Can Anger be Stopped?

can anger be stopped?Let’s look at an example. Dave gets home from work and snaps at his wife. Then he picks up a book that his two-year-old had left on the floor and tosses it across the room.

His head is pounding and he can feel the tension coursing throughout his body. He looks in the mirror and punches the wall.

Dave is experiencing a raging storm of intense emotions. His fists tighten, his heart races, and his jaw in clenched. He finds it difficult to focus, to think. His emotions seem to paralyze him.

Dave’s experience is common. What can any of us do in such moments? Do you just have to let the emotions run their course? Do you try to get a moment’s relief by guzzling down a can of beer, or by retreating into restless sleep? Do you call a friend and complain about how trapped and unhappy you feel, adding there is nothing you can do about it? But is that really true?

Is there nothing you can do? Is anger outside your control? In one sense yes. But in a more important sense, no! Anger is an automatic, physiological response. In that sense, it is outside your immediate control, like your eyes blinking. But you can become aware of your blinking and similarly you can become mindful of what triggers your angry thoughts. If you can take control over your automatic reactions like blinking, breathing and memory, it is also possible to take control of your angry thoughts.

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Shared by: Aaron Karmin, LCPC, Contributing Blogger

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