July 3, 2011 § Leave a comment
In my earlier post about anger, I talked in generalities about the effects of anger and gave an example of how we can become angry over what, in the scheme of things, are really rather insignificant incidents. But the more I think about it, the more I realize that incidents that can seem insignificant in hindsight do seem quite significant at the time they happen and then easily trigger our anger.
Anger per se, however, is not always bad. My reading tells me that it is closely connected to the fight or flight reaction that serves us humans so well in times of danger. Nevertheless, I think in most cases, for most of us, anger is the result of certain frustrations, misunderstandings, and unthinking, learned reflex actions.
I have come to believe, based on my own deliberate experience, that more often than not we can quite easily overcome our anger if we just pause to think about what’s going on and then consciously make the effort to get over it.
Let’s take a quick look at a very few of the things that commonly make us angry:
Someone in another car does something that gives us a fright. Perhaps cuts us off, goes through a stop sign, zooms through a light changing from yellow to red, suddenly slams on the breaks right in front of us, etc.
Someone of a different political persuasion makes a really caustic (from our point of view, stupid) negative remark about something we think is really important.
We’re off to run an errand, get a few blocks from the house and then remember that we forgot to take some papers with us that we need for the errand and we have to go back.
We’re watching the local or national news and hear a report about some great unfairness, illegality, or hypocritical act that infuriates us and, as we say, “just drives me up the wall!”
This list could include many more things, some quite serious and some really inconsequential. There is likely no limit to the things that can and do arouse our anger.
Every time we allow some incident that is beyond our control to anger and upset us, our sense of contentment takes a battering, as does our emotional well being and our blood pressure.
For quite some time now, my reaction to things such as these is simply to dismiss them. And, yes, of course I know that this is much more easily said than done. I certainly don’t find it easy all the time, but I’m becoming more consistently able to do it.
So how can we do it? That will be the subject of my next post. P.S. I’m not purposely trying for a “cliff hanger” here. I just think that blog posts shouldn’t be too long.