Understanding Anger

by Female Abroad

Stress and being tired regularly happen during travelling, the only downside is that they also mix and lead to anger. Due to how easy it is to get mad knowing what anger is and being able to control it are very important.

What is anger? It is a neutral emotion but what you do with it makes it constructive or destructive. If you cannot control the anger then as it intensifies you will think less rationally as the anger progresses.

Knowing what causes your anger will help to control it. Anger is normally stimulated by either a real event or an imagined one that causes triggers an emotional response. These triggers are usually internal responses to an issue rather then an external issue (ie. not everyone will be annoyed by a bed being left unmade by their partner but some people will yell at their partner).

Since anger is learned there is a theory that you can unlearn your triggers by getting used to releasing your anger in healthy ways (ex. hitting the gym) instead of just yelling / screaming because of your frustrations. Other ways that you can unlearn your triggers by:

  1. identifying your trigger(s)
  2. choose a constructive response (ie. talking the issue out with your partner instead of yelling)
  3. modify how you talk to yourself / think in emotionally charged situations
  4. monitor which responses work for what trigger
  5. view the issue from a different perspective

When it comes to getting mad, we don't always control it but we can control how intense it will be, how long it will last, and how we release the anger. Learning to unlearn your triggers can be difficult so don't feel bad about letting it out. If you release your anger then you will slowly learn how to control the intensity and duration overtime, eventually leading to knowing what your trigger is before it happens.

Now if you are dealing with someone that is already angered, the last thing that you want to do is to tell them to "calm down". What you should do is:

  1. take some deep breaths
  2. show them that you are really listening
  3. validate the person's emotional state without trying to change it or forcing your feelings on them
  4. support them verbally

Since you are now ready to understand and control your anger, hopefully your next trip will be a little calmer and not go full blown Karen or Daren.