Each of us from time to time experience so-called negative emotions. One of these is anger. Often persons become distressed with others and consider taking drastic action on the spur of the moment to correct what they think is an unfair circumstance. But, wait a minute. Does anger really pay?
There are two ways this emotion can affect you: physically and psychologically. Anger can bring about high blood pressure, ulcers, indigestion, and headaches. Individuals, in this state of mind, tend to think unclearly and make irrational judgments. Often criminals plead insanity because they were intensely angry when the offense was committed.
Anger can also have an influence on personal relationships. Few of us enjoy communicating with anyone who is angry. It is alright to have a disagreement with another and to express that in a civilized manner. Debate is healthy. But, it is quite different to physically or emotionally abuse those who oppose you. After all, everyone is entitled to his or her opinion.
Is anger ever justified? Of course. There are intolerable conditions that should be rectified. The problem becomes how to alter the circumstances with the least amount of emotional reaction. Following are some suggestions to minimize anger and promote healthy relationships:
Control your temper. Whatever the condition and no matter how much abuse you are taking, try to remain in charge of your emotions. Be cautious when speaking so you have no regrets later. Remember, there are times when your conversation or the quality of your evidence does not convince everyone. In these confrontations, it is really a waste of time to try and change the mind of another who becomes too hostile.
Curb anger over disagreements. Listen to opposing views. Don’t ever think that you or anyone else is always right. You may think you have all the essential facts, but you could have overlooked something. So, keeping an open mind when hearing a contrary opinion could help you from making a regrettable mistake.
Calculate your response. Be calm and think about the situation. Consider how you might gain your wishes in the best possible way. Instead of reacting inappropriately, pause and examine carefully some means of coping with the problem to obtain good results and minimize emotional stress.
Distrust negative impressions. When someone differs with you, refrain from labeling the adversary. Be sure that you listen to what he or she is saying. When we misjudge a person, this can further strain a relationship.
Look for areas of agreement. Refrain from being too skeptical about another’s viewpoint. Look for common ground. There are most generally elements in the controversy by which two people can agree. For example, you and your opponent may recognize that a problem does exist, but have a difference of opinion as to how to solve it. This is at least a starting point. Instead of building an emotional road block of anger, work with the adversary to identify and resolve the areas of diversity. At times, we must make concessions to reach a satisfactory outcome and you may decide to compromise.
Use humor if possible. This strategy is often very effective especially if one is well acquainted with the antagonist. The use of humor can reverse the situation from anger to laughter. However, proceed with caution.
Before becoming angry, ask yourself- “How important is the issue?” Quite frequently people will become disturbed with minor things that really do not make a significant difference. For instance, two men argued about whether a car that passed them on the street was blue or green. The individual who insisted it was blue became irate. His companion soon became aware that it was trivial to pursue the discussion further and promptly changed the subject.
Anger hampers clear thinking while calmness allows you to proceed with problem solving. Since hostility usually complicates an already difficult circumstance, why not take control of your emotions and succeed.
Something To Look Forward To
Suppose when you got up this morning, you knew something would happen to brighten your day. Imagine the anticipation that would produce a feeling of well-being, enthusiasm and expectation.
Enthusiasm is one of the greatest feelings a person can have. Napoleon Hill and W. Clement Stone; in their book Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude, list enthusiasm as one of the 17 success principles whereby you can change your world and be a truly happier person. it gives many illustrations of persons who overcame greater odds than I now know, and achieved much greater victories than I have achieved – yet.
Tom Hopkins, one of the leading motivational trainers in this country, says we can learn to live happy and productive lives. Although Tom speaks mostly to Sales people, he addresses many issues that pertain to all persons. One of the thoughts that impressed me is we are programmed to believe certain things, and they may not be true, but if we believe them, then we limit ourselves and our abilities. tom told a story about an elephant who could be held by a small rope and stake. When the elephant was a baby he was tied with a strong chain and large stake for several months. At the end of six months he could be held by a small rope without breaking away “because he did not believe he could.” As disabled people, do we limit ourselves because we do not believe we can do more?
Tom says we can learn to have confidence in ourselves. There are many books and tapes written and produced that can help you “reprogram” your thinking. We need to learn what we can do now, and realize that the successful venture will probably be something that we would not have considered before. Watch out! It might be better than you ever dreamed.
Over twenty years ago, my supervisor recommended Maxwell Maltz’s book, Pschocybernetics, and I have loved that book and it’s principles ever since. Maltz talks about self-image as one of the most important things we possess. Since a disability often attacks our self-image, it is important to improve it. This can be done! How? Believe you can! Do you remember the Little Engine That Could? When he tried to climb the mountain, he tried, and tried, and tried. He did it because he believed he could. Pick up a copy of that wonderful little children’s story to inspire you to do great things.
Would you like to arise tomorrow morning and look forward with great expectation to something wonderful happening? Before you go to bed tonight, have a talk with yourself. Decide on a plan for tomorrow. Only you know your interests, your dreams. Imagine your possibilities, and put your personal plan into motion. Most importantly, believe in yourself, your dreams, and your great possibilities. You can do it.
Tags: dealing with anger, positive thinking