The weight of anger is far heavier than the weight of joy. In it’s most vicious form, anger can lead to murder; joy easily distributes love, even in it’s simplest form. While both are natural emotions to our genetic make-up, we can choose to possess more of the one which we desire to encompass most often, but often times it seems we are displaying the less desired one. There are many ways to prevent and manage anger, which if obtained, consequently leads to more joy. A most basic technique in preventing anger is by providing your body with the proper chemicals. Dealing with anger once it arises is a matter of acknowledgement and understanding.
You are what you eat. We’ve heard it a million times, us Americans at least; yet most of us think it nothing more than a funny little saying with little to no meaning. Moods, feelings, emotions, and thoughts come from the brain which heavily relies on us to provide it with nutritious and well-balanced meals that the body can convert to energy. Without the proper ingredients, our bodies cannot formulate the proper fuel. It’s as simple, yet seemingly to our culture, as complicated as that. When people choose to fuel their bodies with ‘junk,’ unnatural chemicals, and an overwhelming amount of certain chemicals which in actuality our bodies need very little of, the results are nothing short of devastating. Our moods and thoughts dictate our behavior, so if we art to eat essentially poisonous ‘foods,’ we have little choice but to act in poisonous ways. Fueling our bodies with chemicals that clog our system lead to unwanted feelings as our brain simply is not capable of producing the ‘happy’ chemicals that bestow positive moods. The most appalling part in all of this is that we have been led to believe that anger, stress, anxiety, and depression are a normal part of daily life. We’ve been lead to believe that we are stressed out due to other circumstances; lead to believe that by taking more chemicals (pharmaceuticals), that they will ease our tension and ‘cure’ our ailments. Truth be told, you are what you eat. If you eat foods abundant in essential vitamins, your body will be abundant in essential vitamins. Likewise, if you eat foods high in fat, processed to have a long-lasting shelf life, and coming from antibiotic and growth hormone-pumped animals, then your body will be full of those disturbing substances and your mood and behavior will adapt accordingly. While eating the wrong foods does not directly cause anger, it certainly plays a major role in one’s ability to avoid feelings of aggression. Eating foods that have been proven to promote the health of our bodies, will also promote a healthy mind-set much more readily suited to cope with any outside stressors.
When we are in a state of anger or are desiring to act aggressively, it is usually because we are feeling pain that we have not yet dealt with. We become angry either because we don’t understand why someone or something would cause us such pain, or because we are impatient and don’t understand why something is not getting done fast enough. Whatever the initial cause of the anger is, lies the answer in subduing and ridding ourselves of feeling as though we must resort to other negative emotions such as jealousy, spite, hate, and vengeance. It is easier and in society, more accepted, to display aggression than to display pain. Oddly enough, to the trained eye, anyone who knows this bit of information can easily see pain through aggressive behavior and can also see that the pain is quite deeply rooted and is not being dealt with. It is akin to pushing a dog into a corner until finally, at one impulsive moment, the dog fights back. We must learn to acknowledge, accept, and handle our pain if we are to manage our anger in positive ways.
Some handle their anger by taking short walks, screaming into pillows, breathing exercises, and a vast number of other remedies which usually allow our adrenaline to become more diluted and channel out of our bodies. Personally, I eat healthily, exercise regularly, and manage my pain in order to prevent mood swings and promote happiness in my fundamental temperament. When stressful situations do arise, I am then less likely to resort to anger and instead am usually the mediator in having the ability to see the underlying issues of the circumstance. Of course anger is a natural emotion which all emotional beings experience at times throughout life. When these times arise for me, the best I can offer is an apology and honest explanation which ensures that both myself and other witnessing individuals are given the opportunity to understand, forgive, and move on from the moment rather than allowing it to linger and cause more pain. I was not always so understanding of anger management as you can tell by this poem I wrote in January of 2000:
My Hatred Grows
Everyday my hatred grows,
My veins are tunnels for burning blood,
And every second the fire flows,
My soul’s been drowned into this flood.
The world around me spinning fast,
Beautiful people who love their lives,
An evil spell upon me has been cast,
Happiness and love are sullied lies.
Every minute this hatred builds,
And every hour it grows stronger,
My heart racing, it wants to die,
If I could just hold off a little longer
As you can tell by the poem, the key line is ‘happiness and love are sullied lies,’ which references to why I’m angry in the first place. I can attest today that I’ve evolved and come to know where pain arises and now have the understanding to deal with it without feeling the way I must have felt in writing this poem. It is my understanding through experience that I’ve come to realize that anger is merely a side-effect of pain and I believe that if everyone knew and recognized this within themselves, our world would be a far less aggressive place.