What causes anger and how to deal with it
Anger is an aroused state in which the mind's attention is focussed on a potential threat and the body responds by getting ready to run or fight.
Adrenaline and other stress hormones run round the body, heart rate and blood pressure rise, breathing gets deeper and faster, blood is diverted from the organs to the muscles, and the whole organism gets ready for action.
At the same time, thinking becomes more primitive and modern intelligence, a significant part of what makes us human, disappears. It is a primal, energised state, similar in many ways to sexual arousal, so it can be quite addictive.
Why combat anger?
Many angry people will die before their time, of cardio-vascular complications brought on by the continuing periods of high physical arousal. Life may be dangerous and unpleasant, for themselves, their relatives and friends and the people they meet. The rising levels of angry behaviour in society are making whole communities more stressful, intimidating and depressing places to be.
What can be done?
The first step is to find out what is causing the angry behaviour. Anger doesn't just happen, it is a response to something in the the environment. So, what is triggering it? Is it related to previous traumatic events that need to be de-traumatised? If not, what elements in the angry person's life need to be re-interpreted? The Human Givens therapist will do this, and use guided imagery to help the angry person learn how to manage emotional states once they begin, rehearsing staying calm in situations which previously caused angry outbursts. The patient will also be taught how to become generally calmer.
How can people become calmer overall?
Anyone, not just those who are reacting angrily to their environment, will benefit from learning how to reduce their general emotional arousal level. People who regularly relax, for example, tend to have fewer illnesses and a longer and happier life. And there are other things that almost anyone can do which will have a profound effect on mood and well-being generally, reducing stress by attending to unmet emotional needs.
Emotional needs and stress
Reducing or cutting out over-stimulation from television, DVDs, computer games, drugs, and other unbalancing elements of the modern lifestyle will help; learning calming techniques and new ways of responding to stressful situations is very useful; but the main improvement will come from meeting the essential emotional needs in the patient's life. For a fuller explanation see 'what are the Human Givens?'
To find out whether the way you live is making you angry, nervous or sad, why not take the ENA questionnaire — it could change your life.
If you or someone you know suffers from anger outbursts or excessive rage, there are many things that people can do to help themselves. Useful information can be found in the best-selling book Release from Anger: Practical help for controlling unreasonable rage and CD, Effective Anger Management, by Joe Griffin and Ivan Tyrrell.
Continue learning about anger with Human Givens College...
UK based one-day courses:
Workplace Stress: The real causes and what you can do about them
Explore our articles and interviews
With debates raging around racism, cultural conditioning and freedom of speech, Carol Harper reflects on the problem of unconscious bias.
Janice Haddon shows how she has drawn upon the human givens approach to work more creatively with corporate clients.
In this article, Joe Griffin suggests that techniques which can yield immediate success, may share an underlying mechanism.
How one session of human givens therapy was enough to transform the life of Sarah, a depressed single mother.
By introducing the human givens approach along with outcome measurements, Jayne Timmins has made her mark on Dyfed-Powys police.
Joe Griffin explains why dreaming, and forgetting our dreams, fulfils a vital human need.
It took millions of years for the human mind to evolve into the self-forming creature we can now become. We have reached a watershed where exciting recent discoveries about how the mind/body system works enable us to understand the processes by which the human nature of a new child can successfully unfold to create an effective and fulfilled individual.
Renée van der Vloodt describes how a dramatic event during rewind helped a client resolve a whole host of difficulties in her life.
Latest Tweets:Tweets by humangivens
Sue Gray, who takes over from Dr Declan Lyons, is an accomplished Senior Health & Social Care Director and Clinician...
As you may be aware of the work being carried out by the BACP/BPC/UKCP to create a framework called Scope of Practice and Education (SCoPEd).