That’s a subject that a lot of us don’t like to talk about. It’s uncomfortable for most of us, yet it’s a part of us. It’s as much a part of us as any other emotion, such as love, hope, worry or fear.
That said, anger is not always a draingerous emotion. If used properly, anger can be an extremely productive way to encourage our determination to overcome certain obstacles or goals. So if we think of it as a controlled substance, there are times when an expression of anger may be appropriate.
It is an essential emotion that writers can instill in their characters to create great drama and conflict. But what happens when this emotion turns its ugly head and becomes draingerous? Remember, anger is an emotion that we all carry with us 24/7.
Well, first we might ask ourselves, why is there so much anger? It’s an important question to ask if we are to use the emotion of anger properly. And since the cause of most anger is one of the most complex subjects, we’ll just stick with the specifics.
There is a general consensus by health professionals today that most anger is a trigger emotion. It is a trigger that often results from injustice. It can occur when we’ve been slighted, insulted or when shown a form of disrespect.
“Anger triggers” can vary from person to person. And depending upon our age, gender or culture it may affect us differently. There are those of us who are seldom affronted, while others are easily provoked, holding on to anger like a security blanket for days, weeks, months and sadly even years.
It seems that a self-centered world is filled with the potential for such triggers of anger. Then add sensitivity into the mix and you’ve got an explosion of anger inducements from poor parental example, cramped living space, economic disparity, prejudice, injustice and bullyism just to name a few. Well maybe more than a few. But you get the point.
The urge to become angry and blow off this proverbial steam can be so overwhelming!
So how can we manage to keep this emotion of anger under control?
For several years, give or take 2,000 or more, the thought was to let one’s tension release through anger and a sense of psychological refreshment would emerge. This point of view was taken from the Greek philosopher Aristotle and later a neurologist named Sigmund Freud. They both claimed that if people repressed their negative emotions and restrained them they would develop a mental disorder such as hysteria.
Well, that’s all fine and dandy for a fictional character in a novel, but for those of us non-fictional characters, does this really work? And is it healthy? Studies have now shown that “Letting It All Out” with your anger often leaves us feeling more uptight and less relieved.
So what can we do?
1- Try to avoid doing or saying something that we may later regret so as not to trigger that draingerous form of anger in the first place. (I know, much easier said than done. But it can be done!)
2- To reduce anger: slow down and unwind. If we feel ourselves becoming overly anxious or excited and are in danger of losing it, let’s take our leave, take a walk or meditate. There is a proverb that says, “Where there is no wood, the fire goes out.”
3- Learn to relax. Follow technics that have proven to be effective in combating stress-related anger: Breath deeply with slow repetition. Immerse yourself in something that you enjoy such as reading, listening to your favorite music, regular exercise and eating a healthy diet.
While we try to put these few suggestions into practice, we might also want to make sure that our expectations are realistic. If our expectations of ourselves and others are too high, this may also lead us into a life of frustration and anger.
So remember—All of us can become angry from time to time and how we convey that anger is a matter of personal choice. If we express our anger in a more positive manner, it can be a healthy way to compose a fine masterpiece and work of art. On the other hand, if we allow ourselves to circle the drain with a more negative complex form of anger, it can prove to be, as my youngest son used to say when he was just a little guy—draingerous!
So what do you think? What kinds of things make you frustrated and angry? What do you do to keep calm and cool? Do you enjoy harnessing that powerful emotion of anger into a character? What helps you develop characters that are filled with anger?
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