, for example, loss of a loved one or the end of a love filled relationship, our mind works by itself to protect us from going into shock!
What Are The Five Stages Of Grief?
There are five different stages of grief namely: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and then acceptance. Out of these 5 stages, it is believed that anger is probably the easiest one to recognize because anger can manifest itself very conspicuously.
According to Laura Harvey, editor of the Daily word magazine, “Anger is our built-in alarm system alerting us that something is wrong, out of harmony, off balance“. As humans, by default we develop expectations towards life and when these expectations are not met, the proverbial alarm goes off.
Anger is always associated with negativity and ill health. However, what many fail to realize, ironically mostly when in anger, is that it can be a wonderful instrument in looking at a situation in a more lucid manner and most importantly understanding our very self.
How Can Anger Impact Your Life?
No one is a novice to the destructive effects of anger. Anger can destroy health, relationships, break families, ruin career prospects and when given the power, anger can annihilate entire cities and end lives. Unfortunately, one fails to recognize the microscopic root of it all. This is because anger begets anger. Anger can disturb one’s inner peace.
According to the spiritual leader, Dalai Lama “As human beings, we all want to be happy and free from misery. We have learned that the key to happiness is inner peace. The greatest obstacles to inner peace are disturbing emotions such as anger“. Inner peace, simply put, is the harmony experienced within when one truly understands everything exactly as it is.
How To Manage Anger On Your Own?
According to the scriptures of yoga, anger and other negative emotions can be rid by simply being aware of the emotion, accepting it and channelling all the negative energy in a more positive manner. Yoga and meditation are the paths to understanding how to control the mind. The mind is very powerful, and control of the mind can harmonize the body.
The first step of anger management is to be conscious of what happens to the body when angry. Just in a few moments of total awareness, one can experience tightness of the muscles, increased heart rate and shallow breathing. This simple awareness of the emotion provides us with some spaciousness to rethink the situation. Once we are aware of the physical manifestations of anger on our body, we can control it and consciously relax our muscles and breathe normally.
Subsequently the heart rate drops to normal, and we notice that the emotion is diminished if not disappeared completely. Once this practice is made into a habit, one no longer experiences anger. In fact, all negative emotions like anger, hatred, and attachment are replaced by positive attributes like love, contentment and compassion.
So, what’s your story?
One must understand the importance of observing a situation. When there is a mishap, our first instinct is to create a story. This story explains the situation from our perspective. This is, however, very detrimental to us because we assume this story to be what really happened and in turn justify our anger. We imply that it is alright to be angry and express it.
Unfortunately, once the emotion is gone, what we are left with is regret that the situation could have been dealt with better. This is because our mind becomes aware of what really happened and more often than not, it is quite different from our story.
For example, if your teacher in college doesn’t give you the grade you thought you deserve, your very first instinct is to think “He/she doesn’t like me, or is biased or is plain arrogant.” This becomes your story, and the reason to justify your anger. In reality, your grade did not meet your expectation. Once one is able to differentiate between reality and the story, we develop a higher understanding of the situation and are able to deal with it in a constructive manner.
In the above example, the story would lead us to a bad mouth for the professor, boycott the particular class or even lead us to indulge in vandalism! What good would that bring? Does it help alter the grade? On the other hand, the real story would make us work harder in the class, redo the assignment and maybe ask the professor for guidance.
Observe, Understand & Then React!
According to a study done by Psychologist, Dr. Howard Kassinove from The Hofstra University, “58 percent of anger episodes include yelling or screaming, and less than 10 percent involve physical aggression.” Anger management involves more than just observing the situation. There are well-defined steps to Anger Management. These are:
- Preparing for change
- Accepting and adjusting
- Maintaining the change
Anger is good and it helps us realise who we are and what we want from life. The trick is to prevent anger from controlling our lives. Let us strive to live in a world where everyone is content and happy. It starts with you. Curb your anger and spread love!