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The Anger Notes (Continued)

 

Expert Knowledge on Anger Management/Photo by Timothy Eberly on Unsplash


From the book, “Emotional Intelligence” by Daniel Goleman, Ph. D. (pages: 6,7,48, 59-65, 63-64,144,169-172,191, 255)

Anyone can become angry-that is easy. But to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose, and in the right way-this is not easy.”

-Aristotle, the Nichomachean Ethics.

Anger builds on Anger.

-emotional hijacking when the body is in the state of edginess. {note to self: anger is a rolling emotion like the waves of a tsunami, a second wave rides the tails of those before, quickly escalating the body’s level of physiological arousal even before the first wave subsided.}

A thought that comes later than this build up triggers a far greater intensity of anger than the one that comes at the beginning.

Anger builds on anger; the emotional brain heats up by the rage, unhampered by reason, easily erupts in violence.

At this point, people are unforgiving and beyond being reasoned with, their thought revolve around revenge and reprisal, oblivious to what the consequences may be.

This high level excitation, Dolf Zillman (Dean Emeritus, and Professor of Information Sciences, Communication and Psychology at the University of Alabama (UA).) says, fosters an illusion of power and invulnerability that may inspire and facilitate aggression “as the enraged person, failing cognitive guidance falls back on the most primitive of responses. The limbic urge is ascendant; the rawest lessons of life’s brutality becomes guides to action.”

Anger Intervention

…seize on and challenge the thoughts that triggers the surges of anger.

-the earlier the anger cycle, the more effective.

-anger can be short circuited if the mitigating information comes before the anger is acted upon.

-using mitigating information to draw compassion.

-this only works for moderate anger.

-at higher levels of rage, it makes no difference (cognitive incapacitation).

 …cooling off physiologically by waiting out the adrenal surge in a setting where there are not likely to be further triggers for the rage.

Distraction is a highly powerful mood altering device…

-long walks, drive, deep breathing, muscles relaxation, exercise, television, movies, reading.

…cooling off period must not be used for anger inducing thoughts.

…indulging in treats such as shopping alone and eating do not have much effect.

…catch cynical of hostile thoughts as they rise, write them down so they can be challenged and reappraised.

…anger seems to be the one emotion that does most harm to the heart.

-when patients recounted incidents that made them mad, the pumping efficiency of their hearts dropped by 5 percentage point. Some patients showed a drop in the pumping efficiency by 7% or greater, a dangerous drop in blood flows to the heart itself. {And when this data was taken, they said that they were only half as mad.}

Research by Dr. Redford Williams (Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Professor of Medicine, and Director of the Behavioral Medicine Research Center at Duke University Medical Center): physicians who had the highest score of hostility (on a test while still at medical school) were seven times as likely to have died by the age of 50 as those with low hostility score.

…being prone to anger was a stronger prediction of dying young than were other risk factors such as smoking, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

…anger is not the sole contributor to heart disease. It is one of the many interacting factors.

“Each episode of anger adds additional stress to the heart by increasing his heart rate and blood pressure.” (Peter Kaufman, acting chief of Behavioral Medicine branch of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.)

“When that is repeated over and over again, it can do damage, especially because the turbulence of blood flowing through the coronary artery with each heart beat can cause micro tears in the vessel where plaque develops. If your heart rate is faster and the blood pressure is higher because you are habitually angry, then over thirty years that may lead to a faster buildup of plaque and so lead to coronary heart disease.”

Once the heart disease develops, the mechanisms triggered by anger affect the very efficiency of the heart as a pump. The net effect is to make anger particularly lethal in those who already have heart disease.

Stanford University Medical School study; 1012 men and women who suffered a first heart attack were followed for up to 8 years. Those who were aggressive and hostile at the outset suffered the highest rate of second heart attack.

Yale University School of Medicine study; 929 men who had survived heart attacks; tracked for 10 years. Those who were easily aroused to anger were three times more likely to die of heart attack (cardiac arrest) than those who were even tempered.

If they also had high cholesterol levels, the added risk from anger was five times higher.

Expert Knowledge on Anger Management
Photo by Green Chameleon on Unsplash


-researchers point out not anger alone that heightens the risk of death from heart disease, but rather intense negative emotionality of any kind that regularly sends surges of stress hormones throughout the body.

Harvard Medical School study asked more than 1500 men and women who suffered heart attacks to describe their emotional state in the hours before the attack. Being angry more than doubled the risk of cardiac arrest in people who already had heart disease; the heightened risk lasted for two hours after the anger was aroused.

These findings do not mean that people should try to suppress anger when it is appropriate.

