Nothing is good or bad on its own. Ιt is we that give meaning to it.
Just as fire has shaped human destiny, but can also be destructive, our feelings can have both a positive and negative effect on us, anger being the most common one.
Anger becomes a problem only when it gets out of control, according to psychologist Christos Fousianis, MSc. As he explained to me, each person expresses different types of anger and each one of us adopts different strategies to deal with it.
The first type is “Behavioral Anger”. This type is expressed physically, for example attacking someone, or breaking / throwing things. The strategy to manage this involves delaying or distancing yourself from the situation if possible, or using self-talk techniques by saying things like “take it easy” until you calm down.
Then we have “Overwhelming Anger”. It occurs when we feel that a situation is beyond our control. This happens when we take on too much responsibility or unexpected events happen. The best solution is to let family, friends and colleagues know that you need support.
“Passive Anger” on the other hand is when a person doesn’t express his/her anger to the one that provoked it. If you are able to find the cause of this type of anger, probably you will probably be able to resolve it, by forgiving others and yourself for past mistakes.
The last one is “Passive – Aggressive Anger”. The person who feels this tries to show it in an indirect way. The best you can do in this situation is to be mindful and think about the consequences, you can also take your time for a while until you calm down, then come back to solve the problem.
Another strategy that helps control our anger is to recognize its signs, so that we can stop ourselves doing something we regret. Some common signs are: not thinking clearly, high blood pressure, trembling, feeling hot, headaches and having negative thoughts, such as thinking everyone is being unkind.
Some people are very good at internalizing their anger and it’s difficult to know if they are angry. Furthermore, men and women might express this emotion differently.
My message to everyone is that we should not punish ourselves. A stressful or difficult situation is that provoked our anger and we end up overthinking or feeling unhappy. Let’s accept the emotion, but not let it guide our actions!
* This article has been published in issue #17 of “Migratory Birds” newspaper, which was released as an annex with “Efimerida ton Syntakton” newspaper (Newspaper of the Editors), on March 14th 2020.