I watched a video months ago, where a man shot and killed his neighbour and his wife before he turned around, shot and killed himself. This was in the US.
Two men (Simeon and Levi) got so angry at the raping of their sister, Dinah, that they killed all the men in a city. This is in the Bible, Genesis 34.
A couple recently divorced and went out to celebrate with a cake and had dinner. Unfortunately, this rubbed many people the wrong way. Coming out of a failed relationship with amicability is something we are not used to. We would rather see angry outbursts, flying punches, broken limbs and distorted faces and if opportunity affords, even participate as supporting cast.
Is anger normal?
Yes. Anger is a normal emotion. It is one of the six basic emotions according to Paul Ekman in his research, The Atlas of Emotions. The others are: disgust, fear, sadness, enjoyment and surprise.
When you are angry, the body releases catecholamines (neurotransmitters in the brain) that prepare the body for defense either by fight or flight.
Anger motivates us to do good in society. We become angry at injustice and unfairness. We want to change the course of things, so we start social and political movements to better communities.
Everything in your life seems to be going south. You are worried about the present and the future. You have probably lost your job, your marriage has collapsed, you are broke and you do not know what to do. Situations like these can cause you to be angry.
Unresolved past traumas
Perhaps you were abandoned by your parents or lover. You were defiled and dehumanised. You were physically harmed and violated.
Or you participated in despicable, shameful acts you now regret. You carry the burden of guilt and self-condemnation. Thoughts about these events can cause you to be angry if they are unresolved.
You are hoping for something good and it doesn’t happen. You shot for the stars but failed and landed back right here. Frustrated and angry you become. You are working long hours and not getting enough hours of sleep daily; chances are you will be in a black mood.
You lost someone dear to you; a parent, sibling, relative, neighbour, or friend. You think the circumstances surrounding the loss were unfair to you and worse still you were powerless to control them. “How could they die when I still needed them?” These thoughts bombard your mind and you become angry.
Types of anger
Anger can be inward or directed at self, passive or subtly expressed and outward or verbally and publicly expressed. Whatever form of anger it is, if it remains unresolved, it can lead to undesirable consequences health wise and emotionally such as: resentment, depression, headaches, insomnia, depression and high blood pressure.
Know your triggers
What things make you angry? A dirty environment, inconsiderate people, a toxic partner, Subaru drivers...it is important for you to know things that trigger your anger and make preparations in advance to manage them.
This is not a sign of weakness. In fact, it is a sign of maturity. You have got to choose your battles carefully because some are not worth your time and effort. For the sake of peace, it is no use making a speech you will forever regret, just to prove a point.
Teach yourself to wait in a queue. You can observe the rules. You will not have your way all the time. Sometimes you will win, other times, you will lose. You will be taken granted at some point, you can get dirty and you will still be fine. Life does not revolve around you. You are here today and gone tomorrow, just like grass. Be humble and do not take life way too seriously.
Talk it over with someone
While we have been accustomed to bottle our feelings, in an event of extreme circumstances, one can blow a gasket. It is the only way you know how to get something across - to be heard.
Recent research done by The Wall Street Journal shows that people shout when they argue because they are not confident they will be heard, so they compensate by being loud.
When life takes a toll on you, talk to a counsellor, friend, or family member detached from the situation, who will listen to you vent your spleen. It is also important to delay to act whenever you are angry. This gives you time to process your emotions in order to arrive at a better conclusion.
You may still hurt from the act and suffer the consequences but once you forgive, you choose not to use the offense against them and release them from your emotional hold. Forgiving another is primarily for your benefit and not the other person at whom you angry.