Anger Management: A closer look

Every episode of anger (fight of the fight or flight respones) is the result of unmet expectations. You may have noticed that there is a lot of anger out there in the world these days. Experts suggest that the average person can have between 15-20 anger episodes …PER DAY! People who study anger and aggression suggest that there are four different styles of mismanaged anger (somatizers, exploders, self-punishers and underhanders). They also say that we are capable of all of these, but typically we tend to gravitate toward one style: Simply stated, one style dominates our personality. Perhaps we adopt this style from our parents or perhaps it’s modeled from others. Regardless, none of these styles is good. In fact, each is bad, because they don’t resolve anger, they perpetuate it. Somatizers tend to repress their anger but it eventually shows up in the body (soma). Exploders tend to make the headline news. Self-punishers feel guilty about feeling angry and tend to adopt a self-destructive behavior and underhanders live by the motto: “Don’t get mad, get even!” All of these styles are means to control oneself or other and doing a really bad job at it. Every unresolved anger issues is a control issue but the truth is that these styles are an illusion of control. In reality you are giving your power away, as expressed in the quote by Elizabeth Kenny, “He who angers you, conquers you.”

• Stress Tip for the Day:
Learn to monitor your anger episodes per day and see if you can determine what is your mismanaged anger style. Do you stuff your feelings? (if so… do you suffer from TMJ, migraines, lupus, fibromyalsia or other auto immune diseases?) Is your anger expressed as a form of intimidation. Do you eat to calm your frustrations? Do you use sarcasm to express your feelings? If you answer yes to any of these questions, chances are there are some unresolved anger issues lurking in your past. Remember, somatizers cross the stress and disease finish life first, but other mismanaged anger styles eventually cross that line too.

• Links Worth Noting:
This link, found on highlights noted speaker Dan Ariely on human behavior. Very interesting.

• Photo of the Day:
Pictured above is a photo of an art therapy piece drawn by one of my students (thanks Franca V.) when asked to depict pictorially what she felt like when she was stressed. She described her stress as both anger expressed as a tornado in her head, yet her fear was symbolic of blinders over her eyes.

• Quote for the Day:
“Nobody gets to live their life backward. Look ahead, that is where your future lies.”
—Ann Landers

Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D. is an internationally renowned expert in the fields of stress management, mind-body-spirit healing and stress and human spirituality. He is the author of over 10 books including the bestsellers, Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water, Stressed Is Desserts Spelled Backward, The Art of Calm, Quiet Mind, Fearless Heart and Managing Stress (6E). He can be reached through his

© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.

Brian Luke Seaward

Author Brian Luke Seaward

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