Anger. What is this emotion and how to manage anger

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Buddhists say that the ancient philosopher Gautama Buddha once said: “In an argument, the moment you began to feel anger, you stopped fighting for the truth, and began to fight only for yourself. You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished for your anger. ” You can think of Buddha whatever you want, but this dude knew the human brain better than most people living today.

Without psychology, without Western philosophy, and without the ability to measure the brain with fMRI, 2500 years ago the Buddha simply said that anger is all about me, and mine is me.

Anger is an emotion very similar to fear, but still independent. They are definitely neighbors though and often borrow salt from each other.

Remember in the last article we defined fear as an emotion triggered when the brain perceives a potential threat to itself? Anger changes only one word, in the definition, and that word is not {me}.

The definition of anger is as follows. Anger is an emotional reaction that occurs when our mind perceives an attack on itself and sees that there is a chance to resist it.

Hearing this definition, your first question might sound like this: “So, what is the difference between a threat to {me} and an attack on {me}, aren’t the two the same?” No, they are not the same. The difference is found in the perceiving side of the equation of emotion: fear arises when you believe the perceived threat is real and the brain sees no options to counter it.

Anger arises at the moment when the brain sees the options and is ready to fight the threat.

When you are in the forest and see a bear, the brain sees very few options for confronting such a threat, and it is probably out of our control. It’s better to run here. The emotion of fear comes into your consciousness. But when your brain sees options for resistance, it sends you an emotion of anger.

In other words, our fear is a reaction when our brain perceives a situation like: “Oh, shit, this can really happen, but what can we do? Nothing. ”, And the emotion of fear is generated. while anger is a reaction when our brain perceives a situation as: “WOW! This is already happening and we are certainly not going to let it happen. ”

Just like fear, anger is the brain’s survival mechanism.

If more people think the same way, then you are in a larger tribe and it is safer for you to deal with others who think differently than you do. So when you bump into others who think differently, especially when they think differently about something firmly attached to you, anger arises to help protect the ideas you are attached to.

This, of course, started with the control of a water pit or this particularly amazing cave thousands of years ago, and then gradually escalated into squabbles in the social. networks about politics or the need to bombard some territory with rockets because of differences in our beliefs about our {religions} or {form of government}.

From the point of view of our brain, this is a survival mechanism. If we have more people on our team or in our tribe, we will be safer and more likely to survive and perpetuate ourselves.

Anger is a subconscious mechanism that helps us survive by the fact that when we feel that a devaluation of our {I} is taking place, we need to make sure that it is not accepted.

Let’s look at a few examples of anger in terms of our magic equation of emotion.

Anger Situation 1

Someone cut you off in traffic. This fact itself may well be viewed as an insult. When someone cuts you off, your brain in this fact receives a clear perception that some pepper, as it were, says to you: “I am more important than you,” or “Where I am going is more important to go than where you are going. “, Or” I don’t really care which lane I drive, I can even follow yours. ”

Thus, an action aimed at lowering the meaning of your I is interpreted as an attack on yourself with which you do not agree, and a natural feeling of anger arises.

Of course, if you changed your expectation-preference for the situation, to the fact that idiots have always existed and will come across to us from time to time in life, and this is exactly the case, then, of course, your perception would not see in the fact at all “Undercutting” attacks on {myself}.

Anger situation 2

Someone is insulting your religion or your non-religious status. This all, of course, strongly depends on the degree of your attachment to a religious position, but many people consider their religion (or lack of it) to be a large part of their feelings.

Sam Harris describes this very well in his books.

Thus, if in the process of communicating with someone, your Perception interprets the information as an attack on your religious position, a certain level of anger will be activated.

Likewise, anger is generated when the perception sees attacks on {politics}, {nationality}, {race}, {sexual orientation} or any other thing that people put on the card {themselves}.

Now you understand every controversy that can ever appear on social networks. Congratulations!

Anger situation 3. Chronic anger

Recently, very often you can see people who are angry with their lives. I have a classmate whose posts on Facebook I saw all the time until I specifically turned them off from the feed. And I did it because it seemed as if anger was oozing from every post. Every day something happened in this world that annoyed him terribly.

I decided to play some fun and sent him a link to a stress relief program like MBSR, developed back in 1970 by Dr. John Kabbat Dzin. You can’t even imagine how angry it made him!

And I didn’t even send him anything about which one should really be angry. After all, I could send you another link to a study conducted in 2001, in which 13,000 people took part, and which showed that high levels of anger increased the risk of coronary heart disease by almost 200% and the risk of early heart attack by almost 300%. …

What I really wanted to tell him is that this anger is slowly killing him, and he could potentially leave his children without a father too early in their life. But when he began to write in the comments that his constant anger was his Active, and not his Passive, then I understood why there was such a reaction.

His brain saw the situation in such a way that anger helps him defend his religion and his family and fight liberal attacks on what is dear to him. The brain clearly saw that this anger provided his children with the proper motivation to do their homework well and stay out of trouble so as not to anger their dad.

This anger convinced his wife that everything she says is an excuse and is not even considered, so she must maintain the house and provide childcare, as he thinks is right.

These images of the evil guy became part of his own map of himself.

I noticed he was proud to be the evil guy. So when I suggested that getting angry at some things beyond your control might not be the best strategy to live a happy and harmonious life, he certainly saw it as an attack on {himself}, which was then added to the pile. things that made him angry that day too

I think such things happen because the general perception of our life situation does not correspond to our expectations-preferences of this life situation.

“I hate living in this wild country”, “I hate living in this dirty house.” “I hate this shitty car.” “I hate this awful job.”

Please note that our expectations, preferences and perceptions should in no way be logical or reasonable. They just have to exist in our brain, and not necessarily that this is exactly what happens in the real world.

If our whole life does not correspond to our expectations-preferences, we will be irritated all our lives, seemingly for no reason.

This explains why some people get bogged down by any nonsense.

Therefore, my dear readers, if the slightest things infuriate you, this is a neglected case. If you have problems, please, you know, I will not refuse help. I can also send a link, I can take care of your situation myself.

I also wanted to say about this interesting fact: earlier scientists believed that anger works differently in different groups of people and in different cultures, but modern research shows that anger is almost the same all over the world.

The only real exception is Polynesia. As a strange exception, the indigenous people of Polynesia do not feel as much anger as people in other parts of the world. Their culture seems to have completely weeded out anger from their existence.

The researchers agree that they did this because Polynesians view the emotion of anger as a childish reaction that is not associated with an adult, as we have, for example, a childish tantrum on the floor. Thus, any Polynesian adult who displays this emotion is considered to have a childish immature psyche.

When we view this fact in terms of our convenient equation of emotion, everything actually makes sense.

Their brains repress the emotion of anger because the resulting emotion of anger, which they may have normally generated without the influence of their culture, creates a negative perception of {their Polynesian self}.

Although we should also point out here that the Polynesians have different ideas about themselves than the rest of the world, which also leads to a decrease in the level of anger. By the way, there will be time, read about the Polynesians. You will go nuts how interesting it is.

Category: Anger


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I’ve hurt myself while trying to help myself more than you can imagine, that’s why I want to scientifically analyze every popular self-help technique and ‘method’ there is.