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Getting a grip on your anger

Anger can be a good thing or a bad thing, say the experts. It all depends on how you look at it. If you use your anger to shut down another person, to embarrass or humiliate them, make them feel ashamed, that is flat out abuse. It’s your attempt to control that person and the situation, perhaps so you can ignore the problem, deny your part in the problem and assure that nothing will be resolved.

In researching the term “anger,” one therapist advised that many people need to be educated as to what anger is because they don’t understand the term as it pertains to them personally. Yes, you can be angry deep inside and not even know it.

Dysfunctional communication is what you say or do with the intent of eliminating any chance of a true connection and preventing any resolution. Does the remark, “He (or she) can drain all the energy from a room” sound familiar? This anger affects negatively a person’s self-esteem and sets the relationship on a downward slope. It affects good health and well being of the persons and their relationship, advises theshulergroupllc.com.

Anger (aka rage) is “an intense emotional state involving a strong uncomfortable and hostile response to a perceived provocation, hurt or threat.” Anger, advises psychologytoday.com, is a basic human emotion. But it becomes problematic when it causes one to harm the self, is hostile, aggressive and violent toward someone else. It becomes a disorder when it happens too often and so violently that it affects your ability to go about your daily life.

A lot of people live with “suppressed anger.” A person can’t deal with the issues that need to be resolved so they lock them inside and don’t talk to anyone about them. But the anger will manifest in some way, as in anxiety and depression, health issues like high blood pressure, heart problems, headaches, skin disorders, and digestive problems, to name a few. Other potential problems include alcohol and substance use, crime, abuse of the emotional or physical variety or crime, says WebMD.

“One basic rule in dysfunctional families is not to talk about important but touchy issues, and the tendency in these situations is for family members to employ various strategies designed to get other family members to shut up about them,” writes David M. Allen, M.D. at psychologytoday.com.

So, what can you do about your uncontrolled anger or if you are trying to cope with someone who has anger issues? The Mayo Clinic, in “Anger Management: 10 Tips to Tame Your Temper,” suggests thinking before you speak. (When you are calm you can respond rather than react.) When you can think clearly you can talk about things without a confrontation. Exercise can help you get your perspective back so you can deal with things again. Taking a little quiet time for you always helps to get you back to you. Try to think of solutions for making things better. Criticizing or blaming someone else doesn’t solve anything so don’t waste precious time on those things.

Don’t hold a grudge. Forgiveness isn’t something you do just for the other person. It’s also a gift to you. Remember that laughter is the best medicine. Use a sense of humor liberally to relieve tension and drop the sarcasm because it just makes things worse. Do you practice relaxation? If you don’t, maybe it’s time to begin. And finally, know when to ask for help. When you aren’t quite sure how to repair the brakes on your car you go to someone who knows the secrets of brake repair, that little piece of the puzzle that opens your eyes and you understand. The pros who know about anger can open your eyes and help you understand.

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Addiction has no address, but Family Recovery Center does. For more information about the education, prevention and treatment programs for substance abuse and related behavioral issues, contact the agency at 964 N. Market St., Lisbon; phone, 330-424-1468; or e-mail, info@familyrecovery.org. Visit the web site at www.familyrecovery.org. Family Recovery Center is funded in part by United Way of Northern Columbiana County.

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