Identify what made you angry

Anger is a signal that all is not well. We should give shape to our feelings as to do so judiciously is neither bad nor childish, but mature. We should identify the situations that make us particularly angry. Are we being overlooked or taken for granted? Have we had to compromise something we believe in? Has someone taken or violated something precious to us or someone we value?

Once we have cooled off a little, we should ask, is our anger ‘reasonable’? Is it in proportion to the situation that caused it? An intense reaction probably reflects that the immediate cause of the anger has triggered off energy from older, unresolved hurts and fears – perhaps from as far as back as childhood.

Established what we can do about these feelings of anger

We can use our understanding of what gave rise to our anger to learn about ourselves. There are certain actions we can take that will ameliorate our feelings somewhat. Try and work out what these are and ask a (disinterested) friend what they think. Sometimes past hurts, injustices or indignities can be resolved with those responsible. If this is not possible, a skilled therapist can help heal the bruises. Sometimes we can forgive or at least move on. Situations or conflicts that are unresolvable should be avoided. It is difficult to change others’ attitude, but we can improve our own. Each of us has control over ourselves.


Your Brain on the Politics

After having a heated political discussion, have you ever wondered, “What the heck was that person thinking? Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, tried to answer that question by scanning the brains of Democrats and Republicans while they looked at photos their presidential candidates. The study showed that there are differences – very robust ones, in fact – between the brains of political opposites examining the same images, according to lead researcher Marco lacoboni, MD, PhD, a director at UCLA’s Ahmanson Lovelace Brain Mapping centre.

When participants viewed a photo of their own party’s candidate, the area of the brain associated with emotional responses became more active. But when pictures of the opposition’s vote seeker appeared, the part of the brain associated with rational thoughts consistently lit up. It seems that the subjects experienced an emotional resonance to their candidate, while they used a rational approach to distance themselves from the opponent,” lacoboni says.

Indeed it appears that people really do have knee-jerk reactions to politics. Its just that they happen in the brain.