Anger: The correct handling of emotional outbursts

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The correct handling of outbursts of anger

Outbursts of anger are usually unexpected. Sometimes a wrong word is enough and it is difficult to act in a controlled and deliberate manner. But if you hold back at this very moment, you will often achieve what you want later. Unbridled anger, on the other hand, leads to overreactions that cause even more trouble. The news agency "dpa" spoke to experts about how the drive of anger can be used positively.

Don't eat anger and anger "Count to ten, go out of the room, take a deep breath", advises graduate psychologist Christoph Burger from Herrenberg in Baden-Württemberg to avert the outbreak of anger. If the short breather succeeds, the anger should be discussed and clarified what triggered the anger. "This way, the other person can still feel the emotions while they are hot," says Burger. If the problem is addressed too late, the anger could quickly evaporate. The informational value of what is presented is then no longer the same.

Controlling outbursts of anger can be learned. "This is a longer process," explains the qualified psychologist. The first step was to clarify which drive is behind the anger and what your own needs are. For example, the desire for more freedom of choice or recognition is often decisive. "Anyone who has brought this self-knowledge to light with an exemplary example changes a lot," Burger reports.

The key, however, is to get rid of the anger in the stomach. "It is fundamentally healthier to let pent-up anger out than to eat it up," says Burkhard Heidenberger, the trainer for time management and work methodology from Vienna. It is scientifically proven that often suppressed anger can cause illness. The feeling of anger as such is generally considered to have a negative impact on health. This is demonstrated, for example, by a ten-year long-term study by researchers from the Institute of Clinical Physiology in Pisa, who have found in heart attack patients that negative feelings such as aggression, depression, hostility and anger have a negative effect on the heart. According to this, cardiac patients should never rely solely on medication, but rather bring about an emotionally positive lifestyle. For example, patients who have already suffered a heart attack and are still annoyed and stressed afterwards have a much worse prognosis than those with a balanced and happy life, according to the Italian scientists. While negative feelings are harmful to the heart, positive feelings can even improve the chances of recovery, the researchers emphasize. According to the study, this includes compassion, imagination, security and spiritual interests.

Anger makes you creative An apparently uncontrolled outbreak of anger can also have something positive at the same time. "The emotional state of anger is always a driver," explains Heidenberger. "It releases energy and can get a change process rolling." Anger can also promote creative ideas, since it forces them to find new solutions, some of which have not even been considered before. Goethe already said: "The same thing leaves us alone, but it is the contradiction that makes us productive." Social psychologist Janina Marguc also shares the view that obstacles are generally beneficial to creativity. While writing her doctoral thesis at the University of Amsterdam, she observed that people take more distant perspectives when they face obstacles in life. It would then look more at the “big picture” than at the details and uncover new ways that were effective. "An obstacle to which you react angrily does not have to stand in the way of finding creative solutions," explains Marguc.

Outbursts of anger are perceived and assessed very differently in society. It depends on whom the collar just fits. While toddlers are often perceived as cute when they throw themselves to the ground at the supermarket checkout, raging and outraged, outbursts of anger by adults are felt negatively. There is also a gender distinction, as Christoph Burger explains: "Society tends to tolerate male tantrums." He advises women to be less polite when angry. "They don't hurt anyone, but many men don't understand them either." (Ag)

Read on:
Stress & anger worsens heart attack forecast

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Video: Anger Is Your Ally: A Mindful Approach to Anger. Juna Mustad. TEDxWabashCollege

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