There are many worthwhile quotes to live by, but one of my favorites is this:
“remember, a minute of anger denies you sixty seconds of happiness.”
I remember reading this quote when I was a young, and it has stayed with me into adulthood. As much as I would like to say that I’m able to always stay calm no matter the situation, sadly this is not always the case.
Anger is the black sheep of the mental health family. It is the emotion that is less openly discussed then other mental health issues such as anxiety and confidence issues. Despite the lack of discussion, anger is deeply familiar to everyone in today’s age, with 64% of people polled in a recent anger study agreeing that people appear to be getting angrier.
What is anger and what causes it?
The emotion of anger, according to the Mental Health Foundation, has three components: physical, cogitative, and behavioral. Broken down, this means that anger is an all body experience. We’ve all be there and experienced this when angry, from heart racing, voice becoming louder and mind racing a million miles a minute.
We all know what can cause anger but understanding your own personal triggers is key. From the mundane, someone pushing in front of you in a line for your morning coffee to the more serious triggers or injustices such as someone cheating you. Not surprisingly a seemingly universal cause for anger seems to be driving related situations, with 80.4 % of drivers polled claim to have been involved in some form a road rage incident during their driving careers!
There is no one set cause or universal reason for anger, although it is feasible that people will feel angry at the same things as you. The bottom line is this, though: everyone has their own unique set of triggers that cause anger. This may be because of a difference in morals, mindsets, beliefs, tolerance, and so on. It can be hard to remember that something that makes you angry may not bother another person, and vice versa. Maintaining awareness about the wide variety of triggers can help you develop an understanding for the other people in your life’s own struggles with anger, as well as potentially helping you gain a better understanding of what your own triggers.
I have found that my state of mind and health is more influential than an actual act ( i.e. being cut in line) in triggering bouts of anger. As an example, on days when I am well rested and in good head space, I find myself more resilient against certain acts that would trigger my anger and vice versa. Managing my mental health has become key to managing anger.
There are key steps you can continuously take to maintain your mental health, similar to how maintaining a workout schedule is important for physical health. Listen to your body and mind, and give yourself time to work on yourself, whether it be taking time to rest, breathe, or something else. Find people you can confide in, a professional or someone close to you, to talk about anything you may be suppressing. All of these actions may help you grow your inner strength and resilience, and this will in return help you avoid breaking into bouts of anger with a stronger mental state. Working on your mental health can be the key to managing anger.