It is normal for you to feel anger. Anger can even have positive effects on your emotions. It gives you a sense of righteousness – a feeling of morality, justice, fairness, and respect.
However, not all people experience anger the same way. It’s possible that you get angry more easily and more intensely than the average person. You may easily feel frustration, inconvenience and annoyance, even with what other people consider trivial. You may feel that you are often a victim of injustice, and that other people intentionally frustrate you and make your life inconvenient.
If you have anger issues, you may be having trouble with relationships or work. You may be ruminating and not able to let things go. It may affect your quality of life.
When you are angry, you may become aggressive. But it is also possible at times you hold it in and avoid the person or situation. Either approach may not include two skills that have been shown to reduce anger and improve relationships. Those skills are assertive communication and problem solving.
It is really easy when we are enraged to forget to use skills we already have. There may be a solution that you could come up with if you gave yourself the space and time to be calm and adopt a different perspective. But if you are angry, you may want to run headlong into the situation right now – waiting doesn’t seem like an option. Working with a cognitive behavior therapist (CBT), who is specially trained to handle anger can help you develop these skills and enable you to implement them when you need them.
Most of us think of relaxation as a state, but it is also important to see it as a skill that we can practice. By doing so, we can get better at it. We can bring on a state of relaxation more and more quickly and even when we are really mad. Another misconception is that we think we are relaxing when we are watching television, sleeping, or jogging.
So, we may be overestimating how much time we are relaxed during any given week. Our nervous systems are not relaxed during those activities. It might sound weird, but our brains are incredibly active in ways they aren’t when they are in a state of relaxation. Working with a specialist can help you find the best relaxation technique for you that will allow you to regularly recharge and be able to relax even in the face of anger.
Anger can easily get out of control and turn destructive. If it becomes intense and lasts for long periods of time, this may lead to unhealthy and risky behavior such as domestic violence, child abuse, violence against other people, drinking, drug use, tendency to neglect self-care, having accidents, or road rage. These risky behaviors may result in serious physical threats and even legal problems such as assault and battery, reckless driving, and drug possession charges.
Anger can also affect your body. An out of control anger episode can give you rapid heart rate, palpitations, perspiration, shaking muscles, and urges to hit others. Your mind also gets affected, as you experience difficulties concentrating, remembering, ruminating about events, or engaging in revenge fantasies.
When left untreated, uncontrolled anger can wreak havoc on your physical body and may lead to medical problems. Surges in blood pressure, frequent activation of the nervous and endocrine systems, and tendencies to neglect self-care put angry individuals at risk for all kinds of problems.
Certain types of anger can predict all-cause-mortality and reliably predict heart disease as well as blood pressure and cholesterol do. Anger is also tied to strokes, high blood pressure, gastrointestinal problems, binge eating and more.
Living in a fast-paced environment such as New York City can expose you to situations that easily provoke anger. Driving in the streets of Manhattan that are overflowing with cars, with drivers and pedestrians that openly disregard traffic rules can easily lead to road rage.
Even commuting can be infuriating to you. Standing and sitting close to other people in the subway or metro bus whose behavior might annoy you can lead to conflicts. Fistfights and other physical violence are not unheard of when people get off subway trains.
Frustrations with work pressures can also be infuriating. Problematic relationships that result from complicated lifestyle may also lead to fights and uncontrolled rage.
The financial stress of the city is another factor that can lead to anger. The background stress of the high cost of living can put New York residents at risk of becoming angry or aggressive.
Manhattan is one of the most expensive cities in the world and every purchase or bill can remind you how stressful having to work enough to pay for things can be. Now all you need is some incompetent person to overcharge you or refuse to pay you, and you have very good reasons to feel angry.
Believe it or not, even the physical environment of New York City can make anger and aggression more common. Dense populations – Manhattan has no shortage of areas with crowds, e.g., Time Square, etc. can increase people’s stress levels, which raises the chances of people becoming angry. We simply don’t have unlimited resources, so as the stress eats away at our coping, we are more at risk of blowing up.
Loud noises (or noise pollution) are another factor that Manhattan has plenty of. It turns out that like overpopulated areas, exposure to loud noise can deplete our capacity to cope with stressors and put us at risk for becoming angry and aggressive in response to things that normally would not bother us. So, New Yorkers have a lot to contend with.
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