Defusing Anger

(Male) As soon as that cup hit
the floor the anger was upon me. You know that saying about seeing red? It was just like that for me. The thing is part of me knew it wasn’t even a big deal. [Music plays] (Narrator)
Anger is a normal emotion which we all exerience from time to time.
In certain situations anger is reasonable and can be
an effective response. The key is in managing our arousal and taking responsibility for our behaviour. When anger is brief and in
proportion to the situation it can be adaptive and useful,
signalling that there is a problem and a prompting us to act in an
effective way to resolve it. Because anger ties into our
body’s fight or flight response, when we experience anger our
brain releases stress chemicals. Blood also diverts from our
brain to our muscles, and we become more prepared for action.
In the event of a real threat this response can help us physically defend ourselves. However when triggered by a
situation in which fight or flight is not necessary anger can be ineffective, as it reduces our thinking space and our choice
to respond in an optimal way. When anger becomes out of
control, or our default setting, it undermines our resilience
and reduces optimal responses. Not only can explosive anger
lead to fights, or saying things we later regret, it can
also be physically draining, affecting our concentration and
the quality of our relationships. (Male) Taking that step back
and looking at things more objectively was what made the difference. It gave me a chance to think and ask
myself is my reaction reasonable? Is it helpful? It let
me actually decide how to react, without just
reacting on instinct. (Narrator) In order to maintain
our choice in any given situation we need to take responsibility
for our anger and practice skills to deal
with it effectively. This leads to better management
of stressful situations, and better outcomes for ourselves
and for those around us.

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