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...
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Workplace Stress: The real causes and what you can do about them
Explore our articles and interviews
Ivan Tyrrell asks Professor Richard Noll, author of ‘The Jung Cult’, to unravel the lies Carl G Jung told to aggrandise himself and his charismatic psychoanalytic movement.
With mindfulness now all the rage, many online articles are now advocating breathing techniques as a way to lessen anxiety and control stress levels.
Denise Winn looks at the research on whether writing about traumatic experiences enhances physical and psychological health.
If people are suffering emotional distress there will always be unmet emotional needs, this is how the Human Givens approach works.
Listen to Brian Greene’s interview with Sue Saunders (Human Givens College tutor and Educational Director) as they discuss the HG approach to treating mental illness, human givens counselling and our training events.
Mark Evans describes how one key idea helped Stephen to master his drug addiction.
Sian Withers shows how she makes very good use of the human givens approach thousands of feet up in the air.
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HG-trained lobbyist Marion Brown has spotted an alarming reversal in the use of the bio-psycho-social model for mental health and wellbeing within the medical world.
Date posted: 24/04/2019
Amárach Research have just published the results of their recent survey of the mental health and wellbeing of 1,000 adults in Ireland, using the Human Givens Emotoinal Needs Audit
Date posted: 07/03/2019