Why Is Everyone so Angry All the Time?
By Lucy King for The Startup
Is it just me or are people a lot angrier lately?
Anger is a normal, healthy emotion but it’s unhealthy if it flares up all the time or spirals out of control.
Boy, that escalated quickly. I mean that really got out of hand fast! — Will Ferrell, Anchorman
When rage gets behind the wheel
A couple of days ago I saw a bizarre case of road rage. It was 6 am and I was out on an early morning run. As I crossed the river near where I live I heard loud shouting. Looking up I saw two trucks driving in parallel over the bridge in low gear.
The driver of the smaller truck had his window open. He was leaning out and yelling aggressively at the driver of the larger truck alongside him. Both trucks had the road clear in front, yet they slowed down and were backing up traffic across two lanes on the bridge.
The driver of the larger truck could have sped off, but he didn’t. He crawled along which seemed to infuriate the driver of the smaller truck even more.
The tirade continued as the trucks drove past me and onwards toward a set of traffic lights. The signal turned red. I was mid-run so I didn’t stop to see what happened next — sorry!
I could only guess at what triggered this altercation. Road rage was the last thing I expected as I set off on my daily run with the sun coming up and a brand new day ahead.
As I watched the fury of the drivers I couldn’t help but think:
There but for the grace of God, go I.
When your rage is out of control things can get ugly.
Some people lash out hitting people or breaking things when they get angry. 32% of people know someone, say a close friend or family member, who has trouble controlling their anger.
The Mayo Clinic shares the following 10 tips to control your temper.
1. Think before you speak. 2. Once you are calm, express your anger. 3. Get some exercise. 4. Take a timeout. 5. Identify possible solutions. 6. Stick with ‘I’ statements. 7. Don’t hold a grudge. 8. Use humor to release tension. 9. Practice relaxation skills 10. Know when to seek help
Out of these 10 tips, the following are the ones I focus on most to manage temper flares up.
Think before you speak
Even if you are right, there is nothing gained from being aggressive with people you care about. It is important to deal with anger in a way that doesn’t harm you or anyone else.
Get some exercise
Exercise is a great stress blaster. When you exercise you feel better about yourself and more in control of the events that shape your life.
Take a timeout
Remove yourself from a situation that has upset you. Failing that, take a deep breath or count backward from 10 to compose yourself when you are angry.
Identify possible solutions
Channeling anger into problem-solving is a productive way to diffuse negative emotions.
Don’t hold a grudge
Forgiveness is a powerful tool. When you forgive someone who has angered you, you release bitterness and you are free to move on with your life.