Anger : Healthy and Deadly

Dr. Gift Nwanaga, an Optometrist from the South East of Nigeria has revealed the Pros and Cons of Anger as it affects human health and relationships.

 In the course of his discussion with an inmate in one of the correctional service centers in South Eastern Nigeria in 2018, He almost broke down in tears when a young man in his late 40s told him that the reason for his incarceration was because of uncontrolled anger. It happened that the young man had a fracas with someone after they left the club on a certain Friday night which resulted to a mild fight. Furiously, he landed a punch on the other person which caused the young man to slump and subsequently passed out. What a sad and unexpected ending!

According to the narratives of the young man, he was put behind bars for over 9 years awaiting trial and when his trial was concluded, he bagged 18 years in prison, making it a total of 27 years behind bars. This young man being so energetic and full of life has a daughter who was still a toddler as at the time the incident happened; now an undergraduate in the university. He also had a comfortable and rosy life before the incident, He got his wife a Mercedes 190, one of the latest cars in town as at that time and so on. He never believed that he was going to spend a very significant number of years of his life in incarceration.

According to Dr. Gift, the story was just one out of thousands of people who are befallen by same fate. He also heard a disturbing story of a man who beat a bus driver to death in Owerri, Imo State because the bus driver unintentionally scratched his Lexus Jeep. That’s quite unfortunate! In a matter of seconds, the man who killed the bus driver must have regretted all his actions that led to the death of the bus driver. He would wish he never left his house yesterday. He didn’t ever believe that he will begin his day that yesterday with innocence and end it in guilt of a case of murder. It’s very pathetic.

“Anger is a normal and healthy emotion — but it’s important to deal with it in a positive way. Uncontrolled anger can take a toll on both your health and your relationships. At one point or the other in our lives, we can get angry with the situations we find ourselves or with people around us but it’s pertinent we learn how to control our anger.” He said.

 If you are one among the thousands of people struggling with anger issues, it’s a condition subject to change the moment you make the decision and determine to let it go before it ruins your life and career. Below are some tips for Anger management;

1. THINK BEFORE YOU SPEAK.

In the heat of the moment, it’s easy to say something you’ll later regret. Take a few moments to collect your thoughts before saying anything — and allow others involved in the situation to do the same.

2. BEFORE YOU EXPRESS YOUR ANGER, ENSURE YOU’RE CALM.

As soon as you’re thinking clearly, express your frustration in an assertive but non-confrontational way. State your concerns and needs clearly and directly, without hurting others or trying to control them.

3. GET SOME EXERCISE

Physical activity can help reduce stress that can cause you to become angry. If you feel your anger escalating, get some exercise. You may decide to go for a brisk walk or run, or spend some time doing other enjoyable physical activities.

4. TAKE A TIMEOUT

Timeouts aren’t just for kids. Give yourself short breaks during times of the day that tend to be stressful. A few moments of quiet time might help you feel better prepared to handle what’s ahead without getting irritated or angry.

5. IDENTIFY POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS

Rather than focusing on what got you infuriated, work on resolving the issue at hand. Remind yourself that anger won’t fix anything and might only make it worse.

6. STICK WITH ‘I’ STATEMENTS THAN “YOU”

To avoid criticizing or apportioning blames which might only increase tension, learn to use “I” statements to describe the problem. Be respectful and specific. For example, say, “I’m upset that you left without notifying me even when I told you the need to notify me” instead of “You are always fond of not keeping to simple instructions.”

7. LET GO OF EVERY GRUDGE

Forgiveness is a powerful tool. If you allow anger and other negative feelings to crowd out positive feelings, you might find yourself swallowed up by your own bitterness or sense of injustice. But if you can forgive someone who angered you, you might both learn from the situation and strengthen your relationship.

8. USE HUMOR TO RELEASE TENSION

Lightening up can help diffuse tension. Use humor to help you face what’s making you angry. Avoid sarcasm, though it can hurt feelings and make things worse.

9. PRACTICE RELAXATION SKILLS

When your temper flares, put relaxation skills to work such as deep-breathing exercises, listening to music, writing if that’s one of the things you find interesting or repeating a calming word or phrase, such as “Take it easy.” Just do whatever it takes to encourage relaxation.

10. KNOW WHEN TO SEEK HELP

Learning to control anger is a challenge for everyone at times. Seek help for anger issues if your anger seems out of control, causes you to do things you regret or hurts those around you.

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