During today’s session I learned about how the brain works in relation to anger. Deep in the center of the brain and the size and shape of an almond is the amygdala which controls, among other things, anger. When you feel angry it’s this part of the brain that’s stimulated and if over stimulated can prevent your frontal lobe, which is responsible for reason, from functioning properly.
If you are able to check your anger early on the frontal lobe is not completely bypassed and you might be able to prevent your anger from reaching a boiling point. If you don’t check your anger by taking a moment to think about why you are angry you will lose the ability to reason and probably react in a way you wouldn’t otherwise. So really you don’t have control of your thoughts at that point which is why people typically, after cooling down, feel regret for their actions as you regain the ability to reason.
My exercise is to be aware of the things that trigger anger for me so I can know what my triggers are and know if a particular situation might produce anger. This will serve two purposes. The first, but not always practical, is in knowing what drives me to anger might allow me to avoid those situations which like I said just isn’t always practical considering I do have to drive, sit where I do at work, deal with people in general etc. The second benefit and one that is definitely doable is when I am aware of my triggers I am in a sence controlling my anger before it even happens because I am using the frontal lobe, reason, so the idea is even though the anger might be right around the corner I will have my frontal lobe ready for what’s coming.
I know that sounds all crude and ignorant but that’s because I am ignorant concerning the details on this issue. I can’t remember all the details of what was said but that is the basic version of my meeting. In fact it all sounds like a bunch of BS to me but hell, if it works…..
Recently I found myself saying “I’m so angry I don’t even care what the truth is anymore.” To me that was also an important realization. It’s very important to understand why – it’s more important to control how you act. However, there is also a danger in overrationalizing what you feel to the point your logic serves only to your detriment. You feel for a reason.
Anger is a natural emotion and it’s there for a reason like you said. I’m not looking at eliminating anger but rather managing it. So yes, I just want to be able to control how I act when angry.