…there is evidence that trying to completely suppress such feelings in the heat of the moment actually results in magnifying the body’s agitation and may raise blood pressure.

…however, the net effect of ventilating anger every time it is felt is to simply feed it, making it more likely response to any annoying situation.

…whether anger is expressed or not is less important than whether it is chronic (Dr. Redford Williams).

An occasional display of hostility is not dangerous to health. The problem arises when hostility becomes so constant as to define an antagonistic personal style- one marked by repeated feeling of mistrust and cynicism and the propensity to snide comments and put-downs as well as more obvious bouts of temper and rage.

The hopeful news is that chronic anger need not be a death sentence: hostility is a habit that can change.

Stanford university medical School gave heart attack patients anger control training- resulted in 44% lower second heart attack rate than those who did not change.

“The antidote to hostility is a more trusting heart. All it takes is the right motivation. When people see that their hostility can lead to an early grave, they are ready to try.” (Dr. Redford Williams)

{Catharsis: giving vent to rage.}

-psychologists found that giving vent to anger did little or nothing to dispel it, though it may feel satisfying.

-specific conditions when lashing out does work:

-when it is expressed directly to the person who is its target

-when it restores a sense of control

-rights an injustice

-inflicts “appropriate harm” to the other person and gets him to change some grievous activity without retaliating.

But because of the incendiary nature of anger, this may be easier to say than do

Diane Tice, psychologist at Case Western Reserve University found that ventilating anger is one of the worst ways to cool down: outbursts of rage typically pump up the emotional brains’ arousal, leaving people angrier, not less.

Tice found that when people told of times they had taken their rage out on the person who provoked it, the net effect was to prolong the mood rather than end it.

Far more effective was when people first cooled down and then, in a more constructive or assertive manner, confronted the person to settle this dispute.

-a Tibetan teacher replied when asked how best to handle anger: “Don’t suppress it. But don’t act on it.”

One of the key skills for anger control was monitoring their feelings-becoming aware of their body sensations, such as flushing or muscle tensing, as they were getting angry, and to take those feelings as a cue to stop and consider what to do next rather than strike out impulsively.

Chronic anger may lead to still another kind of susceptibility. In a study of four hundred patients being treated for addiction to heroin and other opioids, the most striking emotional pattern was a lifelong difficulty handling anger and a quickness to rage. Some of the patients themselves said that with opiates they finally felt normal and relaxed.

{Page 90-Calming down exercises: “As if Principle” by Richard Wiseman}

From the book, “Happiness Genes” by James D. Baird, Ph.D. with Laurie Nadal, Ph.D. (pages 121, 139)

Expert Knowledge on Anger Management
Photo by Shingi Rice on Unsplash


Holding on to anger for years at a time can block your positive emotions.

“No matter how hurtful a particular event in your life has been, numerous studies show that keeping a grudge is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die: You are the only one who suffers.”

When you are unwilling or unable to forgive, you put yourself at a greater risk of heart disease and lowered immune functions.

Your anger can make it more difficult for your body to fight off physical illness.

You also put yourself at risk psychologically. People who cannot forgive suffer from depression, anxiety and numbness to violence.
They are more likely to develop addictions to drugs and alcohol than those who forgive themselves and others.

Attributed to Pope John Paul II, “See everything. Overlook a great deal. Improve a little.”

Channeling a strong emotion such as anger for greater good is another way to build empathy and compassion for others.

Anger can be a positive motivator for change; all political and social movements throughout history have been the result of people harnessing their anger against injustice in a way that led to new government, civil rights, human rights and freedom for the oppressed.

The nest time you get angry, ask yourself if there is some way you can use your anger to benefit a community that is suffering from injustice.

For example, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) came about because moms who were angry about drunk drivers killing their children chose to organize and educate others.

From the book, “Practising Happiness” by Ruth A. Baer. (pages: 38, 76 and 77)

Expert Knowledge on Anger Management
Photo by Simon Berger on Unsplash


…ruminating about anger strengthens the angry feeling.

{…focus on your hurt feelings: what hurts, why?}

Anger is a message (that) we’ve been wronged.

Anger presents (similar) problems. The body is flooded with hormones that create energy. The face may take on a threatening expression. Urges arise to speak loudly and behave aggressively.

This is helpful if you need to fight an attacker but less when you’re angered by a co-worker during a staff meeting ot a driver in a crowded motorway.

 {what is my urge right now? To yell? To hit back? What does it solve? Is there a better way?}

(rumination = slow burn)

{Stories and anecdotes about Philippe Coutinho: from various media coverage.}

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