Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned. — Buddha
Anger is an internally experienced emotion that varies in intensity, frequency and duration. It is often considered to be innate. There are specific biological responses or facial expressions that can be innate, that said, we cannot disregard the role learning plays in anger. Our observations, environment, parenting and many other factors play an important role in learning when to become angry and how to react. When anger is poorly managed, understood and expressed, it can lead to negative consequences such as aggression. We, at ManoShala, believe that certain negative behaviours can be unlearned.
There are many celebrities who have failed to manage their anger at various events, the list includes, but is not limited to Salman Khan, Sharukh Khan, Aditya Pancholi Chris Brown, Naomi Campbell and Justin Bieber.
In 2014, Justin Bieber, Grammy Award-winning pop star, was ordered to attend 12 hours of anger management classes by the court for an egging case. He was charged with misdemeanour vandalism. In another incident that took place in 2015, Bieber lost control over his anger on stage. After the incident, the singer posted on Instagram. The message included -
“I don’t always handle things the right way, but I’m human and I’m working on getting better at responding not reacting.” — Justin Bieber
Mindfulness — an alternative tool for unlearning and relearning anger:
A major aspect of anger is reacting rather than responding. Through Mindfulness training one can unlearn to ‘react’ and learn to ‘respond’.
Mindfulness focuses on attentive awareness and acceptance. Awareness of emotions and bodily sensations through labelling, noting, describing, observing, acknowledging. Accepting this awareness with openness and a non-judgmental attitude. Emotional awareness provides a basis for self-monitoring, this, in turn, increases the ability for self-governance.
“Without conscious articulation, the depth, range, and complexity of emotion cannot develop beyond its instinctual origins.” — Greenberg
To know more, you can find Mindfulness-based interventions at ManoShala. Apart from mindfulness, assertiveness training, progressive muscle relaxation, meditation, self-instructional training and cognitive restructuring are some of the techniques used in anger management.
Muskan Gupta, Psychologist, ManoShala